Webster University advocates lifelong learning for all of its constituents. In addition, a major part of Webster’s mission is to infuse international and global perspectives throughout the life of learning.
Internationalism and Global Perspectives as a Part of the Life of Learning
A large part of the mission of Webster University is to promote international perspectives in the curriculum among the students and faculty, and to educate diverse populations locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. The five Colleges and Schools all have international programs and activities within their academic units.
In addition, the international programs at Webster University cross all international campuses and partnerships, student study abroad, faculty and staff mobility, interdisciplinary curricular and co-curricular programs.
International Campuses around the World
A unique component of Webster’s multi-campus network is the international campuses, partners and partnership exchanges. Webster has campuses, partnerships, and exchange partners in ten countries. In Europe, Webster has campuses in London, the Netherlands (Leiden and Amsterdam), Geneva, Vienna and partnership programs in Bratislava and Budapest. Webster has Asian campuses in China (Shanghai, Shenzen and Chengdu) and in Thailand (Bangkok and Cha’am). The Webster international campuses deliver the same curriculum as the campuses in the United States.
The campuses have international students, faculty and staff as part of the make up of the campuses. We have partnership programs with Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, and the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico. Many of these campuses and partners have international accreditation or recognition by the Ministry of Education where they are located.
The International Accreditations and Recognitions are as follows: The British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education, the Austrian Ministry for Education and Culture, The Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA), The Thailand Ministry of Education, and Recognition by the Beijing Ministry of Education in China In addition to the Austrian and Thai Accreditation and the Recognition by the Ministry of Education in China. Webster University is currently seeking Dutch Accreditation, and is evaluating the Swiss Accreditation Report and visit in 2007.
Webster University is one of a very few universities to use the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to survey students on campuses outside the United States. In addition, Webster University participated in the American Council on Education (ACE) collaborative project on internationalization of U.S. Universities and Colleges.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2a.6 International Campuses, Partners, and Partnership Exchanges, HLC4a.1 Geneva Report, HLC4a.2 Leiden Report, HLC3a NSSE, HLC4a.3 ACE Internationalization, HLC0.1 Undergraduate Catalog, HLC0.2 Graduate Catalog]
Highlights and Distinctions of International Outcomes cited in the self-study:
- Webster University is the only American university offering full Bachelor, Master and M.B.A. programs in Austria (as opposed to Study Abroad opportunities).
- Webster University is the only university in Austria granting US and Austrian-accredited degrees.
- Webster University is the oldest provider of the M.B.A. in Austria, having introduced the degree in 1985.
- Webster University is the only American university in Central Europe to offer MBA programs in Slovakia and Hungary in partnership with local universities and our Webster – Vienna campus.
- Webster University was one of the first Joint M.B.A. Programs in all of China in 1997.
- Webster University was the first approved Joint MBA in China’s West region (Chengdu).
- Webster University is the largest provider of American masters’ degrees in the U.K.
- Webster University has the longest running American M.B.A. program in the U.K.
- Webster University with Regent’s College, London, is one of the biggest U.S. study abroad programs in the U.K.
- Webster University was the first American University and is the only American University operating in The Netherlands with both full programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Webster University was the first American University and is the only American university operating in Switzerland with both full programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Webster University has the only residential University campus in the Geneva area and one of only two in Switzerland.
- Webster University is one of the largest hosts of U.S. study abroad students.
- Webster University enrolls students from over 123 countries around the world.
- On average, a faculty member on an international campus speaks 3 languages, has lived in 3 or more countries, and has had 3 or more careers.
- Webster University has over 39% of its full time U.S. undergraduate students experiencing at least one study abroad trip before they graduate (highest rate of any school and college in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area)
- Webster University is recognized by the U.S. News and World Report America’s Best Colleges 2007 as a “Top 100” University in the United States by percentage of students studying abroad.
- Webster University’s study abroad program was recognized by the U.S. News and World Report America’s Best Colleges 2007 as on of the top “academic programs to look for.”
