Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer
Ferris State University BulldogFerris State University Logo

Professional Development Incentive

The Professional Development Incentive (PDI) is a form of compensation that is not taxable income. The PDI monies are derived from Ferris State University (FSU) funds and are available to FSU full- and part-time faculty members. The funds are managed and distributed by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) in association, typically, with an FCTL project or initiative. Recent projects for which PDIs were available include the "Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning Faculty Learning Community" (Fall 2016) and "Global Questions in Professional and Academic Work Across Campus Faculty Learning Community" (Fall 2016).

To receive a PDI, a faculty member is typically expected to attend and participate in all or a majority of sessions and produce a product such as a course portfolio, as in the case of the "Course Portfolios Faculty Learning Community." In some instances, PDIs have been provided to faculty for their participation in training sessions. In instances in which a PDI is available, the specific requirements or expectations will be indicated in the description.

Upon successful fulfillment of the requirements, faculty members will receive notification by means of e-mail that the PDI has been awarded. Beginning in Fall 2018, PDIs will expire one year following notification of the award, at which time the funds will return to the PDI funding pool. This change from two to one year will enable FCTL to better align its budget with expenses associated with its programs such as the Timme Travel Grant Program and Faculty Learning Communities Program. Faculty members may request information about their PDI balances by contacting FCTL at [email protected].

The purposes of the PDI are to support and enable faculty members' efforts to improve their teaching and their students' learning. These are, admittedly, broadly defined purposes for which any number of possible purchases may be appropriate. Thus, it rests upon the faculty member to use the funds in ways that fulfill these purposes.

Since the PDI monies are University funds and are not considered taxable income, the items purchased with PDIs are the property of the University.

PDI monies that are awarded by FCTL are non-transferrable. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Faculty may pool their PDI monies if such pooling directly benefits at least those faculty members. For example, if there was interest in purchasing equipment that could benefit multiple people, but no one person had sufficient PDI monies to pay for the equipment, PDIs from other faculty who will also directly benefit from purchasing the equipment may be used.

For any use of your PDI funds, please provide relevant information to your Department Head, Chair, or School Director (or other immediate supervisor) so that she or he can judge whether the purchase is consistent with both the purposes of PDIs and FSU purchasing procedures and recommendations. The supervision will, in turn, forward her or his approval to FCTL ([email protected]) for review and approval by the FCTL Director. If you wish to purchase computer hardware or software, information about FSU’s technology standards and the purchasing process is here (

For all purchases, FCTL will review the request and, assuming everything is in order, will authorize the transfer of the appropriate funds to your Department's account. FCTL will confirm the transfer via e-mail to your Department Secretary or your College Account Clerk.

You or your Department Secretary will then initiate or complete the purchase process. For auditing purposes, please be sure to note somewhere on the paperwork (virtual or real paper!) that an FCTL PDI was used for the purchase.