Liberal Arts Core Incentives Program for Faculty

The Core Incentives Program recognizes the unusual commitment of time and energy that high-level teaching in the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum requires.


This program is designed to encourage long-term participation by senior faculty and to foster excellent Core teaching by new faculty. It provides a system for the mentoring of new junior faculty, whose participation in the Core requires that they develop materials and pedagogical strategies that may lie largely outside their field of graduate specialization.

Senior Faculty Incentive

Professor Barrera and students sitting in a discussion circle

Tenured faculty who teach six non-crosslisted sections (or their equivalent; two crosslisted courses will count as one non-crosslisted course for the purposes of this incentive) in the common Core as part of their normal teaching load will receive an SLA credit of .5, as long as those six have been accrued in a span of no fewer than four and no more than eleven years. The common Core consists of Legacies of the Ancient World, Challenges of Modernity, Communities and Identities, and Scientific Perspectives.

Junior Faculty Incentive

Junior tenure-stream faculty hired in 2010 or later will be eligible to receive one course load credit in the semester preceding their first teaching of a non-crosslisted course in the common Core (in unusual circumstances the junior faculty member may be permitted to delay the teaching of the Core course for one semester). Receipt of this credit is contingent on participation in the program outlined below.

By the second week of the semester preceding the semester of the proposed course load credit, the junior faculty member’s department chair will contact the relevant university professor (UP). The UP will work with the faculty member (in consultation with the chair) to identify a mentor.

The UP will ensure that the following criteria are met:

  • The mentor is a tenured member of the component staff with considerable experience teaching the course.
  • The mentor is not a member of the junior faculty member’s department.
  • The mentor will be on campus in the semester of the junior faculty member’s first-time Core teaching.
  • The schedules of the junior faculty member and the mentor are coordinated so that the junior faculty member can attend the mentor’s course in the first semester and the mentor can attend meetings of the junior faculty member’s course in the second semester.

During the semester of the course release, the following conditions will be met:

  • The junior faculty member will attend all sessions of the mentor’s Core class and complete all course readings.
  • The mentor and junior faculty will meet regularly, normally at least two or three times a month, to discuss class content and pedagogy.
  • The junior faculty member will attend all staff meetings sponsored by the relevant Core component, including cross-component teaching tables held for all new teachers of the Core.
  • The mentor will assist the junior faculty member in the preparation of a syllabus for the course, and will assist in the preparation of a course proposal (where necessary).

In the semester of first-time teaching, the following conditions will hold:

  • The mentor and junior faculty will meet regularly, at least three times per semester.
  • The mentor will visit the junior faculty member’s Core class at least three times.
  • The junior faculty member will attend all staff meetings sponsored by the relevant Core component, including cross-component teaching tables held for all new teachers of the Core.

The incentives program aims to foster an ongoing commitment to Core teaching. Therefore, the junior faculty member is expected to teach at least twice more in the six years following first-time teaching. At least one of these instances should occur before the semester of the tenure review. None of these first three Core classes may count towards the senior faculty incentive described above.

The UP will be responsible for verifying that the conditions of the mentoring assignment have been met. The mentoring role will be a significant and time-consuming one for the senior faculty member. Therefore, a successfully completed mentoring assignment, which includes teaching a Core course and mentoring a junior faculty member over the span of two semesters, will count for two Core courses towards the required six of the Senior Faculty Incentive. There will be no more than one junior faculty member shadowing a class at one time, and no senior faculty member will have more than three mentoring assignments in a four-year period.