PRESS RELEASE: JUNE 23, 2017                                                

Adrianna Kezar, Professor, University of Southern California, co-Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education and Director,
The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success -www.thechangingfaculty.org received a grant from The Teagle Foundation to support two national annual awards for campuses that create best practices in faculty work that support student success. The award is entitled:  The Delphi  Award for Faculty Models to Support College Student Success
and is offered in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to be presented at their annual meeting starting in 2019. Kezar noted "her appreciation to the Teagle Foundation and her excitement to partner once again with AAC&U -- this time on a project aimed at rewarding campuses that are doing good work to support faculty."   
 
This award emerges to fill a gap in the national landscape. There is a tremendous disconnect between the practices and policies on our campuses as it relates to faculty/classrooms and the hoped-for direction of most of the college completion and success initiatives. Today's funding priorities and policy are misdirected and to make progress on the completion agenda we need to focus on the classroom experience and faculty. Hannah Yang , research associate, noted: "Many leaders in higher education have pointed out that the missing component of the student success initiatives is work with faculty and addressing courses."   It is this disconnect between the policies and practices on campus and the success of students that  The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success is working to eliminate. By highlighting the good work of two campuses each year (a 4-year and 2-year), The Delphi award provides the motivation and sense of priority that campus leaders need to inspire more student success work around faculty and classrooms.   

Following the footsteps of earlier Delphi Project work, this award also acknowledges and attempts to ameliorate the shift to a largely contingent faculty that lacks basic support to create a positive environment for student learning.  The award also builds off resources developed for campuses aimed to create new faculty models that can better support learning rather than continuing to grow adjunct positions. We need new models of faculty work which have been outlined in the recent book:  Envisioning the faculty for the 21st Century: Moving to a mission-oriented and learner centered model (2016, Rutgers Press).   Kezar went on to note: "Being able to reward campuses that experiment with faculty models is important and we need to provide visibility to this good work."
 
The Delphi Project is now positioned to move from developing awareness and creating resources to helping campuses ensure the scaling of best practices as they relate to better support for contingent faculty and the creation of new faculty models. Amy Jessen-Marshall, Vice President for the Office of Integrative Learning and the Global Commons at AAC&U reinforces this need, "AAC&U is particularly interested in supporting work around student success, faculty recognition and reward at all levels. We look forward to working with Dr. Kezar and The Delphi Project on showcasing scalable models that can be adopted across institutions of all sizes and types." 

Some of the important practices that we support on campus and assume will be structured into the work of awardees include:  appropriate campus orientations, responsible hiring processes, mentoring and professional development, feedback and evaluation, promotion and advancement processes among other key areas that help improve the performance of the faculty so that they can better support students. We also support the abolition of practices that are very detrimental to students such as last-minute hiring. 
 
This award aims to: scale up best practices for faculty that support student success and learning; and, provide motivation and sense of priority that campus leaders need to create better policies and practices for faculty/ classrooms that enable student success. Yang reflected: "It will be exciting to see the award submission and reward the good work of campus leaders." Additional information will be available i n early 2018 regarding the award submission process and timeline.