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Research Reassigned Time: School of Arts and Sciences

Each semester, we send an announcement to the faculty with a call for proposals and announcement of the deadline for applying.  This announcement includes the Guidelines for application.  The guidelines are:

1.   All full-time Arts and Sciences faculty are eligible to apply, including those who have received research reassigned time (from any source) for the preceding Spring Fall semesters, although priority will be given to meritorious applications of those who have not recently received research reassigned time.
2.   Applicants should submit specific proposals, no more than two pages in length, stating clearly what the applicant proposes to do, and how the applicant proposes to use three hours of reassigned time to do it.  Type and double space proposals.  Be sure to indicate likely outcomes of the research to be performed.
3.   Submit ONE copy of a brief vita, not to exceed two pages, which includes a listing of any previous reassigned time awarded, research awards, publications, exhibits, compositions, and the like.
4.   Applicants should submit, along with their proposal , a letter (one original only no copies required) of support from their Department Chairperson stating that if the applicant is granted research reassigned time, the department can, if the course is offered, cover it using the available full-time resources in the department, or that the cancellation of a course will not have a negative impact on the students. 
5.   Applicants agree, if awarded research reassigned time, to write a one-page summary of their accomplishments at the close of the reassigned time period.  The summary should be sent to Dean Fredeen's office (with a copy to the Provost) no later than the third week of the subsequent semester . In addition, all successful applicants will make a twenty-minute presentation of their research project to the Arts and Sciences faculty as part of an ongoing series of colloquia that the Dean has initiated to enrich intellectual exchange among and within the Arts and Sciences faculty.
6.   Successful applicants are expected to work with their chairpersons to ensure that their schedule carries no more than a 9-hour teaching load.  (Successful applicants should not receive more than 9 hours load credit from other sources during the semester that the research reassigned time is used.)
7.  Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in disqualification of the application.

Working with Jim Rhodes, a committee is appointed to review the proposals.  The criteria for membership on the dean of Arts and Sciences RRT committee are as follows:

  1. First and foremost, committee members are faculty who have been and still are active in conducting research and have a record of publication in their field, which means they understand how valuable time is in order to sustain and to complete research.
  2. Generally, committee members are drawn from faculty who have received Deans RRT in the past, which means they are familiar with the criteria and the process and understand what can be accomplished in the time allotted.
  3. The committee always is composed of representatives from the Physical Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Arts and Humanities.  Such a composition insures fairness and often proves invaluable because having a committee member from a field or a closely related one helps to explain to one not familiar with the research or vocabulary common to a given field just how current or valid a given proposal might be.  Committee members benefit from the shared expertise of a diverse committee.
  4. A concerted effort is made to secure a panel that is also properly balanced by gender, rank, and fair-mindedness.

The criteria used by the committee in evaluating proposals are:

1.       VALUE AS RESEARCH OR CREATIVE ACTIVITY.    (As described, how significant is the proposed research or creative activity?  Is the proposed project really a faculty development project?  A curriculum development project?  etc.  Is the proposal clear and complete enough so that the projects value can be assessed?)  What are the likely outcomes?
2.       LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION.    (Does the faculty member have the background and access to sufficient resources to complete the project in timely fashion?  Do the faculty members reports of previous reassigned time awards [if any] show evidence of timely completion of proposed projects?)
3.       APPROPRIATENESS OF 3 HOURS REASSIGNED TIME.    (Does 3 hours reassigned time project too much time considering the proposals scope?)
In drawing up the final list of those receiving reassigned time, some consideration is given to seeing (i) that both established and new faculty members are represented and (ii) that a cross section of departments is represented.  Length of time from the previous award is also considered.

As indicated in the guidelines above, faculty receiving RRT are expected to submit a two-page report the semester following the award.  They are also expected to present a 20- to 30-minute discussion of the results of the award at the Dean's Research Colloquia the following semester.