- Webster University’s Global M.A. program in international relations provides students the opportunity to learn and interact on five different international campuses and countries within one academic program.
- Webster University’s International Distinction is given to students that have second language proficiency, a study abroad experience, and an international field experience outside the classroom.
- Webster University’s Energizer Staff Exchange Award provides staff from Webster’s worldwide network of campuses with an international professional development experience (one of a few universities that support international professional development of staff members).
- Webster University’s Des Lee Scholar brings a visiting scholar to the U.S. each year to teach and discuss topics of an international nature.
- Webster University’s International Business Internship Exchange (IBIE) program has served over 700 U.S. and international students from Missouri, China, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom during the past 25 years.
- Webster University has sponsored more than one hundred (100) faculty on international exchange teaching and researching visits between and among the international campuses since 2003.
- Webster University’s Center for International Education (CIE) sponsors, on average, 12 international presentations on varying topics for the CIE’s symposium series per year and sponsors on average five grants for faculty to internationalize their course per year. The CIE has received two U.S. Department of Education Title VI grants to internationalize the curriculum.
- Webster University’s innovative World Traveler Program offers a round trip airfare for students to obtain a study abroad experience. In the past, the program has provided airfare for over 100 students each year for a study abroad experience.
- Webster University’s innovative dual degree program with Kansai University, Osaka Japan.
- Webster University’s exchange program with the Autonomous University in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Internationalizing the Curriculum to Value a Life of Learning
The five Colleges and Schools continually work to further internationalize their curriculum and programs. Additionally, the five Schools and Colleges sponsored co-curricular activities promoting international themes through speaker series, symposium programs, and interdisciplinary curriculum.
- International Studies Major with an emphasis in Latin American Studies
- International Studies Major with an emphasis in Human Rights
- International Human Rights Minor and Certificate
- International Studies Certificate
- Latin American Studies Minor
- Multicultural Studies Minor
- International Distinction
- MA International Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
- Global MA in International Relations
- MA International Relations
- MBA Global Commerce Certificate
- MBA with emphasis in International Relations
- MBA with emphasis in International Business
All schools and colleges have activities and programs of an international nature. Webster University’s “International Distinction” is awarded to undergraduate students that have second language proficiency, a study abroad experience, and an international field experience outside the classroom. The International Distinction is noted on the diploma. International Distinction was approved by the curriculum committee in Spring 2005 and is available in all majors (bachelor's degree programs).
The faculty and staff are engaged in internationalism and a life of learning through the many interdisciplinary and co-curricular activities at Webster University. One particular institution committed to assist with internationalizing Webster University is the Center for International Education (CIE).
Webster University’s Center for International Education (CIE) in St. Louis sponsors, with the international studies committee, the international studies major and certificate programs. In addition, the CIE sponsors co-curricular programs and speakers such as the CIE’s annual retreat in August, and the CIE symposium series each semester. The CIE also assists faculty in developing new courses and re-tooling current courses to provide more international and comparative themes within the curriculum.
Webster University’s Center for International Education (CIE) sponsors approximately 12 international presentations on varying topics for the CIE’s symposium series per year, and sponsors five annual grants for faculty to internationalize their course(s) per year. Webster University has received two U.S. Department of Education Title VI grants to internationalize the curriculum, forming the basis of our interdisciplinary international studies major and a certificate program in international studies. During the past 10 years, on average, five courses per year have been internationalized.
Course offerings and faculty for these programs cross disciplines as well as schools and colleges. Curriculum development and assessment has been supported by significant Title VI-A and Title VI-B grants including:
- Title VI-A 1994-1996 $ 66, 000 Internationalizing the Webster Campus
- Title VI-A 1999-2003 $ 125, 539 Creating & Supporting an Interdisciplinary International Studies Major
- Title VI-B 2002-2007 $ 165, 000 Practitioner-Based International Business Education
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.1 Undergraduate Catalog, HLC0.2 Graduate Catalog HLC3b.11 Center for International Education, HLC4a.4 Title VI]
Student Mobility Around the World
As part of the international programs, Webster University strongly encourages students to study abroad to realize their place in the world and to encourage a life of learning about the world. For the past two years, an average of over 39% of the full-time U.S. undergraduate student population have had at least one study abroad experience before they graduate. This compares to the national average for private higher educational institutions of 3% of students studying abroad.
