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Faculty Training and Mentorship Resources

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

To provide resources for ongoing faculty development, the University of Michigan purchased a system-wide membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), a community of more than 175,000 faculty members, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars from 230+ colleges and universities. Participating U-M faculty, graduate students, and postdocs at all three campuses (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint) have access to NCFDD’s on-campus workshops, online professional development training, and intensive mentoring programs.

Progress Update

UM-Ann Arbor continued to collaborate with the university’s Dearborn and Flint campuses in sponsoring a system-wide membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). As a result of that effort, all faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars gained access to NCFDD’s full array of resources. Membership numbers grew steadily at all three campuses, with institutional members engaging in 14-day writing challenges, boot camp and the NCFDD alumni network. End-of-program surveys consistently indicate high levels of satisfaction.

As of May 2021, UM-Ann Arbor had 2,967 institutional members registered with the NCFDD—an increase of 389 members from the prior year. Since the introduction of system-wide membership in January 2019, UM-Dearborn has registered 110 members and UM-Flint now has 187 members. Across all three campuses, 1,040 individuals registered for webinars featuring core curriculum, guest experts and multi-week courses. Specific webinar topics ranged from research productivity and healthy work-life balance to rank-specific training and understanding the job market.

In the last five years, 1,437 UM-Ann Arbor members—and in the last two years, 60 Flint and 13 Dearborn members—signed up for at least one 14-day writing challenge program, in which registrants are asked to write for a minimum of 30 minutes every weekday for two weeks. Four writing challenge programs have been offered since January 2020, and UM-Ann Arbor continues to hold the #1 position among all NCFDD participating member institutions in total number of writing minutes (255,317 in 2019 and 2020).

In Summer 2020, WriteNow Access was launched for graduate students and postdocs to help them achieve their writing goals. The 12-week program not only provides access to WriteNow software for tracking productivity but also builds a supportive community, encourages group accountability, and offers mentorship from tenured faculty. In all, the UM-Ann Arbor campus had 21 participants.

Since year one of this initiative, 101 UM-Ann Arbor, 42 Flint and 2 Dearborn faculty have also participated in the Faculty Success Program (FSP), a 12-week boot camp designed to identify common challenges that scholars face in balancing research, teaching and service. FSP participants learn how to develop effective strategies to increase research productivity, cultivate social support and maintain work-life balance. In the past three years, 304 Ann Arbor and 68 Flint faculty have registered for the FSP alumni network. In an end-of-program survey of all U-M system-wide FSP participants, 99 percent of respondents reported being satisfied with the FSP; 89 percent responded that their work-life balance had improved; and 96 percent reported an increase in writing and research productivity.

Responsibility: Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion