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Westmont College
955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Office: (805) 565-6007
Fax: (805) 565-7006

Faculty Development at Westmont

The Goals of our Faculty Development Program

Faculty professional development at Westmont takes many forms, focusing on a range of concerns, from teaching to disciplinary research to more general intellectual growth.  The Provost’s Office provides resources and encouragement to faculty in the pursuit of these interests.  Some resources support scholarly research and participation in disciplinary guilds.  Other funds seek to foster conversations and collaborative projects with Westmont colleagues.  In all these activities, we seek to nurture a creative community of faculty, whose individual scholarship and teaching are enriched by engagement with one other.

Quick Links to Program Descriptions

Sabbaticals (due Oct. 1) Provost's Reading Groups
Professional Development Grants (due Nov. 1) Professional Development Account
Teaching, Research, and Reading Groups (due Oct. 1) Library Cubicles (due Sep. 1, Jan. 10)

Reimbursements To be reimbursed for expenses, submit receipts, an itemized expense list, and a reimbursement request to Rosemary Maione. Please provide all documents in the form of 8.5x11-inch pdfs or paper.


Please email reports on sabbatical and professional development grants within three months of completing the sabbatical or grant period. Reports should briefly describe activities and summarize the goals achieved. Please email reports to Patti Hunter.

Past reports are available here:

Sabbatical Reports

Professional Development Grant Reports

Program Descriptions

Provost’s Reading Groups

The Provost will host one or two reading groups that focus on some of the major challenges and opportunities facing higher education. The goal of the sessions will be to look together at some of the trends and issues that higher education leaders will need to navigate, and to provide faculty an opportunity to offer their perspectives on these challenges. The faculty perspectives will be shared with the senior leadership. Specific topics and books for the reading groups will be announced in late August. Groups will consist of five-to-six members, chosen by the Provost from those who apply to participate.

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Teaching, Research, and Reading Groups (applications due October 1)

These groups consist of three to five faculty who meet together to support one another’s teaching, scholarship, and general intellectual growth.  A teaching group would explore or experiment with a pedagogical practice, perhaps seeking to make use of a “flipped” approach to the classroom or experimenting with a particular technological tool.  Members of a research group share works-in-progress with one another, providing feedback on a drafts, helping think through gaps in an argument, or suggesting questions or resources that might enhance the project.  Reading groups select one or more books of common interest and meet to discuss them. 

Each group will receive $1000 to spend on expenses related to its activities.  Groups may, for example, purchase books, share meals, travel to a nearby conference together, or organize a mini-retreat. They are encouraged to plan some means of sharing the results of t heir time together with the wider Westmont community. 

Groups are free to shape their own goals and the structure of the group’s meetings, but should commit to meeting at least four times.  Preference will be given to groups that draw faculty from more than one department.

To apply for funding, submit an application (.docx) to the Professional Development Committee via the vice provost.

The committee will begin reviewing proposals October 1. Groups will be notified of approval within three weeks of submitting proposals.

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Sabbaticals (applications due October 1)

A sabbatical leave is an investment by the College in the quality of instruction and scholarship of the faculty.  It also provides a time of renewal for the faculty member.

Subject to approval of the Professional Development Committee, the Provost, the President, and the Board of Trustees, tenured faculty are eligible for a sabbatical after six years (or equivalent) of full-time service since initial appointment or the most recent sabbatical. Faculty on multi-year contracts are eligible for their first sabbatical during the ninth year of employment, after completing three consecutive multi-year contract periods. Thereafter, they are eligible subject to the conditions specified for tenured faculty. Faculty are eligible to apply for a semester-long sabbatical at full pay, or a year-long sabbatical at half pay.

Further information about the sabbatical policy is available in the Faculty Handbook in section

To apply, submit an application (docx) to the Professional Development Committee via the vice provost.

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Professional Development Grants (applications Due November 1)

Professional Development Grants support scholarly and curricular projects.  Categories for projects are described below.  Approximately 14 grants of $3600 each are made each year. Applicants will be notified of decisions by January 10. Funds from grants are available (as stipends or expense reimbursements) beginning May 15, and should be spent by May 30 of the following year, unless otherwise arranged through the Provost’s Office.

Research Grants support faculty scholarship that leads to publications in peer-reviewed journals, monographs, and textbooks.  Grants can be used for direct research expenses, summer stipend, or, in certain cases, for release time. 

Artistic Production Grants enable faculty to pursue significant projects connected with their professional artistic work (visual arts, theater, music).  Typically, those projects would result in a public performance or exhibit.  Grants can be used for direct research expenses, summer stipend, or, in certain cases, for release time.

Faculty/Student Research Grants support research that involves a student apprentice in significant scholarly activity conducted collaboratively by the faculty member and the student.  The student’s contribution must go beyond the work of a research assistant, and involve the student in research that contributes significantly to her education.  These grants cover a summer fellowship stipend for the student.

Curricular Innovation Grants  aid in the development of innovative pedagogical approaches to existing courses and curricular innovations.  The innovations should be designed to lead to an enhanced learning experience for students with a focus on clear learning outcomes.  Funding may be used to provide access to hardware and software, summer stipends, opportunities to attend conferences or workshops related to the innovation, or, in certain cases, for release time.  New courses developed through these grants will be subject to the standard faculty approval process.  The financial and curricular impact of offering new courses will be reviewed by the department chair and the provost before new courses can be scheduled.

Guidelines for Use of Grants for Release Time Grant proposals requesting that funding be used for release time should explain why the requested teaching reduction is appropriate for the proposed project, and explain why more intensive work over a semester is important (compared to the normal pace of regular scholarship expected of all faculty).  Include a work plan that provides evidence of your ability to complete the proposed project during the semester in which the release time is taken. 

To apply, submit an application (link coming soon) to the Professional Development Committee via the vice provost.

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Professional Development Account

Annual Allotments Full-time faculty receive $500 per year to use for memberships in professional organizations, journal subscriptions and travel to professional conferences.  Up to $1000 may be carried over to the next year. 

Supplementary Funds Up to $1000 per year of additional money is available to full-time faculty for travel expenses to conferences at which the faculty member is reading a paper, leading session, or participating as a member of an organizational ruling body.  Supplementary funds cannot be carried over to the next year.

Extraordinary Funds A limited amount of money is available for faculty who wish to take advantage of an extraordinary opportunity to participate in a professional activity and need funds beyond the amounts described above.  To apply, submit a one-page proposal to the Professional Development Committee (via the Vice Provost).  Include a brief description of the conference or activity, how you plan to participate, and an explanation of why this opportunity is extraordinary.  The proposal should also provide a brief account of how your annual allotment of professional development funds and your supplementary funds are being used.  Please indicate a date by which you must know whether extraordinary funds can be made available to you.

Reimbursements To draw on the funds, submit receipts, an itemized expense list, and a reimbursement request to Rosemary Maione. Please provide all documents in the form of 8.5x11-inch pdfs or paper.

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Library Cubicles

Available on a semester-by-semester basis, cubicles provide a private study space in Voskuyl Library.  The Professional Development Committee reviews applications September 1 (fall), January 10 (spring), and May 9 (summer) and continues until cubicles are filled. ApplicantApplications forms are available here:

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