Webster University provides study abroad opportunities for all students in good standing. The students may start at one campus and continue studying outside their home country campus for one term or for their entire career. U.S. News and World Report 2007 has cited Webster’s study abroad as a distinctive program, and an academic program “To Look For,” and states Webster is in the top 100 schools and colleges for percentages of study abroad students. Seventy-nine (79) students studied abroad in 1997-98. Two hundred and ninety-eight (298) students studied abroad during the 2006-07 academic year, a growth of 377 % since the last Visit.
Webster University’s study abroad task force has identified the best time for a student to study abroad by analyzing the curriculum of each department. This information and advice is provided to students by their academic advisors. The impact of study abroad cannot just be measured by numbers and statistics but by student experiences as evidence from the pre- and post-assessment from the Office of Study Abroad.
Webster also provides study abroad access to other institutions of higher education. Webster’s International Network of Schools and Colleges (WINS) affiliate schools is a network that provides schools and colleges around the U.S. with access to Webster University’s international campuses for their own student’s study abroad experience.
[EXHIBIT: HLC4a.5 WINS Affiliates]
Webster also provides each full-time undergraduate student in good academic standing with paid airfare for their first study abroad experience through the Webster’s World Traveler Program. This incentive has helped to encourage participation by full-time students. In the past, the program has provided airfare for over 100 students each year for a study abroad experience.
Reaching the non-traditional student, the student with limited means and time restrictions, has been difficult. Webster has added short-term, or intensive study abroad options where much of the academic work is done online “pre and post” the one to four week study trip. Eighty-two (82) students have so far taken advantage of these short term study abroad experiences this academic year (2006-07) which is up 2000% from 2003-04.
[EXHIBIT: HLC1d World Traveler, HLC1d Mobility, HLC3c.16 Study Abroad]
Faculty Mobility Around the World
In addition to student mobility, Webster University encourages faculty mobility around the world as a demonstrated way of supporting a life of learning for the faculty. Webster University provides faculty with a faculty development opportunity to teach or conduct research away from their home campus at one of Webster’s international campuses. This opportunity is an outstanding way to assist faculty with international faculty development, and it provides benefits within the classroom of both campuses.
In addition, four Webster faculty have recently been Fulbright Scholars abroad. Webster University’s average faculty member on an international campus speaks 3 languages and has lived in 3 or more countries. Webster University’s Des Lee Scholar brings a visiting scholar to the U.S. each year to teach and discuss topics of an international nature.
Each year approximately 25 faculty members accept an international teaching assignment at another campus, strengthening the value of a global university for students and faculty at all campuses. Over the past five years over one hundred full-time and part-time faculty have taught and/or researched away from their home teaching campus. These faculty represent all of our schools and colleges and all of our international campuses. This mobility has been a key catalyst for international professional development.
[EXHIBIT: HLC1d Mobility, HLC4a.6 Visiting Scholars]
Staff Mobility Around the World
An international university is one in which the entire university community benefits from international knowledge and intercultural experiences. The Energizer Global Staff Exchange Program, started in 2003, offers the opportunity to support Webster University staff from the United States of America, Asian and European campuses to work with staff at a Webster University facility located at a site in another country from their own.
The call for applications is made throughout the University during the Spring 2 term for awards to be granted during the subsequent academic year. To date, 10 staff members have participated in this program. They have had the unique opportunity to transfer their skills and knowledge base to an international campus while returning to the home campus with increased knowledge and cultural understanding of Webster’s international campus operations.
