Skip to content Skip to navigation

New Faculty Reward Structures

Message Number: 



One of the major challenges currently facing colleges and universities is how to create appropriate faculty reward structures that encourage greater teaching innovation. Here is a highly edited version of a report prepared by for the Sloan Foundation by Dr. Andy DiPaolo, (, associate dean, Stanford University, and based on the work of a committee he chaired consisting of faculty and senior university administrators from Michigan, Rennsselaer, Cornell, Colorado, Purdue, NYU, Maryland, Penn State, Columbia and Stanford. The report focuses on faculty incentives and rewards with respect to distributed learning innovation, however, it is clearly relevant to many other areas of faculty profess ional development. 

NOTE: At your request I will be happy to send you, via e-mail attachment, a copy of the full report. 

Rick Reis 

--------------1076 words ------------- 


Focus Area Committee Report on Faculty Acceptance and Motivation 
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 
Chaired by Andy DiPaolo, Stanford University 
Incentives for faculty to accept and participate in distance learning activities 

* *Drect Incentives 
* *Institutional Support and Encouragement 
* *Status and Recognition 
* * Personal Satisfaction 
* * Direct Incentives 

1. Provide payment to the faculty member, department and institution based on the number of distant students, revenue generated, teaching load or innovative use of a delivery technology. 

2. Offer grants and staff support to develop distance classes or instructional modules to be imbedded in a course to be used on campus and at a distance. 

3. Provide release time and professional leaves for course/curriculum redesign. 

4. Use revenue earned to support faculty research, the hiring of additional faculty support staff and the dispensation of special perquisites that reflect the value and importance of working with distance learners. 

5. Equate products developed for teaching a course to publications for purposes o tenure, promotion and salary considerations e.g., multimedia, CD-ROMs, electronic textbooks etc. 

6. Reduce annual teaching load or provide extra credit for faculty offering distance education courses, especially in those classes generating enrollments well in excess of a normal teaching load for a particular class. 

7. Increase the number of teaching assistants and graders to support increased class loads and the extra effort in dealing with students participating at a distance. 

8. Provide additional credit towards tenure, promotion and merit raises insuring innovative teaching activities advance a professional career. 

9. Provide examples of how additional visibility in the business and industry community through distance learning may result in increased consultative and research-related relationships. 

10. Provide a mechanism to generate additional revenue from the marketing of instructional products created as a result of teaching distant learners e.g., create relationships with campus marketing or licensing group and commercial publishers or software/video distributors. 

11. Offer examples of how an expanded student base may help increase the sales of texts, software packages and multimedia products authored by faculty. 

12. Pay travel expenses to share innovative teaching experiences at workshops and conferences. 

13. Provide additional financial opportunities for faculty participating in distance teaching activities e.g., summer employment. 

14. Provide examples of how quality distance education offerings can attract top industry students who may advance to PhD status. 

* * Institutional Support and Encouragement 

1. Insure faculty have real control over teaching/learning and evaluation processes by minimizing institutional impediments to teaching distance learners. 

2. Provide enhanced support services to support faculty participation e.g., electronic/distribution of class notes, offering special library accounts, providing easy access to computer data bases, creating an effective mech anism to order textbooks, offering extra student advising and consultative support etc. 

3. Provide faculty with equipment (both in the office and at home) to support off-campus students e.g., fax machine, voice mail, computers etc. 

4. Provide skilled staff to assist faculty in designing the course, preparing class materials, distributing the course, supporting teaching needs and creating assessment tools. e.g., instructional design, graphics prepara tion, tracking assignments, gaining rights to copyrighted materials etc. 

5. Provide smooth handling of distribution matters related to the transmission and paperwork flow when working with distance learners 

6. Insure quality metrics remain high by supporting a strong evaluation component and guaranteeing exam integrity. 

7. Offer flexible scheduling options for both faculty and students allowing for asynchronous or off-cycle classes e.g., condensed or elongated term, use of technology to take the course whenever and wherever needed etc. 

8. Offer faculty information as to what industry is requesting in curriculum and courses by summarizing information collected from formal needs assessments, meetings with corporate executives, sessions with engineering managers and prospective studen ts etc. 

9. Exhibit strong leadership from senior university officers, deans and department heads regarding the value of a distance learning 

rogram to the institution. 

10. Include distance learning in the mission, goals and policies of the institution, school and academic department and publicize this fact throughout the institution. 

11. Create an institutional environment promoting and rewarding teaching experimentation. 

12. Reduce bureaucratic obstacles and maximize revenue to the departments and faculty offering distance learning activities. 

13. Initiate time saving measures and offer resources to speed the development of a new course for distance learners e.g., accessing courses and materials developed elsewhere, reducing teaching load, increasing staff suppor t in instructional design etc. 

14. Provide faculty engaged in distance education programs with high quality teaching spaces, reliable delivery mechanisms and a range of instructional presentation tools. 

15. Offer delivery technologies allowing for significant interaction between the student and instructor/teaching assistant as well as student-to-student e.g., computer conferencing, news groups etc. 

16. Offer training programs and written materials using examples of how to best teach distance learners e.g., provide faculty testimonials and hard evidence of what works and what does not. 

17.Provide assistance to faculty in obtaining grant and contract money for developing innovative distance learning programs. 

18. Provide marketing and production expertise in order to make innovative instructional products developed for distance learning available to other institutions. 

19. Clarify and offer fair institutional copyright and royalty policies so that faculty can benefit from the extra time and effort in developing instructional materials and products. 

20. Provide faculty an opportunity to influence program policy and administration. 

* * Status and Recognition 

1. Insure the institution acknowledges distance learning activities carry prestige and value. Participation must be a professional asset, not a liability. 

2. Faculty teaching ratings from distant students are used in salary, promotion and tenure decisions. 

3. Special titles or designations are created within the institution for faculty participating in distance learning activities. 

4. A special category of teaching awards are created for faculty who excel in distance learning activities. 

5. Success stories are disseminated through professional journals, university and industry publications and conference presentations. 

6. Faculty are offered recognition receptions. 

* * Personal Satisfaction 

1. Striving for teaching excellence and professional growth e.g., positive student evaluations. 

2. Recognition that the distance learning effort assists in the economic success of a region, state and the nation. 

3. Awareness that efforts of this type help improve the profession by creating innovative teaching and learning approaches which may be adopted by faculty at other institutions. 

4. Personal pride that the additional effort in offering courses to distance learners will likely result in a better organized and more effective course for both campus and off-campus students. 

5. Awareness that activities of this type help develop an educational environment conducive to continual improvement.