Wabash faculty share a commitment to sustained intellectual growth through continued scholarly or creative work. While the nature of this work varies by discipline, and may change during the course of a career, a common feature is that at least some of it will extend beyond the institution such that it contributes to the world of scholarship or fine arts outside the College. Research and creative activity enhance and complement teaching by engaging students, directly or indirectly, in the search for new knowledge and understanding, synthesis, and application.
A formal sabbatical leave program, one year at half pay or one semester at full pay, went into effect with the academic year 1962-63. Faculty members become eligible in their sixth year at Wabash College to apply for a sabbatical leave in their seventh year, assuming that they have received tenure. They are then eligible to apply for additional sabbatical leaves at seven-year intervals.
The McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Program provides a semester free of teaching and other College duties for the purpose of pursuing a research project in one's field. Research is defined broadly to include any original investigative work. Salary and benefits are provided by the College during the period of study. Additionally, each year the Dean of the College and Division Chairs select a member of the faculty to receive the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award, which is a cash prize given to a member of the faculty to recognize dedication to excellence in teaching.
Teaching and Learning Committee
The Teaching and Learning Committee hosts an annual opening workshop before classes start, and often has a theme that carries throughout the year. Monthly speakers, panels and discussions provide continuing professional development, highlighting teaching related topics. Some topics, such as teaching men, are Wabash-specific; others focus on universal best practices, such as teaching students how to prepare for exams. The President’s Distinguished Speaker Series often highlights important trends in higher education, such as demographic change and understanding generational differences.
Faculty Development Coordinator
The Faculty Development Coordinator works with College groups (including the Teaching and Learning Committee and New Faculty Orientation) to support faculty development. The Coordinator organizes programming for faculty development, such as a Peer Observation Program, monthly book discussions and one-on-one teaching mentoring opportunities.
As a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, Wabash College faculty members have access to resources such as the Consortium for Teaching and Learning, the GLCA Academic Council, the Academic Leadership Institute and other workshops, and collaborative grant-funded opportunities.
Teaching and Research Funding
In addition to those mentioned above, the College offers support in several specific ways:
- The Dean’s Professional Travel Fund provides full-time faculty $2,000 annually in support of conference travel;
- Access to Coss Faculty Development Funds, the distribution of which is based on colleagues' judgment of individual proposals that advance faculty scholarly and teaching;
- $8,000 in research support for Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professorships during the pre-tenure period;
- Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Support from endowed funds and college support in all three collegiate divisions, which includes a stipend for faculty mentors;
- Staff assistance from the Director of Corporations, Foundations, and Government Relations and the Dean of the College’s Office in identifying potential funding sources and in writing grant proposals to support research projects as well as sabbatical research or creative work and work with undergraduates;
- Department and Divisional endowed funds that support teaching and/or research.