The selection criteria for the award suggest the commitment to a life of learning and professional development. The criteria include: the value of the program for the work unit of the applicant; value of the program for the work unit at the host campus; value of the experience for the applicant (personally and professionally); value of the cultural experience for the applicant; commitment of the applicant to participate in a diversity program.
[EXHIBIT: HLC1d Mobility]
Actions of the Board Valuing a Life of Learning
The Webster University Board of Trustees value a life of learning, and support freedom of inquiry throughout the University. Academic freedom is understood, protected, and endorsed by the Trustees, and is documented in University Policy.
Through its By Laws and its actions, the Board of Trustees recognizes the mission and value of a Webster University education. The Board encourages the pursuit of knowledge by both faculty and students, and has never interfered with the educational and academic processes of the University. Board committees include Academic Affairs and Student Life, and at each of its meetings the Board receives written and oral reports from these committees. Occasionally the Board focuses on a single academic component of the University at one of its meetings (i.e., The Old Post Office programs, International programs, etc.) in order to get a deeper understanding of the academic mission. These discussions and regular reports are documented in Trustee minutes.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2c.5 Board Reports, HLC4a.7 Board Academic Affairs Committee, HLC0i University Handbook]
Additionally, board members financially support many of the University’s scholarship programs and activities. Board members attend the annual commencement dinner and commencement ceremony, as well as the Scholarship lunch that honors the achievements of faculty and students. Students attend the annual Daniel Webster Society dinner seated with trustees and donors. Trustees participate in Webster Works Worldwide (a community service day).
Outstanding students are recognized for achieving excellence in their learning. Annually, graduating students are designated with a variety of honors to celebrate their learning achievement.
- Departmental Honors – Undergraduate students who achieve excellence in their study in depth (their major) are awarded Graduation Honors by their academic department.
- University Honors – Undergraduate students who achieve excellence in a breadth of coursework (over all their program including general education) are awarded traditional Latin honors by a Faculty Honors Committee.
- Graduate Distinction – Graduate students who complete their masters degree with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.95 or higher are awarded Distinction at graduation.
Additionally, our University culture is to celebrate student excellence and learning outcomes in newsletters, photo displays, awards, citations and numerous ongoing programs throughout our University.
[EXHIBIT: HLC4a.8 Student Recognition]
Faculty and Intellectual Freedom
The self-study found that Webster faculty value and recognize the “freedom of inquiry” environment of the University. The Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) Faculty Survey documents faculty perceptions on academic freedom and campus attitudes on learning and values. Faculty report high levels of openness and receptivity to diversity, independence, job satisfaction, new ideas, etc.
HERI (2005) Faculty Survey
|Quality of Students||64.6||52.8|
|Autonomy and Independence||86.3||86.6|
|Opportunity to Develop New Ideas||84.2||77.1|
|Respect for Diverse Values and Beliefs||62.8||32.2|
Asked if “College officials have the right to ban persons with extreme views from speaking on campus,” the overwhelming percentage of faculty said “No” (9.7% of faculty expressed support as compared to 23.5% of faculty at other 4-year institutions).
[EXHIBIT: HLC0i University Handbook, HLC3a HERI]
Co-Curricular, Student-Led Activities and Athletics
Webster offers a wide variety of co-curricular programs and activities. They include athletic, social, leadership, entrepreneurial, political, religious, cultural, and international groups. Many of the programs are long-standing, and some are linked to the Schools and Colleges (Forensics and Debate, Model United Nations, etc.).
Students participating in forensics, for example, have been very successful in regional and national competition.
Webster University NCAA Division III student athletic teams compete in the St. Louis Athletic Intercollegiate Conference (SLIAC). For their competitive success, the Gorloks have captured SLIAC All-Sports Award seven of the past eight years.
Moreover, student athletes achieve highly in the classroom, with an overall G.P.A. of 3.3 in 2005-06 and 3.2 last year. In 2006-07, 64 of the 185 students who participated in athletics were named Academic All-Conference. The women’s soccer team sets a great example, having earned a team G.P.A. of 3.5 while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year.
