Administrators at Grand Valley State University are seeking to provide more training and development opportunities for part-time faculty, an initiative they say will benefit students and teachers alike.
Last fall, Dana Munk was named director of part-time faculty support at the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center. In the newly created position, she’s been tasked with identifying ways to make the university’s policies and procedures more “part-time friendly.”
“In the end, the mission of our school is about teaching students,” said Munk, who also serves as an associate professor of movement science. “We’re always looking for ways to improve the teaching of all our faculty. So this is one important piece, helping part-time faculty grow as teachers.”
Part-time faculty accounted for 20 percent of instructors at GVSU in fall 2012. While many are experts in their field, they sometimes have little teaching experience and need some guidance about how to effectively communicate complex ideas and concepts to students, Munk said.