As long as we’ve been working in faculty development, I’ve learned the importance of innovating on the fly, of being willing to use the design thinking process of creating low-resolution solutions or implementing an idea before it’s fully fleshed out.

One constant to which we often return is the Faculty Innovators (FIs).

Faculty innovators help us develop and execute ideas in order to solve a variety of problems.

For example, one challenge is with our administration’s willingness to go with not-fully-formed projects for the fear that things will go wrong.

While we usually tout the success of innovation, we admit to failures that do occur.

Our LEAF (Learning Environment for Academia’s Future) project, for instance, was halted because 1) the administration was not willing to commit any more money to an ideal classroom (including technology) and 2) we didn’t have the assessments to prove its worth.

But with the help of our faculty innovators we’re able to better support, fund, and implement ideas.

How Using Faculty Innovators Help Make Mid-Course Corrections

Faculty Innovators Address Problems: Faculty innovators spot and address problems with on-going innovations, programming, and faculty participation. They help provide a more comprehensive view of faculty and students.

Faculty Innovators Help Implement Ideas: Pointing out problems is helpful mostly when those people also come to the table with solutions. Faculty innovators help implement long-term projects as well as on-the-fly implementations of not-fully-formed ideas.

Faculty Innovators Help Disperse Teaching Strategies: This select group of higher education faculty members take professional development right back to the colleges and departments.

How to Start Developing a Faculty Innovator Program

There’s two steps you can take today to innovate your faculty development services and recruit inspired faculty to implement the programs.

  1. Sign up for our free newsletter to receive further instructions regarding 1) the faculty innovator’s job description 2) how to develop a faculty innovator program 3) how to manage a faculty innovator program.
  2. Receive the Journal of Faculty Development for the best research and strategies for faculty development innovation.



author Hal BlythePh.D Hal Blythe writes literary criticism to mystery stories. In addition to the eleven books he’s published with New Forums, Hal has collaborated on four books on a variety of subjects, over 1000 pieces of fiction/nonfiction, and a host of television scripts and interactive mysteries performed by their repertory company. He is currently co-director of the Teaching and Learning Center for Eastern Kentucky University. Meet Hal Blythe.