P-014 Professional Improvement Funds for Administrative and Service Faculty

Code: P-014
Date: April 22, 1981
Approved: Jon Wefald
Revised: January 28, 1983
Approved: Greg Diemer
Revised: August 1, 1991
Approved: Gary DeCramer
Revised: July 26, 1994
Approved: Doug Sweetland
Revised: September 1, 2010
Approved: David C. Danahar
Revised: September 2016
Approved: Connie J. Gores

Southwest Minnesota State University

Policy and Procedure

Professional Improvement Funds
Administrative and Service Unit

These funds shall be grants for the purpose of professional improvement, ASF Member development, staff training, and similar kinds of development programs for Members. All ASF members shall be eligible to receive grants from these funds upon application submitted to and approved by the SMSU President or his/her designee. The SMSU President shall approve such applications as recommended by the ASF Professional Improvement Fund (PIF) Committee if he/she deems the proposed professional improvement or development activities to be in the best interest of the University in improving the job related skills and competence of the ASF Member. The SMSU President shall approve the exact amount of each grant on the basis of the availability of funds and the award recommendations of the Professional Improvement Fund (PIF) Committee.

Application Cycle

There will be four funding cycles per fiscal year. Each cycle will have available 25% of the available funds plus any funds not awarded from the previous cycle.

The award dates will be July 1, October 1, January 7 and April 1. Deadlines for application will be on the 15th of the month prior to the award date. Should these dates fall on a weekend, the deadline should be the previous Friday.

There will be four rounds of funding each fiscal year starting with the July 1 award date:

Application Deadlines Award Date % of Funds to be Awarded
1st June 15 July 1 25%
2nd September 15 October 1 25%
3rd December 15 January 7 25%
4th March 15 April 1 25%

Information on the guidelines and funding cycles for PIF grants should be distributed to all ASF Members by the beginning of the academic year.

Grant Application Process

  1. Obtain application material on the SMSU ASF Webpage or by contacting the President’s designee, the Credential Evaluator in the Registration Office.
  2. Completed applications are submitted to the Credential Evaluator in the Registration Office.
  3. The ASF PIF Committee will be composed of three ASF members; appointed for a 3-year term by the local ASF president or the ASF president's designee. These three will constitute the voting membership. The chairperson for the committee will be the ASF 2nd Vice President. The Chair will call the meetings and conduct the business but will not be a voting member. The committee members shall be fully eligible to apply for PIF Grants, but will abstain from participating to that particular cycle of deliberations. The Chairperson will obtain an alternate for that round.
  4. The process of administering the PIF grants should remain with the President’s Office or the President’s designee. The President’s designee will serve as a non-voting, support member of the committee. Recommendation of the ASF PIF Committee will be forwarded by the President’s designee to the SMSU President for his/her approval.  
  5. The SMSU President's approval of recommended awards will be communicated to applicants by the President’s designee. The President's decision not to approve recommendations will be forwarded with rationale to the committee. The committee will seek to clarify objections or to make alternate recommendations.

Criteria for Awarding Grants

  1. The Grant process seeks to support projects that enhance the administrative and service faculty's professional competence while giving support to the mission of the University.
  2. All ASF employees shall be eligible to apply for Professional Improvement Funds. Preference will be given to employees who have been in a ASF position for at least 6 months.
  3. Retroactive requests will be accepted under truly extenuating circumstances although funding preference will be given to non-retroactive applications. Depending on the number and amount of applications during any particular round of funding, retroactive applications may not be funded at all.
  4. There should be no limit on the number of grants any ASF member may receive, but special consideration should be given to a member who has not received an award in the previous academic year.
  5. PIF grants should not be awarded to fund Minnesota State System or SMSU mandated activities, conferences, seminars, etc.
  6. Grant recipients are required to submit a Grant Report and may be asked to share their project outcomes in a seminar.
Note: While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, SMSU reserves the right to correct any clerical errors herein. Also, you can submit feedback.