Faculty Development Fund

The Faculty Development Fund (FDF) is a contractually negotiated collective benefit available to all members of the University of San Francisco Faculty Association (USFFA). Non-members (for example, part-time faculty, staff, and administrators) are not eligible to apply. The total amount of the fund is determined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). It is then distributed proportionally to each school or college. This document describes the process in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

The Faculty Development Fund (FDF) provides financial support for a multitude of research expenses such as conference travel and research assistant wages. These grants are primarily intended for faculty looking to fund preliminary projects that will lead to applying for funding from outside sources. There are two funding cycles in the College of Arts and Sciences (one in the fall and a one in the spring).

Faculty are responsible for tracking expenditures and their FDF account (FOAP) balances, avoiding overdrawing their account, and returning any unused funds to the collective CAS FDF fund in a timely manner.

There are typically two funding cycles, one in the Fall (typically with an October deadline) and one in Spring (typically with a February deadline). In each cycle, the FDF Committee reviews more than 200 applications in a short period of time. The application form and guidelines are designed to make helps make that process more efficient, and we appreciate your careful reading of and adherence to the guidelines.

Please note the following changes for Fiscal Year 2021 (i.e., June 1, 2020-May 31, 2021): Per the recent agreement between the University and the USFFA, FDF will likely not be replenished this year. However, funds currently in the CAS account will roll over and rebalancing will take place as usual in September. We are therefore making the following adjustments for this fiscal year:

  • Fall 2020 is the only FDF cycle in this fiscal year, unless funds permit us to open a second mini-cycle in Spring 2021. We will also introduce one-time restrictions, including the following:
    • Per applicant cap or across-the-board reduction, if needed.
    • No traditional travel awards will be supported during this fiscal year in order to avert the sudden cancellation situations we faced this spring. Research travel that does not require air travel or hotel accommodations will be supported, as will costs related to virtual conferences. (If travel restrictions are lifted, faculty can apply retroactively in Fall 2021 for travel after June 1, 2021.)
    • Gleeson Library will now ship circulating books and media to current students, faculty, and staff at their home address. Shipping is free and includes pre-paid shipping labels for returning materials back to the library. More information and instructions on how to request home shipping is on the library’s document delivery page. FDF will support the purchase of books not available through the library system (typically, not more than $500.)
    • Those who have a relatively large balance are encouraged to apply only after their balance is lower or provide a clear plan for how they will spend their current balance.
  • In addition to the regular application cycle described above, we are accepting on an ongoing basis "pivot applications" for those who are adjusting research activities within an existing award from Fiscal Year 2020 (i.e., Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 awards, due to expire in August 2021) in order to achieve the same approved research goals during the pandemic. Per our 2018 agreement and CBA, FDF awards cannot be used for a different purpose than what was articulated in the original, approved FDF application. (For example, one cannot use the balance from a travel award to hire a RA, or the balance from a project on presidential rhetoric for research on animal rights.) However, we understand that your research activities must be adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, some faculty may want to request to pivot their research activities and use an existing award to fulfill the research goals articulated in the original award application. We circulated the application by e-mail (July 30, 2020), and you can also contact Ella Frazer for an application. 

The deadline for Fall 2020 applications is October 12th, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

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We offer an FDF Workshop each semester, in which we go over the structure and funding of the FDF, walk through the basics of the application process and guidelines, and answer any FDF-related questions you might have. If you were unable to attend, you can view the slides from and video of the most recent workshop.

Please carefully reach and follow the FDF Guidelines found in these pages. 

The Faculty Development Committee encourages questions and comments regarding policies and procedures. Please feel free to contact the co-chairs of the committee, Associate Deans, or faculty representatives.

  • Joshua Gamson, Interim Associate Dean of Social Sciences, Administrative Co-Chair
  • Hwaji Shin, Faculty Co-Chair, Social Sciences
  • Jeffrey Paris, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities
  • Stephanie Cooper, Faculty Representative, Kinesiology (through Spring 2022; on leave Fall 2020)
  • Karen Fraser, Faculty Representative, Arts (through Spring 2021)
  • Adrienne Johnson, Faculty Representative, Social Sciences (through Fall 2022)
  • Sevan Suni, Faculty Representative, Laboratory Sciences (through Fall 2021)
  • Tsering Wangchuk, Faculty Representative, Theology and Religious Studies (through Spring 2022)
Committee staff

For questions about Concur, checking account balances, reimbursements, and other financial issues, please contact the CAS Office of Operations.

ARTICLE 34. Faculty Development Fund and Librarian Development Fund

34.1 All Association members may apply and shall be considered for Faculty Development Funds (FDF)/Librarian Development Funds (LDF). Individuals applying for FDF/LDF shall ordinarily outline plans and use of such funds with their Dean in their Academic Career Prospectus (ACP)/Librarian Career Prospectus (LCP).

34.2 A joint college, school or library committee shall be appointed for the purpose of distributing FDF/LDF. The Dean and the Association member may each appoint up to five individuals to serve a three-year term. Awards shall be decided by mutual agreement between parties, and not by a simple majority vote.

34.3 Association members shall formally apply to the committee for FDF/LDF. The application shall include: (i) a signed statement of intent which sets forth the specific objectives and goals to be accomplished through the use of such funds and (ii) the phrase, “Failure to use FDF/LDF for the stated purpose shall obligate the Association member to reimburse the FDF/LDF in full.” FDF/LDF may not be awarded without a signed statement of intent.

34.4 Funds shall be divided between colleges, schools and library based on the number of Association members in each.

34.5 FDF/LDF shall be awarded pursuant to the following criteria listed in order of priority:
(A) for research endeavors which may support a candidate’s request for consideration for promotion or tenure;
(B) to faculty or librarians who wish to enhance professional effectiveness. Awards shall be based on academic merits alone. Ordinarily, preference for FDF/LDF in each college or library for this criterion shall be junior faculty/librarians.

34.6 Upon written request by the Dean or the Association representative on the committee, any Association member who received FDF/LDF funds, shall account in full for the manner in which these funds were used, including specific documentation showing the funds were used for the purposes stated in the application and statement of intent.

34.7 Should a recipient of FDF/LDF funds fail to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the committee that such funds were spent for the stated purposes or that the proposed activity was substantially completed, the recipient shall repay the FDF/LDF all funds in question. No further funds may be awarded to anyone who fails to document the use of FDF/LDF for the duration of this Agreement.

34.8 An Association member shall submit any dispute concerning this Article in writing to the President of the Association or designee and the Provost or designee for final resolution within ten days of the time the dispute arose. If the dispute is not submitted in writing and within ten (10) days, the University or the Association shall have no obligation to respond, and the decision of the committee shall be final.

34.9 The parties shall not defend individuals who use funds for other than the stated purposes.

34.10 In academic year 2016-2017, the funds provided by the University for distribution shall be $1,573,262.00.

34.11 In subsequent academic years, the University shall divide the 2016-2017 distribution by the number of 2016-2017 Association faculty and librarian lines. The University shall increase the dividend by the Consumer Price Index and then multiply it by the number of the subsequent year’s Association faculty and librarians. The University shall place the resulting amount in the fund.

34.12 Unused funds at the end of the academic year shall be reallocated to the main FDF pool for reallocation the following academic year per the formula in Article 34.4.

34.13 Unused funds in the academic year 2016-2017, shall be divided equally and reallocated in three (3) equal installments (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

34.14 The provision of faculty development funds shall not be extended automatically and shall be subject to reopened negotiations.