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Allen S. Levine, dean, College of Food, Agricultral and Natural Resource Sciences
Jay Bell, associate dean for Academic Programs and Faculty Affairs, College of Food, Agricultral and Natural Resource Sciences
An area that continues to be a University-wide challenge is finding ways of providing meaningful, sustainable rewards and incentives to faculty for advancing the teaching, research and outreach mission. In a climate of continued fiscal challenge and increasing needs for accountability it is more important than ever to offer faculty incentives that advance progress toward college and university goals as well as to the overall mission. The focus of this project is to identify meaningful incentives for faculty to advance the teaching, research and outreach agenda of the University of Minnesota. These include providing both financial and non-financial incentives directly to colleges, departments and faculty for the purposes of advancing instructional quality, new course development, innovation, team teaching, increased student credit hours taught, entrepreneurism in the classroom in addition to several relating to research and outreach activities.
The University is positioning itself to be one of the top three public research universities in the world. Strategic planning efforts across the University are targeting this aspirational goal. One example of the level of commitment is the development of the four action strategies that include exceptional students, exceptional faculty and staff, exceptional organization and exceptional innovation. These four strategic themes help units align to an overall organizational strategy that moves the University forward.
This project is directly related to the strategic theme of exceptional faculty and staff with a particular focus on the faculty. Specifically the University intends the following strategic result: “recruit, mentor, reward, and retain world-class faculty and staff who are innovative, energetic, and dedicated to the highest standards of excellence”. There are five strategic objectives associated with this strategic result that includes the following.
These strategic objectives form the foundation for this project in that they offer a focus from which to conduct research that will ultimately generate specific recommendations around what faculty incentives are. Further this project relates directly to all five of the strategic objectives as they have at their center, a culture of performance, advancement and rewards. Alignment of individual behaviors to institutional objectives is critical in advancing the University’s goals.
In addition to alignment with strategic priorities, this project also seeks to leverage the Criteria for Decision Making that has been identified by the University. The outcomes of this project will impact a number of the below criteria. For example, item 2 quality, productivity and impact require comparative data that will likely come out of this project. Enhancement of academic synergies, item 4 below will be impacted through a clearer understating of a balanced, insightful incentives plan that integrates the teaching, research and outreach mission. In addition item 6 below, efficiency and effectiveness, will also be impacted by the results of this project. To some extent each of the seven criteria below can play a role in this project. It will be up to the team with guidance from the sponsors to determine what role they play in this project.
The role of the PEL team will be to research, evaluate and identify an incentive model that can be successfully implemented across the University at the college, department and faculty level. Integration with the land grant mission is an important point as well. The team will need to review and evaluate best practices of colleges across the University and those of peer institutions.
Incentives can take many forms including:
Onboarding Program Manager
Office of Human Resources Communications
Makeda Zulu Gillespie
University Northside Partnership/Urban Outreach and Engagement Center Minneapolis Urban League
Coordinators of Strategic Initiatives
Corporate and Foundations Relations, UMR
Online Instructinal Designer