Athletics has also been a boon to recruiting and campus community. The strategic addition of sports has allowed recruitment of student athletes and helped to increase the size of the entering class. Recruited student athletes have been retained at a high rate. The indirect benefits, while harder to quantify, are also significant. With the opening of new residential facilities, on-campus athletic events help build a sense of community and school spirit among our traditional-aged undergraduates. In all, the self-study process found that athletics makes important contributions to the life of the University.
The Student Government Association (SGA) funds trips through the Student Grant Fund for students to take part in leadership and extra-curricular experiences off-campus. The amount of funding, and thus the amount of students able to participate, has increased significantly over the years, from $10,000 10 years ago, to now over $20,000 a year. Over 100 students have gone to conferences, retreats, and conventions under this funding. In each of the last 4 semesters, SGA has also assisted students to travel to New Orleans during Fall Break and Spring Break to aide with hurricane recovery efforts. When students return from these experiences, they make oral and/or written reports to SGA as to what skills they have gained and how they have grown.
The Student Government Association (SGA) allocates funds to student organizations each semester. Many of these organizations are linked to an academic department and put on programs with SGA funding that are educational in nature and/or directly tied to departmental curricula. These organizations include the Accounting Club, Behavioral and Social Sciences Club, and the Club of History, International Relations and Politics. Each of these organizations has a faculty advisor. Student organizations submit budget requests, which are then reviewed by the SGA Budget Committee and approved by SGA. Events sponsored by these organizations include guest speakers, workshops, and other educational events that are not only connected to classroom interests, but are open to a wider range of students than just those enrolled in those classes.
[EXHIBIT: HLC4a.9 Student Organizations, HLC4a.10 Student Life Programs]
Webster University has a long tradition of public service, social responsibility and a commitment to helping communities around the world. Annually, Webster University sponsors a campus-wide community service day called Webster Works Worldwide.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni from Webster campuses around the world work in teams to help those in need. Projects include light construction work, landscaping, tutoring, painting, reading or playing with children, entertaining the elderly, park restoration, helping in hospitals, community centers and animal shelter.
Upon his arrival as president of the University in 1994, Dr. Richard S. Meyers implemented a campus-wide community service day in lieu of an inaugural ceremony.
Teams and individual Webster students, faculty, staff and alumni identified a need in their neighborhoods. Through partnerships with local non-profit agencies, hospitals, parks, daycare centers and schools, volunteers took one day off from work and school to volunteer at various projects and help those in need.
What the volunteers and agencies learned from the experience left a lasting impression. Whether improving a playground, doing office work for a non-profit agency, raking leaves, painting a wall, delivering meals to the elderly or entertaining an appreciative audience, volunteers and service recipients alike shared an increased understanding of our interdependency - how even one day can make a difference to someone in need. Through their participation, many volunteers share feelings of renewed commitment to their communities and to community service. Often they choose to continue their service throughout the year or to seek new outreach possibilities.
Today, Webster’s annual community service day – appropriately titled Webster Works Worldwide – has grown into a worldwide University tradition. Held every October, volunteers and agencies alike look forward to partnering on projects that really matter to the community. Every year, there is an increase in the number of volunteers and the number of organizations we help. Since the start of Webster Works Worldwide twelve years ago, nearly 14,000 volunteers have given more than 60,000 hours of service.
Because of every individual’s effort, Webster Works Worldwide continues to grow in impact and meaning, strengthening bonds with the community and within the university organization.
Webster University values community service and makes it an integral part of the higher education experience for our campus communities. Through university-sponsored programs such as Webster Works Worldwide, or the Student Literacy Corps, we stress the importance of civic engagement in the communities where our students, faculty, staff and alumni live, learn and work.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.30 Webster Works Worldwide]
Faculty Professional Development as Evidence of Valuing a Life of Learning
Faculty at Webster reported high levels of satisfaction with the support of their professional development needs in the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) survey.
