Our faculty partner with the students who come here and trust us with their futures. Faculty help students magnify their interests and talents and navigate the global community, all so that they may design lives of meaning and happiness. For a scholar, to choose to teach at Juniata means committing to more than a discipline, more than a specific mode of inquiry, but to meeting students with zeal for their aspirations and challenge for their convictions.
We seek to empower the people who have committed to what we do at Juniata. The presence of endowed professorships and chairs conveys the seriousness we have for intellectual inquiry, and funding for faculty professional development and diversification ensures our faculty keep current with the world and reflective of the people who choose to study here. Because our strengths are predicated upon educational practices that engage the hands and minds of students on projects, we seek greater funding for mentored undergraduate research with faculty and learning through service in different communities.
Faculty create the foundation of the learning environment at Juniata. They encourage intellectual activity. To do so requires ongoing professional development, maintaining active research and creative work, and involving students as collaborators, providing experiences that add texture—and often, grit—to overall educational development.
Juniata is first and foremost an academic enterprise. Strengthening the student learning environment we create is the primary work of the faculty. Their improvements enhance the student experience where it matters most: what and how they learn. This campaign must marshal the resources to support the faculty in developing their potential and the potential of their students.
|Giving Opportunities to Support Faculty|
|Endowed Professorship to Add New Faculty||$3,000,000|
|Endowed Chair/Senior Faculty Position||$2,000,000|
|Endowment for a Visiting Professor||$2,000,000|
|Endowed Professorship for Existing Faculty||$1,000,000|
|Early Career Faculty Development Endowment||$500,000|
|Faculty Support/Professional Development Endowment||$100,000-$250,000|
For many in academe, endowed chairs are akin to a quality rating. For faculty considering whether to take a position, or even apply to one, at Juniata or another college, the existence of named chairs is an indicator of support and academic quality. The titles of endowed chairs often function as aspirational positions. For many faculty, proof they have “arrived” is earning not only the top rank for a faculty member—full professor—but also earning a position that is endowed, showing its significant visibility and value to the College.
Endowed chairs provide flexibility to the College itself. Delivering personalized, high quality, relationship-centered educational experiences for which Juniata is known and acclaimed involves people who are good, committed, and adaptive teachers and scholars. Endowed chairs and professorships help cover provide permanent funding that does not come from the operating budget. Doing so provides the College flexibility as we invest in evolving needs— whether facilities or curriculum or enhancing experiential learning opportunities.
As educational methods evolve and change, Juniata must have the flexibility to change with them, as we have done for a long time. Ensuring endowed funding for our most significant investment in quality, the faculty, helps us direct resources to innovation as needed without affecting our most vital asset.
“Courage to Act” calls attention and priority to diversifying our campus community from a demographic standpoint while also calling for diversity of thought and expression at Juniata. As the direct mentors, advisors, and teachers to our students, our faculty are the faces and thinkers to whom our students will look as examples of Juniata’s commitment. Right now, while strong in many ways, our faculty does not reflect the range of backgrounds from which our students come when they arrive on campus.
Practically speaking, the demographic characteristics of the United States are changing and growing diverse faster than are the faculty on the great majority of college campuses. Students and families consider diversity seriously when choosing a college, and those institutions that show a greater commitment than we do will have an advantage.
Giving can help us hire to diversify our faculty. Diversity is key to ensuring new ideas make it into our classes and discussions, and that we remain an appealing option not just because of our academic strengths but because we are committed to a campus that is more representative of the complicated world into which our students will graduate.
As noted, faculty strength provides students the mentors committed to their success and to the highly effective personalized focus that has yielded excellent results for decades. Supporting faculty work through strong learning infrastructure is also necessary to student success. Just as every successful business invests in the professional development of its people, so too must a college ensure not only that professors have the means to maintain expertise in their subjects, but to grow, too, with their profession as teachers.
Juniata will develop a Center for Undergraduate Research and a Center for Service Learning. More than 90 percent of Juniata students graduate having taken part in internships, service learning (the integration of meaningful community service with instruction and reflection), mentored research, study away and international experiences, student teaching, and sustained creative projects.
The project will fund existing staff and some involved faculty to ensure students have an array of opportunities. As plans solidify for a nexus for student learning services and guidance in Beeghly Library, we envision the centers described here as being at the core of intellectual life at Juniata.