Palestinian Faculty Development Program
A Global Outlook on Improving Higher Education
Portland State University has long been recognized for its distinct vision to emphasize and enhance the value of higher education through excellence in research, teaching, and outreach programs. Seeking to extend this vision beyond our immediate academic and social spheres, PSU's Center for Academic Excellence has recently received funding from AMIDEAST, Open Society Institute (OSI), and USAID to improve higher education in the West Bank and Gaza area. The Palestinian Faculty Development Program will engage Portland State University and Northwestern University in a two year effort to assist two Palestinian universities, An-Najah National University and Bethlehem University in establishing teaching and learning centers on their respective campuses. The Center for Academic Excellence sees this exciting opportunity to engage senior PSU faculty in development activities that will make significant contributions at An-Najah National and Bethlehem Universities while also offering those involved professional growth opportunities in an international setting.
The Palestinian Faculty Development Program (PFPD) is a major seven-year endeavor that began as by assisting Palestinian doctoral students in accessing advanced degrees from around the world. The motivation was to strengthen the capacity of Palestinian universities to deliver high quality, innovative teaching and learning practice. For complete information on the project, please visit the PFDP Background page.
In September 2010, PSU's Center for Academic Excellence and Northwestern University's Searle Center for Teaching Excellence were selected as PFDP consultants to work closely with two Palestinian universities, An-Najah National University and Bethlehem University, to accomplish the following:
- Review relevant documents and correspondence related to PFDP support for Palestinian universities in general and the creation of centers for teaching excellence in particular
- Conduct research on the current state of support for faculty development, teaching methodology, and scholarship of teaching in the two selected Palestinian universities
- Assist staff from Palestinian universities to develop a plan for creating a new center or expanding an existing center for teaching excellence. Conduct a series of meetings, discussions, presentations, and workshops as necessary to ensure that Palestinian faculty and administrators are able to prepare a plan that is consistent with international best practice and the realities of the Palestinian system
- Assist staff from Palestinian universities to establish a partnership between the selected Palestinian universities and U.S. universities that have indicated a willingness to work with counterparts in the West Bank
Focusing on multi-disciplinary engagement, as well as the development of university-community relationships, we hope to establish a sustainable and continually expanding network of higher education resources which will make a lasting impact on the greater West Bank region.
To contact a PFDP team member for questions or additional information, please submit a query on the PFDP Contacts page.