Professional Development, Leadership and Onboarding Programs

The Academic Affairs Division offers programs to support professional development, leadership advancement and onboarding for faculty, staff and administrators. Key programs that will be offered include:

Staff Professional Development Grant AY 2017-18
University 101
Deans' Leadership Academy
Administrator Onboarding
Chairs & Directors Professional Development Program
Academic Affairs Leadership Discovery Group


Staff Professional Development Grant AY 2017-18

The Academic Affairs Division is pleased to continue its support of staff professional development for academic year 2017-18. Staff with a minimum of one year of state service are invited to apply for grants of up to $1,500 for individuals and $5,000 for groups. Proposals must be received in the Provost Office or by email no later than 12 p.m., Monday, March 19, 2018.

Academic Affairs has awarded more than 170 staff professional grants since launching the program in 2015-16. Some of the succesful proposals have allowed staff to attend conferences, training workshops and participate in other professional development activities. For examples of how some staff members have used grants in the past, visit the Academic Spotlight Blog.

Second Call for Proposals (PDF)
Application (PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)


University 101

Faculty OrientationLaunched in fall 2015, University 101 is a voluntary onboarding program for new tenure-track faculty. The program teaches each incoming cohort about the procedures and logistics of the university and helps them adjust to the SJSU culture. Participants gather for two-hour sessions once a month during fall semester to learn about such topics as student demographics and admissions, teaching diverse student populations effectively, and multiple support systems and resources to increase graduation rates and promote student success.  They also learn about curriculum process, academic budgets, classroom support for technology, shared governance, research support and the role of public affairs in promoting their work.

The program includes optional lunch workshops each month on specialized topics such as institutional research data or engaging under-represented minority students in the classroom.

Faculty who attend all four monthly sessions receive a $1,000 stipend ($750 if they attend only three sessions) to use toward their professional development (e.g., conference or research travel). In fall 2015, 38 faculty members completed three or four sessions.  In fall 2016 SJSU welcomed 69 new tenure-track faculty.  Overall, 71% of the 2016 hires earned the professional development grant (up from 66% in fall 2015) and 60% attended all four sessions (up from 42%).  Based on feedback from participants (typically with a survey and a focus group session), we work to optimize the programming each fall.  Funding is provided by the Office of the Provost.

Our Students I: Who They Are, How They Get Here and Strategies for Teaching Them (Sept. 2017)

Agenda (PDF)
Student Profiles (PDF)
Beyond the Deficit Model: Concrete Strategies for Enhancing Latinx Student Engagement (PDF)

Our Students II: Student Success, Faculty Advisor Role & Supporting Students with Struggles (Oct. 2017)

Agenda (PDF)
Admissions Overview (PPT)
Four Pillars of Student Success and MyGPS (PDF)
Strategies for Reducing Course-Related Complaints (PDF)
Diversity and Inclusive Excellence at San Jose State University (PDF)
Grievance/Grade Dispute Process (PDF)


Curriculum Support: Library & Academic Policy (Nov. 2017)

Agenda (PDF)
FERPA Training (PPT)
Curriculum and GE (PDF)


Research Support & Engaging the Broader Community (Dec. 2017)

Agenda (PDF)
Research Funding Opportunities (PDF)
CommUniverCity (PPT)
Internships (PPT)
SJSU Power Source (PDF)


Deans' Leadership Academy

Launched in fall 2014, the Deans' Leadership Academy is a voluntary program for faculty who are interested in taking on roles with increasing responsibility. Since its inception, 48 faculty members have applied and been selected to participate in the year-long program. Participants learn about higher education, CSU policies and procedures, and leadership through regular group meetings. Former Humanities and the Arts Dean Lisa Vollendorf created the program. Deans Michael Kaufman and Mary Schutten oversee it with deans from each of the colleges contributing to the budget for it. Applications are being accepted for the 2017-18 cohort through September 1, at noon. Read the Call for Participation 2017 and apply.

Overview of the Deans' Leadership Academy (PDF)


Administrator Onboarding

Launched in summer 2015 by Provost Andy Feinstein and Academic Senate Chair Lynda Heiden and continued by Deputy Provost Kemnitz, Administrator Onboarding is a program for new Academic Affairs AVPs and Deans. The program started by supporting six new Academic Affairs administrators and two university vice presidents who started in the summer of that year. It continues as new administrators are hired in order to acclimate them to SJSU and the surrounding area, allow them to gain familiarity with the campus units and resources, and introduce them to the culture of the university. Representatives from multiple divisions and units across campus discuss their work and interface with the incoming leader. Introductions are made to President Papazian and VP Bailey, the Academic Senate leadership, and many others.

AAD Administrative Guide


Chairs & Directors Professional Development Program

Chairing the academic department is one of the most demanding jobs in the university. The learning curve for faculty members who step into the Department Chair or School Director role is a steep one and most are under-prepared in terms of the many university processes and procedures in which they suddenly have a key role. 

We have been developing and expanding a professional development program for chairs and directors over the past several years. The format varies each year, but always begins with an orientation session for new chairs and directors.  We have experimented with full day orientations as well has half day variants.

Among the topics we cover are chair responsibilities under the Collective Bargaining Agreement; university budget procedures; the chair’s role in supporting faculty development; curriculum and program planning; accreditation and assessment.  Parts of the training focus on technical topics (logistics, procedures, policies) and other parts focus on skill development (e.g., dealing with difficult conversations; motivating employees; conducting effective staff and faculty evaluations).

The resources provided below show several agendas over the past two years suggesting the formats for our presentations.

New Chair Orientation Agenda (PDF)
10 Suggestions for a New Department Chair (PDF)
Leave Policy (PDF)


Academic Affairs Leadership Discovery Group

Academic Affairs Leadership Discovery Group 2015-16 CohortLaunched in 2013, the Academic Affairs Leadership Discovery Group is a voluntary program for Academic Affairs faculty and staff members created by Professor Annette Nellen and currently facilitated by Professor Peter Allen Lee. Each year, faculty and staff members are invited to apply for the year-long program, with more than 175 people participating to date. The 2017-2018 cohort represents our fifth year of programming. Participants complete a summer reading assignment that helps them to understand their professional development needs before beginning a series of seven intensive lunch meetings in Fall, and then special topic discussions in Spring. As part of the program, participants are guided through various exercises including creating a career action plan to help them meet their professional goals, speed mentoring with campus leaders, and leadership/personality characteristics assessment tests. Funding is provided by the Office of the Provost.

Overview of Academic Affairs Leadership Discovery Group (PDF)