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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

Faculty Development

Liz Klarich teaching in the classroom

Smith College offers opportunities to foster faculty success at every career stage. The interactive map below highlights the variety of ways that the college offers ongoing professional development for faculty.

Faculty Development Series—Fall 2021

All faculty members are welcome.


Every Semester Needs a Strategic Plan
9/9, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Conference Center Oak Room Lower Level
Register by 9/7
We will share and learn from each other about creating a plan for the fall semester. This is particularly important as we return to in-person work and are still navigating the pandemic. Emphasis will be placed on creating space in your schedule for scholarly activities. Participants will begin goal-setting in small groups and are encouraged to attend the Write-On-Site/Research Accountability Group sessions throughout the semester (see below). 

Toward Equity: Mentoring BIPOC Faculty - Strategies for Inclusion (not Reproduction)
9/29, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Zoom Session
Facilitated by Chavella Pittman, Dominican University
Register by 9/27
Mentoring is one mechanism to increase support for BIPOC faculty and to ensure their retention. Participants will learn the research on the benefits of mentoring. They will be introduced to the common pitfalls to avoid when mentoring BIPOC faculty. At the end, participants will know the immediate and next steps they can take to improve their mentoring. 
Chavella Pittman is a Professor of Sociology at Dominican University and founder of Effective & Efficient Faculty, a faculty development company that works with faculty and campuses across the country to help them develop strategies for inclusive learning environments and the retention of diverse students and faculty.
Write-On-Site/Research Accountability Group 
10/1, 1–4:30 p.m. 
Campus Center 205 
Register by 9/29
Have writing to get done but finding it hard to get started? Find that your writing is easier when done with good colleagues? Earmark your calendar, grab your laptop, and come to this write-on-site opportunity! We will start this session by updating each other on our research plans and sharing writing strategies and motivational tools. This session will support you in making progress and increasing productivity. Feel welcome to join anytime—the first half-hour will be a check-in and writing time will begin at 1:30 p.m.

New Neilson Spaces, Services and Resources
10/5, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Neilson Library Browsing Room
Register by 10/3
Come learn about the new spaces and services in the renovated Neilson Library, as well as the Hillyer Arts Library and Josten Library for the Performing Arts. This session will include an overview of available resources to support your research and teaching, including academic department library liaisons, instructional technologists, media producers and spatial analysts. In partnership with the Learning, Research and Technology Department.

Toward Equity: Equity Minded Workload Reform - Faculty Work Activity Dashboards 
11/5, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
Zoom Session
Facilitated by Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Register with UMass and Smith by 11/3 
Smith faculty members are welcomed to attend this session offered by the ADVANCE Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Many faculty members report feeling that workload in their department is unfairly distributed; women and faculty of color may be asked to carry out more than their share of work. This session provides clear, evidence-based practices to create better, fairer workloads for faculty through changing the “choice architecture” for the division of labor in departments. Dashboards with transparent displays of work activity data ensure that faculty understand performance expectations and department chairs are not making assignments in the dark. Following this workshop, there will be opportunities to explore bringing faculty work activity dashboards to Smith academic departments.

Student Mental Health Support
11/10, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Conference Center Oak Room Lower Level 
Register by 11/8
Since the pandemic, student mental health wellbeing has become a bigger priority. Come learn how the institution can help both instructors and advisers recognize and support students experiencing mental health issues. This session specifically aims at connecting instructors and advisers with resources on campus. In partnership with the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness.

Write-On-Site/Research Accountability Group 
11/19, 1–4:30 p.m. 
Campus Center 205  
Register by 11/17
Connect with your research community to keep you accountable and achieve your goals. Share what works for you or what is holding you back. We will learn from each other, design solutions to overcome hurdles you may face in your scholarly activities and write together. Feel welcome to join anytime—the first half-hour will be a check-in and writing time will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Toward Equity: Toward Racial Justice at Smith - Departmental Action Planning
12/9, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Conference Center Oak Room Lower Level
Register by 12/7
While many departments have been working to advance equity and inclusion for years, this college-wide action planning process will give all departments—academic and administrative—the opportunity to work with support and in coordination with one another and the institution. This session will provide guidance in creating departmental action plans and the many ways it can be done. In partnership with the Office for Equity and Inclusion.

Write-On-Site/Research Accountability Group 
12/10, 1–4:30 p.m.  
Campus Center 205  
Register by 12/8
Share your research accomplishments, reflect on what worked for you this semester and make time in your calendar to write with your colleagues. Cultivate a community of support for your research endeavors to help you write regularly and be a productive scholar. Feel welcome to join anytime—the first half-hour will be a check-in and writing time will begin at 1:30 p.m.


Faculty Mentoring

The Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty supports the mentoring of junior faculty members in myriad ways.

New Faculty Orientation

Each year, the associate dean of the faculty and dean for academic development welcomes all new members of the faculty to a new faculty orientation. The primary purpose of the orientation is to provide advice, information, and inspiration while welcoming faculty to the Smith community. Items reviewed include essential college policies and additional resources to complement on-boarding materials included with the hiring letter. The new faculty orientation is an opportunity for new faculty to re-connect with junior and senior members of their department, ask key questions from affiliates across campus, and serves as a medium to engage fellow colleagues as they each embark on a new journey at Smith.

Board of Counselors

The associate dean of the faculty and dean for academic development oversees the Faculty Board of Counselors. The board includes senior faculty members who provide individual and collective extra departmental mentoring to tenure-track faculty members in their first and second years. The counselors are also willing to meet with any recently appointed faculty members who seek advice. Additionally, the board advises senior faculty members and administrators on their work with newer colleagues.

Departmental and Program Mentoring

Departmental mentoring introduces tenure-track faculty to the culture of the department, college, Five College community, and profession. Departmental mentors support their mentees through regular meetings regarding strategies for prioritizing and performing scholarship, teaching, and service. Mentors address questions and concerns, and assist mentees in building connections and accessing resources.

Non-Tenure-Track Mentoring Team

A team of four Non-Tenure Track Mentors are available to support all non-tenure-track faculty, who are in positions that are not renewable, in navigating and being successful during their time at Smith. The mentors meet regularly with the associate dean of the faculty and dean for academic development to discuss their mentoring meetings and to address questions and issues that arise.

Faculty Development Map

To explore the interactive map, please click on the image below.


Resources for Faculty Development