Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Dec. 12, 1997

Forum covers P&S development

by Anne Dolan

P&S employees got answers to their questions about tuition grants and professional development grants during a noon forum Dec. 4 sponsored by the P&S Council. George Covert and Dan Woodin, members of the P&S Professional Development Committee, outlined the two self-improvement options for P&S employees and responded to questions.

The P&S tuition grant fund for this year is $98,000, an increase of $40,000, allocated by President Martin Jischke, over last year's amount. As a result, P&S employees enrolled in classes for academic credit may be reimbursed for up to three under-graduate or graduate credits per semester. Covert said 121 applicants for fall semester received funding for up to three credits. (In past years, reimbursement averaged about 70 percent of the cost of three credit hours, he said.)

Covert said there is no preference for degree-bound applicants over employees who simply want to take additional classes. He also said first-time requests and repeat applicants are reviewed equally.

Professional development fund

The professional development fund is a much younger and smaller ($5,000) fund, and assists employees with professional development activities for which they don't receive academic credit. Awards from this fund require matching funds from an individual and his or her department, preferably with one-third of the cost born by each. Release time granted by a department doesn't count as the department's contribution. Covert said examples of funded professional development activities have been:

Covert said professional memberships are not paid through this fund. The program has contributed to some professional certification processes (for example, preparatory software), but rejected others.

"Don't make the committee's decision for it," Covert said. "Even if you think you have something that is questionable, fill out the form and put the question to the committee."

Endowed fund

Council president Rob Bowers reminded those in attendance of the chance to contribute to the P&S professional development fund through Campaign Destiny. Gifts to an endowed fund set up last spring will supplement the $5,000 provided annually by the Provost Office. The Provost Office also agreed to match the interest generated by the fund, up to another $5,000 annually.

To contribute to the fund, fill in account no. 0700118 on the "gift designation line" on a campaign pledge card.

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