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. Research grants are primarily intended for faculty looking to fund work that will lead to applying for funding from external 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. Information and resources are found in the FAQ.

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 250 applications in a short period of time. The application form, guidelines, and FAQ are designed to help 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 was not replenished this year. However, a smaller amount of funds in the CAS account rolled over into the current fiscal year. We are therefore making the following adjustments for the Spring 2021 FDF cycle:

  • Travel: Given the current state of the pandemic and USF’s continued travel restrictions, traditional travel awards (i.e., including transportation and hotel costs) will not be supported. If travel opens back up and funding permits, the FDF Committee may consider a summer travel mini-cycle; faculty may also apply retroactively in the Fall 2021 cycle for travel costs incurred after May 31, 2021. Costs related to virtual conferences will be supported, as will research travel that does not require air travel or accommodations. (Note: If you're applying for costs related to a virtual conference, please use the Travel application form, ignoring the fields related to travel, accommodations, food, etc.)
  • Award caps: If demand for funding exceeds the amount available for awards, the FDF Committee may introduce special measures for Spring 2021, such as per-applicant caps or across-the-board reductions,
  • Books: 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.)

Applications are now being accepted for Spring 2021. The deadline for the Spring 2021 FDF cycle is Friday, February 12th (11:59 pm).

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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
  • Karen Fraser, Interim Faculty Co-Chair, Arts (through Spring 2021)
  • Jeffrey Paris, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities
  • Jeremy Kasdin, Interim Associate Dean, Sciences and Engineering
  • Stephanie Cooper, Faculty Representative, Kinesiology (through Spring 2022; on leave Fall 2020)
  • 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.