HERI: Faculty Professional Development
|There is adequate support for faculty development||78.3||53.0|
|There is adequate support for integrating technology into my teaching||79.3||75.9|
Webster University supports and encourages faculty professional development. Faculty development takes many forms at Webster University from academic resource support to grants and stipends for faculty development, professional travel, etc.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3a HERI]
Academic Resources Support
Faculty receive a comprehensive variety of support services from the Emerson Library and other academic support areas (Academic Resource Center, Writing Center, Student Affairs, Information Technology Services, Academic Advising). The library support includes reference services, instructional services, faculty research services, and a new Faculty Development Center (FDC).
[EXHIBIT: HLC3b.6 Faculty Development Center]
Title III Program and FDC
In 2001, the University received a $1.75 million dollar Title III Strengthening Institutions grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the technology infrastructure of the library and to establish a Faculty Development Center (FDC).
The FDC has helped the University to achieve a student-learning environment that is accessible to individuals of diverse ages, culture, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The FDC supports this mission by enabling us to support our faculty with resources; to energize them to think about the teaching and learning process in a creative and meaningful way; and to lay a foundation for a culture that focuses on the transformation of teaching and learning. What faculty are learning through the Faculty Development Center is enabling them to apply the most appropriate teaching techniques in the classroom with confidence, skill, and effectiveness.
The primary mission of the FDC is to help faculty develop pedagogical approaches and models that meet the increasing diversity of student learning styles and varied academic interests and backgrounds. The FDC works closely with other academic units to leverage human and technical resources for a variety of projects and initiatives.
For example, the Academic Distance Learning Center developed an effective and flexible instructional design model for online courses, and the FDC is using a similar model for web-enhanced courses. In addition, the FDC has developed several online initiatives on the library’s “Passports” databases, including online tutorials, web-based assignments, Internet links, and electronic reserves, among others. By incorporating these resources effectively in courses, faculty increase student learning. The FDC also collaborates closely with the Office of Information Technology’s Training and Support Unit to coordinate faculty training and day-to-day support of technological tools.
The Title III grant funded 40 faculty fellowships over three years, enabling faculty to engage in systematic, fundamental educational reform. These faculty members completed a competitive process to receive fellowships to transform over 70 courses.
Faculty fellows worked with the FDC staff to identify teaching and learning challenges in the courses that they teach, and then apply the most effective teaching techniques, via technology, to address those issues. These transformed courses form a solid foundation for continued development and transformation of the University’s teaching methods. Faculty Fellows share their expertise through a variety of workshops, presentations, and mentoring. Intensive training and support is offered throughout the fellowship to fellow, and consultation assistance is also offered to non-fellows. FDC records indicate that over 760 consultation appointments were made since 2004. This is in addition to walk-in assistance provided during FDC open hours.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3b.16 Title III Project Fellowships]
The FDC also offers a wide variety of faculty workshops. To plan workshops that address known needs, a needs assessment survey was developed in collaboration with an external consultant and conducted in June 2003. Approximately 30% of the full-time faculty responded, and the results were used to plan the training curriculum and ongoing workshops. Over 63 workshops were offered over a three-year period with 391 faculty in attendance. These workshops were led by Webster faculty and staff, as well as invited experts from across the country.
The workshops addressed both technical and non-technical approaches to teaching. The average satisfaction rate for these workshops was 9.1 on a 10-point Likert scale. To provide equitable teaching excellence resources and services to off-campus faculty, the FDC created the FDC Online, which offers all of the services and resources available in the FDC.
The following features are available: a faculty forum, which offers an online discussion forum and clearinghouse of advice, information, and materials on teaching and learning; an Adjunct Faculty Handbook, which provides a compilation of detailed information on University policies, services, technologies, and teaching and learning strategies; an International Faculty Lounge, a real-time, video conferencing installation that allows faculty throughout the University’s network to meet and collaborate; and links to online resources that support teaching, such as web-enhancement tools, fair use guidelines, graduate thesis guidelines, electronic reserves, and an Active Learning Handbook. The latter provides information relative to the selection, evaluation and categorization of active learning strategies. Examples of learning activities in the handbook include: creation of academic portfolios, assigning roles during lectures or videos, focused student journals, mini case studies, performance videotaping/recording, and more.
