Skip to:

Faculty Development :

Policy/Guideline Area

Personnel Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges


The Tennessee Board of Regents recognizes the need for the continued professional growth and development of all faculty at institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System. The continued professional growth and development of faculty is necessary for institutions of higher education to continue to provide educational programs which (a) include new developments and knowledge in academic disciplines; (b) reflect new instructional, research, and public service techniques and strategies; (c) enhance skill development, (d) provide technical information, (e) improve instructional or teaching ability, and (f) meet changing needs and expectations of students. While all faculty are responsible for their own continued professional development, it is essential that the System and its institutions provide planned, organized faculty development programs to encourage professional growth in accordance with their missions and goals.


  • Professional Development comprises formal and informal learning opportunities situated in practice for the purpose of maintaining and improving professional competence and effectiveness.
  • Faculty Exchange comprises a professional development activity allowing faculty members to teach or conduct research at the reciprocating academic institution for a determined, finite period of time.


Each institution shall plan and implement on an annual basis a structured, coordinated program for faculty development. The program will be designed to achieve predetermined institutional objectives, and will utilize an appropriate variety of activities. This policy authorizes institutions to plan and implement faculty development programs which may include financial support through grant awards and other means for research or the improvement of instruction, by which a program of faculty exchange may be included as part of a faculty development plan.


  1. Faculty Development
    1. The Office of the Chancellor, in consultation with the System Office of Academic Affairs, will maintain system-level faculty development programming to supplement and enhance the faculty development programs of the individual institutions.
    2. Professional development activity conducted or sponsored by the System office will align with TBR Strategic Plan Key Priorities with the purpose of supporting faculty members in their roles as instructors and advisors. Such programming will provide faculty with the information and training required to effectively implement state and system-wide student success and workforce development initiatives.
    3. Each institution must have a Faculty Development Plan, which should include, as appropriate:
      1. A systematic evaluation of instruction by students, faculty and appropriate administrators to provide bases for planning means of increasing the effectiveness of the instructional program.
      2. Encouragement of innovation and improvement of instruction by a recognition system (i.e., outstanding professor awards).
      3. Effective use of grants-in-aid, fee-waiver, tuition reimbursement, and audit/non-credit scholarships, which are directly supportive of professional growth and faculty development. These activities can include support functions such as advising, career planning, and assessment.
      4. Provision of financial support through grant awards and other means for research or the improvement of instruction, for faculty participation in workshops, short courses and seminars designed to develop new skills in instruction, research and public service, and for faculty participation in major activities of their respective professional associations, such as conferences and other professional meetings.
      5. Sponsorships of local forums, lectures, and workshops on scholarly developments and activities.
      6. Development of effective faculty exchange programs between the college and industry, or the occupation being taught.
      7. Institutional budget that reflects the amount of funds allocated for faculty development at the institution.
      8. Calendars and activities of System level programs reflecting cooperation with the President's Council and appropriate Sub-Councils.
  2. Faculty Exchange and Personnel Status
    1. Faculty exchange assignments with higher educational institutions, other appropriate educational institutions, business and industry, and private or governmental agencies provide opportunities for faculty to acquire new information and skills, to bring to their home institutions a general awareness of different environments which are relevant to their teaching areas, and to expand experiences with the objective of improving their professional expertise.
    2. A full-time faculty member who applies for an "Exchange" which is subsequently approved by the president must remain on the payroll of the home institution and retain a condition of employment which continues all benefits for which he or she has qualified as a full-time faculty member. Time spent on the "Exchange" constitutes an equivalent teaching load activity which, under the "General Personnel Policy" ( "shall be subject to prior review and approval by the president or his or her designee."
    3. Criteria for Exchange Status
      1. A full-time faculty member may only be approved for "Exchange" status if the home institution enters into a contract whereby the host institution provides, in exchange, an employee who will be assigned (for a comparable percentage of full-time load) to the home institution.
      2. The home institution is responsible for the salary and benefits of the full-time faculty member assigned to an "Exchange." The host institution is responsible for salary and benefits of the employee being provided in exchange. Each institution is responsible for paying the salary and benefits of their own employee.
      3. The work load assignment for the full-time faculty member assigned to an "Exchange" shall be determined by the host institution. Likewise, the home institution shall determine the work load assignment of the employee being provided in exchange.
      4. No exchange assignment shall be formally initiated with a host institution unless requested by the faculty member and approved by the president.
      5. No exchange assignment shall be approved by the presidents unless it meets the following provisions:
        1. Serves as an integral component of the faculty development plan;
        2. Supports the "General Statement" included as paragraph 1 above.
  3. Exceptions
    1. Exceptions to these guidelines may be proposed by the president for approval by the Chancellor.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203


TBR Meetings, June 24, 1977; December 11, 1981; Policy revision and incorporation of Policy Faculty Development at TCATs and Guideline A-051 Faculty Exchange approved by the Board on December 13, 2018.