Upcoming Opportunities to Help Faculty Navigate Research.

This Tuesday Tip brings to you some resources in relation to research and the opportunity to grow as both a teacher and a scholar! 

Faculty Development(opens in new window) is working on a number of resources that can help faculty navigate research at Chico State. Below you find links and information for upcoming opportunities: 

“Join us for a conversation about interdisciplinary research opportunities! We will hear from faculty who are currently collaborating across Departments and Colleges on various research projects, we will discuss examples of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and we will look at possible funding opportunities for collaborative research projects!” (The description will be added to the website soon) 

I also want to take this opportunity to share the link to the Co-Teaching & Community Engagement page(opens in new window) hosted by the Office of Civic Engagement(opens in new window). Here you find tips and ideas on how to consider possibilities for teaching and research collaborations!  

We hope that these resources and events will be an opportunity to learn more about support for research on campus and a chance to hear about innovative research projects at Chico State! 

Stay tuned! 

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 

Faculty Development, Director 

why are students not reading the syllabus?

Dear faculty,

Today’s Tuesday Tip focuses on one of the thorniest issues in higher education: why are students not reading the syllabus?

The most recent development in this saga is the famous news from December 2021 (Smart, 2021) about a University of Tennessee professor who hid $50 in a locker at the beginning of the Fall semester and shared the information on how to unlock it in his syllabus. To no one’s surprise, the cash was untouched (and unclaimed) at the end of the semester.

While appreciating the good and playful intentions of the instructor, a Slate article (Weaver, 2022) questions the ultimate benefits of these stunts and explores the reason why most students just glance at the syllabus as opposed to dedicating time and attention to such an important document: “the biggest reason students skip such a crucial step is simple: Many syllabi are unreadable. They’re too long and clogged with opaque, administration-mandated fine print. Some are written with an eye toward a student challenging a grade—that is to say punitively, from a defensive crouch.” I also appreciate how the author of the article reminds how “syllabi not only set up expectations for a class, but are usually the first introduction to the professor. In other words, bad ones can create and perpetuate bad relationships.”

Recently, I have felt more and more that syllabi seem to be written as a weaver of liability for instructors as opposed to being written to provide resources for students. Of course this is a generalization, but it is important to open up the question and explore strategies that can help instructors create better syllabi and encourage students to actually read them.


Faculty Development will offer a Friday Forum on February 25th (11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) as a chance to discuss this complicated topic and to pause for a moment to think conceptually about what a syllabus should truly accomplish.

The forum, “So, the students aren’t reading the syllabus, ah?” is designed as a conversation where we can brainstorm ideas about what the function of a syllabus should be and what challenges students face in approaching an overwhelming syllabus. We will also explore alternative formats and ideas to creating engaging syllabi, such as infographics, course maps, and video syllabi.

And don’t forget that attending this workshop will count towards the FDEV Challenge!

Share ideas on our blog about strategies that have worked in your syllabi to engage students!

Lecturer Mentoring Program

Dear faculty,

Yesterday I announced in the FDEV Zine the selection of a new mentor, Tiffani Anderson, who will work with FDEV to support lecturers. I want to use this Tuesday Tip to share more details about this new program and to make sure you have all links and information available. First of all, I want to highlight the possibility to schedule an appointment with Tiffani to discuss matters pertaining to lecturers’ questions and support.

Faculty Development has renewed its commitment to targeting resources and support specifically to lectures, because while all lecturers are faculty, their needs, questions, and concerns might differ from those of tenured and tenure-track faculty. The Lecturer Mentoring Program was created in this spirit and I want to offer some tips on how to navigate this page.


  • On the webpage you find a useful infographic, created by Aaron Draper, that clarifies the type of support different offices can provide.
  • Below the infographic, under Lecturer Council, you find contact information and bios for the lecturer representative in each College. We encourage you to contact your lecturer representative if you have specific questions that pertain to your discipline or Department/College.
  • Orientation offers links to the video recordings and all slides that were shared during the lecturer orientation. These links allow you to re-watch those presentations  and explore the information or access them for the first time if you could not attend the orientation. These are good links for lectures that might not be new but still need to access this information.
  • Resources offers additional links to information that you will need as you join the Chico State faculty community, including accessing the system, important deadlines, etc.

Lecturer Academy

Faculty Development is working with Tiffani Anderson, Aaron Draper, and Erin Horst to plan a full-day lecturer academy on Friday April 29th. The academy will include a series of informational and interactive sessions followed by a reception in the evening. SAVE THE DATE for this important event and we will send more details as we have them available.

We hope that lecturers will take this opportunity to explore the website and to reach out to both Faculty Development and Tiffani Anderson to share your questions!