Finally, 20% of the Title III grant funds were applied to the University’s endowment for future faculty development programs in the FDC. Since the grant ended in 2006, the University has incorporated operational budgets needs of the FDC into its regular budget process. The FDC is currently focused on developing new support services for adjunct faculty.
Webster University supports each faculty member through annual individual faculty development funds (FY 2007-08, approximately $2,420 per faculty member) for their research and professional developments. In addition, Webster University provides funding for faculty research grants. Each year, $35,000 in funds is competitively awarded by a selection committee of peers. The Messing Award is a competitive $5,000 award supporting a faculty member’s major research project with relevance to application in the classroom. The Kemper Excellence in Teaching Awards are the most prestigious faculty awards at the University. Each year two full-time faculty and two part-time faculty are designated Kemper Excellence in Teaching Fellows.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3b.5 Faculty Professional Development, HLC3b.10 Research Funding, HLC3b.17 Kemper Awards]
Faculty Leaves and Sabbaticals
One of the most important faculty development activities of the University is the generous leave or sabbatical program. Webster provides a traditional sabbatical benefit to tenured faculty (semester leave after six years of service). For faculty who have selected the alternative to tenure program known as “Faculty Development Leave” or “FDL,” they have an accelerated leave schedule. FDL faculty receive a semester leave after four years of service. Since the majority of full-time faculty with continuing status have chosen the FDL option, the University’s leave/sabbatical program is extensive.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0i University Handbook]
Faculty Research, Scholarship and Creative Work
The self-study used faculty reported data on the 2005 Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) survey to summarize faculty scholarly activities. Although Webster is a teaching institution, faculty are expected to be active in research and in continuous improvement. The HERI survey demonstrated that Webster faculty are engaged in acquisition, discovery and application of knowledge.
HERI Faculty Scholarship Data
|Published Articles (1-2)||29%||17.8%|
|Chapters in Edited Volumes (1-2)||33.3%||24.9%|
|Books, Manuals (1-2)||18.5%||26.6%|
|Patents, Computer Software (1-2)||7.6%||9.5%|
|Exhibits, Performances (25+)||35.6%||9.2%|
|Publications in the last two years (1-2)||30.8%||30.6%|
As expected, the prominence of Webster’s fine arts programs is represented in the extraordinary number of fine arts exhibitions and performances reported on the HERI survey. As a teaching institution, Webster faculty far exceed peers in demonstrating the application of knowledge back into the curriculum through curriculum reform, new course development, and interdisciplinary program initiatives.
HERI Faculty Curriculum Scholarship (During the Past 2 Years)
|Taught an interdisciplinary course||57.5%||42.7%|
|Developed a new course||81.3%||69.9%|
|Taught a first-year seminar||31%||22.7%|
|Conducted research focused on international or global issue||31%||28.1%|
Excellence in Teaching and disciplinary scholarships utilize similar habits of the mind. Professors are expected to learn about their own teaching, about student learning, and about improving curriculum to improve student learning.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3a HERI]
Webster University encourages administration and staff development through a variety of means supporting the notion of a life of learning.
WSA and Staff Development Day(s)
Webster University demonstrates that it values lifelong learning through the Webster Staff Alliance (WSA) Staff Development Day which is routinely held each year on the Wednesday of Spring Break. Through this program the WSA plans and hosts a series of workshops, seminars, and keynote presenters designed to develop and enhance the knowledge and skills of Webster University staff members. In addition, the University administration supports this effort by contributing up to $30,000 annually to fund this and other WSA programs.
