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Provost Selected to Attend Harvard Workshop on Success, Retention of Junior Faculty

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol Simpson has been selected to participate in a workshop June 18-19 at Harvard University with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), a group whose focus is on retention and success of junior faculty.

The proposal Simpson submitted to the selection committee concerns the development of additional strategies to assist all tenure track faculty at Old Dominion, but in particular underrepresented minority faculty.

"I am pleased to have been accepted and look forward to gaining some additional insights, as well as to promoting the good work that ODU is already doing," she said.

COACHE is housed in Harvard's Graduate School of Education. In addition to its focus on retention and success of junior faculty, it issues a comprehensive survey of tenure track probationary faculty to benchmark how they and their university are doing versus their peers in other institutions, Simpson said. The survey covers a wide variety of areas, including tenure expectations; nature of the work expected in teaching and research; balancing work and home life; spousal hiring programs; compensation; and the institution as a place to work.

Simpson's proposal builds upon work initiated earlier this year by Gwen Lee Thomas, assistant to the president and provost for special projects, and Chandra de Silva, vice provost for faculty and program development, work that is geared toward the success of faculty of color.

"That work is continuing through at least the next couple or three years as the CORE2 initiative to improve faculty diversity," Simpson said. "It struck me as perfect timing to bring some of the strategies we are implementing through CORE2 to the COACHE group and to receive some feedback and additional suggestions and strategies from them."

Simpson noted that ODU participated in the 2010 COACHE survey and received "some excellent ideas and suggestions to improve communications among our junior faculty, especially on the topic of tenure and promotion requirements. We have been implementing a much improved communications strategy as a result. We will participate in the COACHE survey again in 2012-13."

This article was posted on: June 6, 2012

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.