Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Feb. 9, 1996

Jischke announces Miller faculty fellowships

by Linda Charles

Up to $250,000 will be put into programs aimed at improving undergraduate teaching at Iowa State during the next fiscal year. The funds will come from earnings from an estimated $27 million estate bequeathed in part to Iowa State.

The bequest came from F. Wendell Miller, an attorney and farm manager who died in 1995 at the age of 97. His will stipulated that the bulk of his estate be used to create the Miller Endowment Trust, with income from the trust divided equally between Iowa State and the University of Iowa.

"Iowa State has never before received or been the beneficiary of a gift as large as the Wendell Miller estate," President Martin Jischke said during the Feb. 6 Faculty Senate meeting.

Part of the earnings from the Miller endowment will be used to create Miller Faculty Development Fellowships, Jischke said. The fellowships, ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, will be used to advance the university's strategic plan. Faculty receiving these funds will be designated Miller Faculty Fellows during the academic year of their awards.

The first year of the program will focus on strengthening undergraduate teaching, which, in turn, is expected to enhance university retention and recruitment efforts, Jischke said. Fellowships will be awarded to tenured and tenure-track faculty to develop new courses that will enrich the undergraduate experience or new approaches to teaching existing undergraduate courses.

Particular emphasis will be placed on efforts to strengthen lower level (100- and 200-level) courses, as well as courses that meet the university's diversity requirement (courses that address human diversity within society or provide a foreign culture context for analysis and interpretation of world conditions).

Senior faculty who wish to develop new approaches to introductory or foundation courses are encouraged to apply for the fellowships.

"I believe strongly that Iowa State has an outstanding faculty," Jischke told the senate. "I have no doubt that if you and your colleagues are provided with the time and the resources you need to develop programs and methods that will improve the undergraduate educational experience, the results will be absolutely first-rate.

"Fellowship awards may be used to fund faculty release time, travel expenses, new equipment and software, graduate assistants and special assistance from academic support units, such as the library, media resource center or computation center.

Faculty may submit proposals individually or in teams. Proposals should be no more than five pages, clearly define the project and list all expenses. Proposals must be endorsed by the faculty member's DEO and dean and are due March 15.

Proposals will be peer-reviewed by the Center for Teaching Excellence executive board, which will make recommendations for funding to the provost. Awards will be announced by April 15.

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