Since 1980, there has been a faculty exchange between the University of Iowa’s Department of English and the Department of English at l’Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, France. The exchange provides an opportunity to add an international perspective to each department, to diversify the voices and approaches received by the students in each department, to internationalize the outlook of both faculty, and to facilitate individual faculty development. The exchange is solely between faculty in these two departments and is self-funding from Iowa’s perspective.
Selection of Exchange Professors
Each fall, a faculty exchange member is chosen by each of the departments to participate in the exchange the following academic year. Iowa selects its exchange colleague according to the criteria for selection available on another page. Montpellier makes its selection through their own exchange commission.
The visitor from Montpellier typically teaches in Iowa during a fall semester. He or she teaches two courses (for a total of 6 s.h. of classroom time) arranged where possible on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule. The exchange professor works closely with Iowa’s coordinator of exchanges on selecting and designing appropriate courses and these are added to Iowa’s fall schedule early in the spring. The Iowa coordinator also works closely with the visitor on all aspects of developing and teaching the courses, including advising on and approving the syllabus, advising on expectations for grading, and reviewing and maintaining teaching evaluations. A list of courses taught by recent exchange professors is included in the history of the exchange.
The visitor from Iowa typically teaches in Montpellier during the following spring semester. He or she teaches two different courses, one of which may be taught twice, for a total of 6 s.h. contact time. All teaching is in English. Previously visitors have taught a second-year broad survey course and two sections of a more advanced license course, but this may vary with recent restructuring of the English major at Montpellier. Montpellier works to make sure that the visitor teaches classes on only two days a week. The chair of the exchange commission at Montpellier advises the visitor on all aspects of teaching.
Funding and Payment
The visitor from Montpellier is paid by the University of Iowa for the semester of the visit as a visiting professor and funded through the salary given up by the colleague from Iowa. The rank and salary level is based on the experience and seniority of the visitor as determined by Iowa English Department’s chair and coordinator of exchanges and is approved by the associate dean of faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Arrangements for the practicalities of payment and visa are handled by the Iowa English Department administrative assistant and the Office of International Students and Scholars in the International Center.
Iowa’s exchange professor to Montpellier gives up half of his or her nine-month salary from Iowa. In its place, he or she is paid by the French government for the one semester of teaching at Montpellier. The rate of pay is generally based on the equivalent of a “Professeur première classe, première echelon,” and will often be more modest than an Iowa salary. The visitor will work with Montpellier’s chair of the exchange commission on getting a visa and other practicalities.
Note to Iowa Faculty: following clarification in May 2004 from the UI Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa faculty should recognize that the semester on exchange in Montpellier will not count towards Career Development Assignment (CDA) eligibility or for CDA payback.