Martha A. Mitten Professorship

The Martha A. Mitten Professorship in the College of Liberal Arts has been established through a bequest from Martha A. Mitten to benefit teaching and learning at Towson University.

Dr. Bethany Brand: Current Martha A. Mitten Professor
Dr. Bethany Brand, PhD, specializes in the assessment and treatment of trauma-related difficulties. She also serves as a forensic expert in cases related to trauma and dissociation. Read More...

The Martha A. Mitten Professorship (MAMP) in its standards and its implementation reflects the values of the College of Liberal Arts through an emphasis on highly effective teaching, engaged and productive scholarship, and positive contributions to the broader experience of students within the College and the community.

The Martha A. Mitten Professor will be a tenured member of the faculty in the College of Liberal Arts who has served at Towson University for no fewer than eight years at the time of appointment.  Each Mitten Professor will hold the appointment for three years and will pursue a particular project during that time with the assistance of the resources made available through the Professorship.  The Mitten Professor will also receive a salary supplement during the appointment.

The Mitten Professor will have a sustained record of excellence in teaching. Excellence may be demonstrated through evidence of engagement, creativity, and effectiveness in the development of courses; through the appropriate use of varied classroom strategies; through the thoughtful introduction of new materials and approaches; through the level and substance of expectations established for students; through the quality of support and feedback provided for student work; through intellectual mastery of subject matter and an ability to convey that knowledge successfully; and through student perceptions of a faculty member concerned about student learning and able to expand understanding. The Mitten Professor will have a record of holding high expectations for students combined with evidence of a commitment to helping students meet those expectations.

The Mitten Professor will have a record of published scholarship that has passed the critical scrutiny of other scholars knowledgeable in the relevant field. The form of this scholarship may vary, reflecting differences across disciplines and the specific intent of faculty projects. A monograph recommended for publication by manuscript evaluators and reviewed in scholarly journals, multiple articles in peer-reviewed disciplinary journals of recognized standing, or a record of sustained publication in mixed formats or venues (texts, translations, articles on pedagogy, essays on practice in a given field, poetry or creative writing, document collections with critical apparatus, on line scholarly resources, computer programs or applications, and the like–all meeting the standards for review) may stand as equivalent testimony to a strong record of scholarship. Grant applications that pass successfully through a competitive review process and that support work leading to scholarly publication may also be considered in the category of scholarship. As part of the selection process, the Mitten Professor will define current and future directions for scholarship to be pursued during the period of the appointment.

The Mitten Professor will demonstrate sustained contributions to the quality of student experiences beyond the classroom, to the programs of the College or the University, or to the civic health of the larger community.  Faculty enhance the life and health of the campus and the community in varying ways.  The Mitten Professor will have a distinct record of positive engagement over time in one of the following areas or a record of significant involvement across these areas: (1) contributions to student experience such as a special attentiveness to the quality of student advising, leadership in enhancing the quality of student organizations and their programs, or development of student abilities in other ways; (2)  contributions to the governance of the department, the College, or the University through sustained constructive service as a chair, committee member, program coordinator or director, and the like, or as the primary organizer of significant events, activities, or projects; (3) contributions to the involvement of students and faculty with the civic life of the larger metropolitan community through the development of opportunities for students beyond the campus through internships, service learning, or volunteerism, or through the organization of programs addressing the larger community that draw upon the intellectual and human resources of the College.

Ideally in the College of Liberal Arts, all faculty aspire to excellence in teaching, productive scholarship, and positive service. The Mitten Professorship recognizes those who best exemplify these balanced aspirations.

Application and Selection Process

The Martha A. Mitten Professor will be selected through a process that includes nomination by colleagues, application by interested candidates, review by a designated committee, and recommendation by the Dean to the Provost for formal appointment to the Professorship.

Nomination

During the year before an appointment is to take effect, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts will invite nominations for the Mitten Professorship from all full-time faculty serving in the College, specifying a date by which nominations must be received in order to be considered.  A nomination should consist of a letter identifying the nominee and speaking to the ways in which the faculty member nominated meets the criteria identified in the Martha A. Mitten Professorship description. When the deadline for nominations has passed, the Dean will confirm the eligibility of each person nominated and will formally invite each eligible nominee to complete an application for the Professorship.

Application

An application from a nominated faculty member will consist of the following:

  1. A current curriculum vitae
  2. A letter of interest indicating how the candidate has met the criteria for the appointment (limit two pages, double spaced)
  3. A project statement, as discussed below (limit four pages, double spaced)
  4. Evidence of teaching effectiveness and teaching excellence (syllabi, course materials, copies of original student evaluations (full course sets only), colleague reviews, or other materials of the candidate’s choice: no more than five selected items in addition to at least one course set of student evaluations
  5. One or two examples of published scholarship
  6. The original letter or letters of nomination (included in the file by the Dean)

Project Statement

Candidate will be asked to describe their research efforts during the past three years, their current interests, and their plans for continuing research during the period of the appointment. Parts of this discussion may appear in the letter of interest, as appropriate.In addition, candidates will describe a particular project they would like to undertake using the resources of the Professorship.  The Dean will identify the approximate level of additional resources available in each application cycle. The project may concentrate on an amplification of scholarly research in ways that will benefit the candidate’s department or the College of Liberal Arts, and in this case the candidate will identify the expected use of Professorship funds to accomplish this purpose. For example, a candidate might propose using Professorship funds to host a small conference or set of speakers at Towson on a topic of special interest.  Or a candidate might propose a seminar for Towson faculty (perhaps with some or all sessions in the summer) concentrating on a shared research interest, using funds to support acquisition of materials, meeting costs, or perhaps small stipends for participants. A candidate might also chose to emphasize a curricular interest, and a seminar might concentrate on the development or refinement of a course or courses in which a group of faculty have a shared interest.  The project may be defined by the candidate with either teaching or research at its center, or extending across both research and teaching during the three-year span of the appointment. When appropriately justified by the nature of the project, the Mitten Professor may be released from teaching one course in one or more years of the appointment to carry out the work proposed.  In all cases, the Mitten Professor will be expected to maintain while holding the position the excellence in teaching and the engagement with scholarship associated with the appointment.

Review

The Dean will chair the selection committee and will appoint at least four faculty to serve on the committee.  Whenever possible, the Dean will appoint faculty who do not come from departments with a nominee that will be considered by the committee. Should the number and range of nominees make this impossible, the Dean will seek to appoint faculty who have no obvious or close connection with the nominees or their research topics.  In no case may any person submitting a nomination serve on the selection committee. If necessary to maintain fairness, the Dean may ask one or two faculty from outside the College to assist in the review process. The basis for the review and selection process will be the criteria defined in the description of the Mitten Professorship and the materials included in the application.

Recommendation

The Dean will carry a recommendation resulting from the review and selection process to the Provost of Towson University who will make a formal appointment to the Professorship.  The Dean will discuss with the Provost, and if necessary with the recommended candidate, specific arrangements for carrying through the project associated with the candidate’s plans for the Professorship