In recent decades, the strain of ever-increasing faculty workload has been the source of much angst among college and university professors. Faculty responsibilities have greatly expanded to include a wide range of tasks. “We started a list of all the things faculty are expected to do now that they were not expected to do thirty years ago,” says Rick Gillman, associate provost for faculty affairs and professor of mathematics at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. “I never thought I’d be involved in recruiting, marketing, fundraising, or be expected to have international partners.” Teaching online courses has also created vast demand for new skill sets, in addition to the traditional areas of scholarship, teaching, and service in which faculty are expected to excel. At Valparaiso, faculty are addressing these challenges and opening up new possibilities for student learning by implementing a new model: the holistic department.
Reforming the Department Model
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