Global Virtual Faculty

Mission Statement

At Fairleigh Dickinson University, students are able to travel on an educational odyssey throughout the globe without leaving their computers. Our unique Global Virtual Faculty Program (GVF) opens our students' eyes to how others in the world may approach an issue in ways very different from their own. The GVF program allows us to bring the world to our students and offers them the opportunity gain a global perspective.

Program Description

The GVF program consists of a cadre of distinguished scholars and practitioners from around the world who serve as Global Virtual Faculty members in partnership with the FDU faculty in the teaching of our courses. Since many courses at FDU incorporate distance learning technologies, it is only natural to bring together these resources and our commitment to global education by engaging GVF. What makes the GVF Program unique and the GVF members different from traditional only instructors is our mission to bring a global dimension to the learning experience.

The Global Virtual Faculty (GVF) program, brings academics and practitioners from around the world into the classroom through online participation. The GVF Program has received a number of awards including special recognition from the American Council of Education and AT&T for its use of technology as a tool for internanalyzing the curriculum and in grants from the US Department of Education and the state of New Jersey.

Program Goals

The primary role of a GVF member is to bring a global dimension to the learning experience by offering different perspectives and observations to students on the issues under study.For example, GVF may be involved through participating in a threaded discussion on a course topic, presenting relevant narrative material or case studies or directing students to useful web sites within the GVF member's area of expertise.

All courses engaging GVF are taught in collaboration with Fairleigh Dickinson University faculty members. Each GVF member is assigned a campus-based partner, who shapes and designs his or her participation. The campus-based faculty member is responsible for the syllabus, primary material, assignments, and evaluation. All communication and participation is web-based, with the Global Virtual Faculty member remaining in his or her home environment.

Levels of Participation

There are three levels of involvement for the GVF:

Partial semester involvement

This includes participation in a course for a period of three to six weeks. Global Virtual Faculty members who participate in discussions on specific topics within a particular course, rather than throughout the semester, engage in this level of involvement.

In cases where those topics are not in consecutive order, the participation does not exceed a total of six weeks per semester. The average amount of time spent on-line is one-two hrs/week for those weeks of participation.

Full semester involvement

This includes consistent participation in a course for a period of between seven and thirteen weeks throughout the semester. The average amount of time spent on-line is one-two hrs/week.

The nature of the participation for Part or Full Semester is mutually agreed upon by the FDU faculty member and the participating GVF member.

Short term involvement

This includes consistent participation in a course for a short period of time.

Training, Preparation and Evaluation

The Office of Global Learning provides materials and resources to prepare GVF to participate in on-line courses. FDU faculty partners will advise the GVF of the pedagogies and methods used in a particular course. Whenever possible, the GVF member collaborates with the FDU faculty partner in the planning and delivery of the on-line course components. Participation by all GVF will be coordinated through the Office of Global Learning in collaboration with the relevant academic department/school. GVF members' participation will be evaluated by the FDU faculty partner and continuation as a GVF is contingent upon achieving consistently strong evaluations. GVF members will also be asked to provide feedback on their participation and work with the FDU faculty partner.


Global Virtual Faculty members receive an honorarium of $500 US for each course in which they complete a Part Semester assignment, $1000 US for each course in which they complete a Full Semester assignment or $250 US for each course in which they complete a Short Term assignment.

Click here to download the GVF Program Manual 2007 [PDF]

Nominating a GVF

Global Virtual Faculty are nominated by a member of the FDU faculty and/or by another Global Virtual Faculty member.

If you would like to nominate a colleague, please email or call.

Please keep the program's goals in mind when nominating a GVF member. GVF members should be able to bring to our students an array of experiences and unique of global perspectives honed from life in their part of the world and/or culture.