Furthermore, to ensure that everyone who wishes to attend can participate, the program is offered at no charge to all Webster University staff members. The Staff Development Day is also convenient because it is always hosted on the Webster University campus. The self-study noted that the program could be improved if all University departments were required to allow all staff members the time to participate in Staff Development Day.
Webster University demonstrates that it values lifelong learning through the Webster Staff Alliance (WSA) Professional Development Scholarship which gives University staff members the opportunity to petition for and possibly receive funding to attend professional development programs (workshops, conferences, and specialized training) that may not be covered by the staff member’s professional development budget.
Each year, the WSA Professional Development Scholarship Selection Committee solicits, reviews and selects scholarship recipients from submitted proposals. The University administration supports this effort by contributing up to $30,000 annually to fund this and other WSA programs. The self-study found that this program is underutilized and will be improved with better publicity to make opportunities for staff members better known.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0i University Handbook, HLC4a.11 WSA]
Tuition Remission Program
The University’s generous Tuition Remission policy provides 100% tuition remission to full-time faculty and staff for courses taken at the University. After one year of employment, this benefit is also extended to an employee’s spouse, domestic partner and family members. During FY 2006-07, tuition remission benefits amounted to over three million dollars.
Tuition Remission (and Tuition Exchange)
Full-time employees at extended campus locations are eligible for this program, and may also apply for up to $1,000 in tuition reimbursement at other colleges if the course or program is not offered at their local Webster campus. Adjunct faculty who have taught for the University for 36 credit hours or 4 years are eligible for tuition remission for up to 6 credits per academic year.
Approximately 225 employees per year participate in this Tuition Remission program. In recognition of on-going educational achievements, the University also provides a bonus payment to full-time staff who earn a degree while employed by the University. Payments are: $500 for an associate’s degree, $1,000 for a bachelor’s degree, $1,500 for a master’s degree, and $2,000 for a doctoral degree.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.6 Benefits]
Annual Employee Recognition Event
The University hosts an annual faculty and staff recognition breakfast on the Tuesday following the Spring commencement ceremony. Approximately 625 employees attend this event. Service awards are given for 5-year increments of service with the culminating award of a chair bearing the University seal. (The self-study noted that sixteen chairs were awarded during the 2006 breakfast.) In recent years awards have also been given for 30, 35 and 40 years of service demonstrating the long-term commitment of our employees.
This breakfast is also the venue for honoring the following award categories: the faculty Kemper Excellence in Teaching awards; the Messing award for the most promising proposal for summer activity designed to strengthen the curricula; the Staff Member of the Year Award; and Presidential citations which are awarded to individuals and teams for outstanding contributions to the University.
[EXHIBIT: HLC4a.12 Recognition Breakfast]
Faculty & Staff Publicity and Recognition
The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) serves as advocates for the University by building and maintaining positive relationships with the public. It enhances the image and reputation of the University by increasing awareness and appreciation for the variety and quality of University faculty, staff, students, administrators and programs locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Areas of responsibility focus on public relations encompassing media relations, community relations, sports information and government relations.
The OPA gathers, disseminates and manages information from all components of the University (including the extended campuses) and communicates key messages to both internal and external audiences (the general public and the media).
OPA prepares press releases that promote University events, faculty achievements and underscore the University’s major messages (quality, internationalism and value to the communities in which we are located). Daily it scans over 100 national and international media queries to link University faculty with emerging hard news and feature stories. OPA staff also pitches stories to local, national and international media. Additionally, OPA responds 24/7 to connect local media with faculty experts for breaking news stories as well as local, national and international features stories (i.e., coup in Thailand, tsunami in Indonesia/Thailand, bombings in London, election results and analysis at the local and national level).
The OPA notifies the internal community when a faculty/staff member or a national media story about the University appears in the media. The University’s monthly internal electronic publication, Inside Webster, notes accomplishments of University faculty/staff and will occasionally feature the accomplishments of an individual or group. The quarterly print magazine “Webster World” features research and/or achievements of faculty, staff, students and alumni.
[EXHIBIT: HLC4a.13 Office of Public Affairs]