Professional Responsibilities and Related Faculty Matters

At Berea, as at most colleges, the responsibilities of faculty are many and diverse. The first and most important responsibility is to one’s students and their learning. The greater part of a faculty member’s time and energy inevitably goes into one’s courses and course-related activities. If those courses are to remain challenging and up-to-date throughout a long career, however, attention must be regularly paid to one’s own professional growth. Ongoing scholarly, scientific, or creative work is properly seen not as activity separate from one’s teaching, but as an essential means to maintain the vitality of mind necessary for challenging and effective teaching.

For faculty and students alike, important learning also takes place outside the structured settings of classroom, studio, and laboratory. Consequently, faculty are expected to contribute to students’ intellectual and personal growth in other ways—through supervision in the labor program, advising and informal counseling, sponsorship of co-curricular activities, casual conversation in the dining hall, discussions in student residences, and the like.

After one’s first year, a faculty member should also expect to be called on for service on College councils and committees. Participation in campus governance is an important means both to stay informed about campus issues and to contribute to the formulation of institutional policy. Off-campus, many faculty members also take part in various aspects of community life in Berea. Because the College and the community are mutually sustaining, such engagement is generally supported throughout the institution; faculty members are invited to follow their own interests and discretion in such matters.

In all that faculty are called on to do, each person is urged to seek in one's life that balance of activity, reflection, and commitment most conducive to full use of one’s talents and abilities, effective service, and a sense of personal satisfaction.