GVF appointment process

  1. Each nominee must provide a current CV.
  2. The nominee should meet the following expectations:
    • Demonstrated intellectual expertise and/or practical experience in a specific field,
    • Ability to present a unique global perspective, by virtue of the individual's physical location outside the US, or their significant and long-term experience raised or immersed in a culture and/or environment outside the US mainstream
    • Ability to adapt to the course curriculum and Internet delivery modality,
    • Adequate English proficiency,
    • Access to appropriate hardware and software applications that allow consistent and effective web-based participation.
  3. Additionally, each individual must agree to abide by the policies and procedures Fairleigh Dickinson University sets up for this program.
  4. GVF appointments will be made after review and approval of the nomination by the Associate Provost for Global Learning and the relevant academic dean. Once approved, the GVF member will receive more detailed program information as well as technical resource materials.

Specific opportunities for participation will be discussed with each nominee. Assignment of a GVF to a particular instructor/course will only be made by the request and with the consent of that course instructor.

Request a GVF

FDU faculty are encouraged to include GVF in their courses and are invited to discuss interests and questions they might have with representatives from the Office of Global Learning. New and innovative approaches to working with GVF are supported.

Contact the Office of Global Learning if we can assist in the planning and delivery of GVF participation.

FDU faculty interested in requesting placement of a GVF member should be mindful of the priority consideration period for each semester.

In general, the GVF Placement Request forms should be submitted during this time frame:

May 1 to 31 for the fall semester and
November 15 toDecember 15 for the Spring Semester.

Faculty who are unable to submit requests during the priority consideration period, but who still wish to receive a GVF placement, should submit the request to the Office of Global Learning. These requests will be considered if available placements remain. Please feel free to contact the Office of Global Learning with any questions on this policy.

The Office of Global Learning hopes to fulfill as many requests as possible. All GVF placement requests will be given the utmost consideration, but because of the limited number of available GVF placements and the desire to equitably distribute GVF placements over all colleges and programs, not all requests can be guaranteed.

The GVF Placement Request form is available for print out. Please complete the form and submit it to your School Director or Department chair for approval, then forward to the Office of Global Learning by fax or mail drop as indicated on the form.

GVF Members Policies and Procedures

1. Academic Freedom

Global Virtual Faculty are members of our university community. When speaking or writing as citizens, a complete freedom from institutional censorship or discipline is granted, but a special position in the university community imposes special obligations.

As a person of learning and as a member of an educational community, all GVF members need to keep in mind that the public might judge their institution by their utterances. Hence, the need to be accurate at all times, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinion of others, and clearly communicate that faculty are not an institutional spokesperson is necessary. Unless specifically authorized, Global Virtual Faculty members may not act or speak on behalf of the University.

Fairleigh Dickinson University shall continue, however, its policy of maintaining and encouraging full freedom of academic inquiry, teaching and research. Such academic freedom shall encompass the freedom of discussion of any material relevant to any course which a faculty member has been assigned to teach.

2. Reading Materials

Distance Learning courses at FDU are designed to take advantage of the Internet as a research tool as well as a source of reading materials. However, at times, students in online classes will be required to read print material available only at bookstores. Similarly, the GVF may need to read some of the texts that will be discussed in the course during the semester. The FDU faculty partner, in collaboration with the GVF, will determine if the GVF needs access to those specific texts. The Office of Global Learning may cover the necessary cost of the texts on a case by case basis.

3. Hardware/Software Requirements

Global Virtual Faculty members must have access to a computer with internet connection.

3.1 Minimum software requirements are:

  • Web browser (Internet Explorer 4.5 or higher/Netscape 4.0 or higher)
  • Word Processing software (MS Word 5.0 or higher)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader Free Download
  • RealPlayer Free Download
  • Virus Protection software (Norton Antivirus or McAfee VirusScan)

3.2 Internet Connectivity

Generally, Fairleigh Dickinson University does not cover internet connectivity charges a GVF may incur during his or her participation in an online course.

4. Public Relations

Fairleigh Dickinson University may post on its web site and publish in print materials the names and professional affiliations of Global Virtual Faculty members. Additionally, the University may provide information about the professional background (and contact information) of the Global Virtual Faculty to the members of the press, should that information be requested.