Dana Munk said her new position in the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center was created as part of Grand Valley's effort to improve the quality of teaching life for part-time faculty members at the university.
“There is a nationwide trend on college campuses of employing high numbers of part-time faculty,” said Munk. “This creates the need for a liaison to help universities better support this valuable group of people.”
Part of Munk’s role is to oversee the part-time faculty advisory council. She said this highly qualified group of part-time faculty members serves as an advisory board to the provost and works to make university policies and procedures more “part-time friendly.”
The advisory council has worked to create a part-time faculty handbook, best practice documents that include strategies for professional development, and an online network to connect part-time faculty with one another. In addition, this group assists with new part-time faculty orientation, the part-time academy, and monthly, informal chats.
Munk, also an associate professor of movement science, said both her position and the advisory council work to promote the value of part-time faculty members on campus and to solicit ideas on how to better utilize this faculty group for the good of the university.
“A majority of this unique group of faculty have real-life experience in their field and provide a valuable service to students because their expertise is current and they are connected to the community,” said Munk.