Task Force Recommendations

The Professional Development Task Force has compiled a document listing their recommendations to the College. The page includs the task force members and the Executive Summary. You can review the entire document in PDF form here.

Task Force Co-Chairs:

Task Force Participants

Executive Summary

As a learning institution, Carleton promotes a culture of continuous learning. It is in the College’s best interest to tap the potential of its staff members through training and development. Staff training involves the acquiring and improving of job-related skills and knowledge. Professional development involves personal growth, preparation for promotion, and expansion of job duties.

A review of the 21st Century Committee Report noted that little has been done in the area of staff development in the past five years. Vice President and Treasurer Barbara Johnson appointed the Exempt Staff Professional Development Task Force in the fall of 2002 to develop implementation recommendations to promote professional development for Carleton exempt staff.

The Professional Development Task Force, with significant input from exempt staff throughout the College and comparative data from peer institutions, has identified specific implementation recommendations:

  • A strong professional development policy statement to support the recruitment, hiring, and retention of excellent staff.
  • Adequate and equitable funding for professional development opportunities for staff.
  • Institutional support for an expanded and accessible professional leave program, creating a cornerstone of professional development at Carleton.
  • Develop a formal tuition reimbursement program.
  • Use of best practices in orientation of new staff and continuous training for all staff.
  • Mentoring and job exchange/shadowing programs for staff, promoted and supported by the Office of Human Resources.
  • Continued support for an annual exempt staff retreat that fosters professional development and integrated institutional planning.

President Oden has described Carleton as being all about “the joy of the life of the mind.” Professional development is central to staff learning and growth. These recommendations, once implemented, will signal strong institutional support for continuous learning. They will ensure that the support is adequate, equitable across divisions and departments, and easily accessible. These professional development policies and practices will demonstrate that Carleton is as much a leader in the field of staff professional development as it is for faculty development.

The skills, knowledge, cooperation, and dedication of the College’s staff are essential for the institution to function effectively. A survey we conducted on exempt professional development shows that this is not a topic that has received much attention in liberal arts colleges, and that Carleton’s practices are fairly similar to those of our peers. The one area in which Carleton is clearly behind the curve is in tuition reimbursement policies (we have none). Implementing the recommendations included in this report will result in an outstanding professional development program, and will ensure that the College attracts, retains, and supports the best employees.