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Faculty Tools and Resources

Here are useful tools, links, and other resources gathered specifically with faculty in mind to help with all of their pedagogical and technological needs.  Keep checking back because we are continually adding new information and links.

In case you aren't sure what the Coulter Faculty Commons is and how we can help faculty, check out this short video!

Coulter Faculty Commons Video


Current Volume: 
Volume 29, Number 3

Previous Issues


Western Carolina University takes great pride in the quality of education provided to our students.  Our faculty work very hard to maintain these high standards and are constantly working towards creating an ever evolving and engaging learning environment.  As a means to recognize faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond expectations, WCU provides several awards to highlight their accomplishments.  The CFC coordinates the monthly awarding of the Professional Development Grant program for providing funds for faculty and instructional staff to pursue professional development opportunities. Additionally, the Commons also coordinates the process for the selection of awards as directed by the Office of the Provost.


Professional Development Grant
Established in 2012, this grant supports the strategic mission of WCU by providing funds for faculty and instructional staff to pursue professional development opportunities in areas such as teaching and learning, scholarship, leadership, certification, accreditation, assessment, and other related areas. This program replaces and expands upon two former grant programs: Microgrants and Provost Instructional Improvement Grants. 

Maximum Award: $1,000.

Prior to completing the application, applicants must download and complete the following forms:

Signature and Permissions Form

Travel Pre-Approval Form 2017

After filling out these forms and scanning them, you can submit them along with pertinent details about your proposal using this PDG Qualtrics Form


Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching
The Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching at Western Carolina University requires applicants to have earned tenure; must have been employed at Western Carolina for at least seven years; has demonstrated excellence in teaching for a sustained period; has taught in the academic year selected; and can only receive the Board of Governors' Award once in his/her lifetime. Award Amount: $12,500 per year.

Board of Governors Award

Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award

The Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award encourages, recognizes, and rewards superior teaching and meritorious performance. Teaching faculty in their third year of service at WCU are eligible for nomination if they have not received this award in the preceding five years. The award amount is $2,000 per year and is given out annually. Students and faculty may nominate finalist as a part of WCU's integrated awards system that occurs every January.

I. Committee Procedures

II. General Policies

Committee Members 2015-17

Honor Sachs
Jim Ulmer
Lia Plankenhorn
Matt Meier
Robert (Scott) Pierce
Emma Catanho
Heather Mae Erickson
Jeanne Dulworth

Martha Diede (ex-officio)

Excellence in Teaching Liberal Studies Award
This award recognizes a faculty member for excellence in promoting significant student learning in teaching liberal studies courses on a regular basis. This award is coordinated by Carol Burton, the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies. Please see the PDF document below for more specifics pertaining to this award including nomination guidelines, deadlines, etc.

Excellence in Teaching Liberal Studies Award

Innovation Scholar Award
This award encourages and recognizes a faculty member who produced exemplary types of scholarship outside of the scholarship of discovery, including integration, engagement, and teaching and learning. The award is open to any full-time faculty member or faculty team who has taught at Western Carolina University for at least one year.

Innovation Scholar Award

O. Max Gardner Award
This annual award is given to a University of North Carolina system faculty member who has "made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race." It is considered the UNC system's highest faculty award and includes a $10,000 cash prize.

O. Max Gardner Award

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