Each faculty member will be able to attend at least one professional meeting in each year. However, the faculty member involved shall arrange for coverage of his or her classes by a qualified substitute or reschedule classes at a time convenient to students, and at no expense to the University. The University will pay the reasonable expenses of attending one such professional meeting up to $1,450.00 per year per faculty member. It is understood that the conference attended will be related to the faculty member's area of expertise and will be on the list of professional meetings approved by the University. It is further understood that the Professional Improvement allocation will be paid on a reimbursement basis and will only cover conference registration fees, reasonable travel bills, and food and lodging expense. Dues in a recognized professional society related to the faculty member’s discipline may be drawn from this total. If any of the yearly allocation to a faculty member is not spent by that faculty member in that year on conference expense, up to $400 of any such faculty member’s unspent funds for that year may be used by such faculty member for developmental materials in the faculty member’s discipline, such as books, DVDs, and software or periodicals, dues in a recognized professional society related to the faculty member’s discipline, or for approved research expenses.
The respective faculty member's dean may authorize additional payment of expenses for the above purposes. For such additional expenses a Professional Improvement Pool of $25,000.00 shall be established and disbursed respectively for each year by the Vice President for Academic Affairs upon the recommendation of the appropriate dean and department chairperson, provided that no individual faculty member shall normally receive more than $1,500.00 in addition to the individual allotment and any additional sum authorized by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Authorization of such additional payment of expenses will give priority to those on programs and professional conferences. Thirty days prior to the end of each fiscal year, any sums allocated in the University for professional improvement to individual faculty members or to the Professional Improvement Pool which may be unexpended or unencumbered may be placed in the general 22 budget to be used as needed and shall be reported to the Faculty Association.
Since both the Administration and the Association have a common interest in maintaining the professional vitality of the faculty, faculty members who have not expended their professional improvement funds shall be so notified not later than 90 days prior to the end of the fiscal year. The Association shall be notified at the same time as the members and shall encourage the members to use the funds for their professional development.