Resources for Professional Development

St. Olaf College offers substantial funding for faculty development, including programming and workshops available through the academic year and summer, assistance with researching and writing grant proposals, sabbatical and competitively-awarded leaves, and internal and grant-funded support. With a few exceptions, these resources are available to term as well as tenured/tenure track faculty members.

Grants – College Funded

Faculty members may apply for a Course FTE Award to pilot curricular ideas. While proposals for any type of course are welcome, the area of emphasis of the awards may differ from year to year. The Call for Proposals below details which proposals have most recently been given preference.

The Walter and Betty Stromseth Fund for Intercultural and Inter-religious Education provides funding up to $2,000 to support course development, workshops and training, and/or speakers addressing the ethical resources of the major religions for cooperatively addressing global issues of poverty, health care, and environmental preservation and to explore the challenges and opportunities of integrating cultural and religious pluralism.

Grants awarded by the Faculty Life Committee:

Grants – Externally Funded

Many St. Olaf faculty benefit from individual and collaborative grants from private foundations and government agencies to support scholarly, creative, curricular, and pedagogical projects. Considerable assistance in grant application and grant fund management is available from the Office of Government, Foundation, and Corporate Relations.

Individual Professional Activity and Travel (IPAT) accounts

IPAT accounts provide annual professional development support for tenured, tenure-track, special appointment and teaching specialist faculty members.


Various types of college-supported leaves are available to faculty at different stages of their careers.


A variety of professional development opportunities are available throughout the academic year and over the summer, some hosted by St. Olaf and some by other institutions.

  • The St. Olaf Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts (CILA) coordinates faculty conversations, writing retreats, and longer-term collaborations about learning, teaching and scholarship.
  • The college hosts periodic summer workshops to support faculty members teaching courses that meet selected General Education requirements, including First Year Seminar, Writing & Rhetoric, and Experience in Practice.
  • The Libraries and IT offer learning communities, summer institutes, showcase events, and hands-on workshops that focus on integrating digital technologies with teaching and research.
  • The Associate Provost notifies the faculty of other professional development opportunities, such as programs available through Associated Colleges of the Midwest and The Council of Independent Colleges.
  • LinkedIn Learning provides short learning modules on a wide range of topics linked to professional and personal development.
  • Funding for special lectures, events or speakers is available through Leraas Fund grants.
  • The Faculty Life Committee awards professional development grants from the Nygaard Study in Norway Endowment annually to support faculty travel to Norway for research, course development, or language study. Nygaard grants may be combined with the Oslo International Summer School.
  • The Oslo International Summer School offers an opportunity for a St. Olaf faculty member to participate in the six-week ISS program each summer. Participation in the ISS could lead either to an enrichment of courses faculty already teach, to development of new courses, or to new contacts or research opportunities in their field. It could also mean an opportunity for individuals to take on new intellectual or cultural challenges outside of their own academic fields. The stipend includes all program fees, room & board, (if living on-campus) and one weekend excursion. Recipients are responsible for their own international travel and personal expenses. Contact Michelle Fredrickson for more information.
  • Cassling Family Fund for Faculty Innovation Awards
    Faculty Innovation Awards recognize creativity and excellence in teaching. They are made possible by the Randal S. and Lori S. Cassling Family Fund for Faculty Innovation in Honor of Kyle E. Cassling ’12. Randy and Lori Cassling P’12 established this fund to support faculty dedicated to interdisciplinary innovation in teaching. Through this generous gift, Randy and Lori honor their daughter Kyle ’12, a biology and sociology/anthropology major, who received a transformative education at St. Olaf that allowed her to thrive academically and personally. Kyle went on to pursue a career in medicine and a residency in general surgery at Vanderbilt University.