Joined by Provost Mary Clark, Dr. Laura Sponsler led a conversation examining DU’s progress toward the priorities outlined in her 2021 white paper, “Institutionalizing a Culture of Respect for Teaching and Professional Faculty.”
Sponsler reviewed the five essential elements of faculty work—employment equity, collegiality, flexibility, professional growth, and academic freedom and autonomy—that constellate around respect. All elements are present at DU, but not in all units or to the same degree. Curious how far DU has come in the 15 months since the white paper was published?
Here is a visual update on our progress in the last fifteen months:
Attendees chose one element to discuss in more detail at tables facilitated by Cindy Cragg, Academic Director for the Communication Management Program; Michele Tyson, Clinical Assistant Professor; Barbekka Hurtt, Teaching Associate Professor; Emily Saltzman, Practice of Social Work Assistant Professor; Brad Benz, Teaching Professor, and Laura Sponsler, Clinical Associate Professor. Along with celebrating “small wins,” the groups at these tables articulated challenges and next steps toward further institutionalizing each essential element.
Emerging themes explored the need to bring additional leaders into the conversation, including chairs, associate deans, and senior faculty; a desire for more equitable workloads and pay issues; needed clarity between units in terms of sabbaticals and other policies; opportunities to grow professionally in every series; access to leadership opportunities; and the importance of JEDI work for all faculty.