BY THE NUMBERS
workshops offered in 2019-2020
workshops offered in 2020-2021
workshops offered in 2021-2022
faculty members participated in WAGs since fall 2020
full-time faculty members attended one or more events in the "faculty development" series
faculty members participated in WIPs since Fall 2021
Faculty are lifelong learners at DU, and the VPFA supports faculty growth in all areas of their work. VPFA faculty development work encompasses programs and initiatives that advance individual faculty goals and build community. Faculty development is essential to the University’s Strategic Imperative #1: “focus on recruiting, retaining and supporting talented faculty and staff.” The VPFA provides campus leadership, intentional programming and training, and web resources designed to help DU faculty thrive, while also reaching their goals for scholarly and creative endeavors, teaching, and service at DU and in the community. This programming facilitates the student-focused work of the 4D Experience (S1 #2: Create a unique, global, holistic, 4D student experience) and advances our campus DEI goals (S1 #3: Cultivate an exceptionally diverse, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming community).
Writing Support For Faculty
Originally created to promote scholarly community during the pandemic, the Writing Accountability Program offers two types of support for faculty writers. Writing Accountability Groups (WAGs) provide a structured community for faculty to focus on and make progress toward their writing goals. At DU, these groups engage with the NCFDD core curriculum as a basis for discussing their experiences as DU faculty members. Write-in-Place (WIP) sessions offer minimal facilitation and provide faculty with the opportunity to write independently in a supportive community environment.
The Writing Accountability Program Coordinator develops and updates the curriculum, advertises the program to faculty across campus, schedules group meetings, supports facilitators, and assesses the program. Teaching Associate Professor Libby Catchings was the inaugural Coordinator, followed by Teaching Professor Megan Kelly.
Professional Development On Demand
The VPFA maintained membership with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) and successfully advocated for a campus-wide membership with Academic Impressions. Both subscriptions offer on-demand and tailored professional development opportunities for faculty at all levels.
Mid-Career Faculty Support
Research shows that associate-level faculty are the least satisfied rank in the professoriate—often facing heavy service burdens and lacking a sense of purpose. To combat this, the VPFA hosted two half-day NCFDD workshops for mid-career faculty, building up to a 2023 full-program launch. The VPFA facilitated two focus groups with Teaching and Professional faculty at the Associate and Full levels in spring 2022 and two reflective events in fall 2022. Informed by this work, the VPFA is launching the Pathways of Purpose leadership cohort in winter 2023 to focus on creativity, wellbeing, and efficacy, capped off with project-based work.
- Faculty who participated in the Writing Accountability Program have a greater awareness of their own writing practice, see positive connections between their writing and their teaching, and are better able to teach writing to students.
- Faculty engaged 2,312 NCFDD sessions in 2021–2022, including 470 faculty who registered for the 14-day writing challenge.
- Thirteen faculty members completed the NCFDD faculty success program, with a 97% satisfaction rate.
Sustainable Strategies Series
To help faculty maintain connections with each other and advance scholarly goals despite pandemic disruptions, the VPFA arranged the Sustainable Strategies series with Dr. Brandy Simula. Consisting of six scaffolded workshops in winter and spring 2021, the series explored faculty boundaries, power, and values. Simula guided faculty in new ways of thinking about workload, including mentoring networks and using tools from project management to improve research, scholarship, and creative activity.
Libby Catchings, Ph.D.
Coordinator for Faculty Writing Support, 2020-2022
Libby Catchings is a Teaching Associate Professor in the University Writing Program and an Advisory Board member for the Denver Prisons Arts Initiative. She created and revised the curriculum for the Writing Accountability Groups and expanded programming to include write in-place opportunities as well.
Megan J. Kelly
Coordinator for Faculty Writing Support, 2022 - Present
Megan Kelly is a Teaching Professor in the University Writing Program and Assistant Director of the Writing Center. She has been teaching at DU since 2010. Her teaching and research interests include environmental communication, with an emphasis on the narrative and rhetorical strategies of student activists in the climate justice movement, and training peer tutors of writing. In her role as Program Coordinator for the Writing Accountability Groups, Kelly organizes and facilitates writing groups and retreats for faculty. She is passionate about supporting faculty in becoming more aware of their writing process and in establishing a healthy work/life balance.