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Chapter 6
Compensation, Benefits, and Faculty Development

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Faculty Development


Excellence in teaching, research, and service are major goals at Tufts University. From its inception, the university has prided itself on providing students with the highest-quality education, both inside and outside the classroom. The achievements of faculty members who make a significant impact in these areas are recognized through various internal awards. More information, including the appropriate nomination process, is available here.

Committee on Faculty Research Awards

Although the university encourages faculty to seek external funding, internal funding for equipment, research, travel, and other assistance is available from the Committee on Faculty Research Awards. This support is awarded on a competitive basis to full-time faculty holding either tenured or tenure-track appointments.

More detailed information is available here.

Additional Sources of Professional Support

The university and the schools provide funds to help defray the costs of research. In addition to annual funds provided by the schools to tenure-stream faculty, departmental budgets contain funds to support participation of tenure-track and tenured faculty members in the professional activities of their discipline by attending conferences and meetings.

Chapter 3 and the appendix detail those university services and policies with respect to research administration.

The dean's office provides funding for the professional development of full-time lecturers and other nontenure-track faculty in the schools where such development will have a positive impact on their roles as teachers, advisers, and mentors. In the School of Arts and Sciences, there is a Professional Development Fund for Full-time and Part-time Lecturers. Please see Article 18 of the CBA for Full-Time Lecturers and CBA for Part-Time Lecturers for more information.

The Dean of Arts and Sciences has a limited pool of money to award gap funding for those who have temporarily lost funding and have an excellent prospect of regaining external support after the gap period. Details and criteria for this funding are available from the relevant dean of academic affairs.

The School of Engineering supports faculty research by offering tenure-stream faculty members the opportunity to reduce their teaching load by one course per year through research salary offset. The entire workload policy may be viewed here.

Faculty Research Accounts Policy (School of Arts and Sciences)

Policy Summary

Faculty research accounts (FRAs) are funds awarded for expenses incurred as a result of research and scholarly activity by tenure-stream faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences. These accounts are meant to consolidate all university-funded research support into a single source; the sources of this funding can include "start-up funds," the dean's annual $1,000 allocation, and any other research fund allocation awarded by the A&S dean's office or other Tufts sources. The use of these accounts should make it easier to quantify and manage the research support granted to tenure stream faculty. 

Use of Funds

In order to simplify the use of these funds, the dean's office has created a set of guidelines to be followed for all funds. They are as follows:

The chair of each department will assume the responsibility of approving the appropriateness of research expenditures. The academic deans will approve expenditures made by department chairs. The department administrator or manager is responsible for ensuring that accounts do not go into deficit. All questions can be vetted through the A&S director of administration.

Faculty research funds cannot be used for personal compensation, for summer salary support, or to supplement a faculty member's academic year salary. Neither can these funds be used to cover personal expenses, teaching, or curricular-related activities. Faculty research funds cannot be used to purchase furniture or furnishings, rare books (defined as books with a purchase price over $500), and/or works of art. The use of faculty research funds for gifts (employee and non-employee), donations, flowers, parties, or any other unrelated to faculty research or scholarly activities is prohibited.

Please see a list of appropriate and inappropriate uses of research account funds attached to the end of this memo.

Deficit Balances

The research accounts are not allowed to be spent into deficit. It is the responsibility of the faculty member, department administrator/manager, and chair to periodically review the balances to ensure the account is not going to go into deficit. An expense will not be allowed to process against a research account unless there is sufficient funding available. Negative balances will be brought to the attention of the academic deans and the executive administrative dean for review. 

Departure or Retirement of a Faculty Member

Departing Faculty Member. Any unspent balances, equipment, or items of value purchased with faculty research funds remain with the university when a faculty member leaves the university. Faculty members will no longer have access to unused funds effective the date when the faculty member leaves the university.

Retiring Faculty Member. If a retiring faculty member wishes to take his or her equipment or other items of value previously purchased with faculty research funds, he or she may be allowed to do so but must first contact the appropriate dean of academic affairs. Faculty members will no longer have access to unused funds effective the date when the faculty member retires from the university.

Examples of Appropriate Uses of Research Account Funding:
  • Computer Equipment (one per faculty member per replacement cycle)

  • Kindles/iPads (one every 2-3 years)

  • Cellular phones/iPhones

  • Travel (per university travel policy, those being reimbursed for travel can upgrade from coach to business class or equivalent if the flight is over 8 hours)

  • Research assistants

  • Post-Docs

  • Professional editing or indexing of publications

  • Membership in professional organizations

 Examples of Inappropriate Uses of Research Account Funding:

  • Cell phone service

  • Personal expenses

  • Summer supplemental salary

  • Expenses not related to furthering research or scholarly activities

  • Charitable donations

  • Teaching assistants

All questions regarding allowable expenses should first be directed to the department chair, then the A&S director of administration.