As part of Cal Poly Pomona’s University Strategic Plan aimed at recruiting and retaining diverse faculty members, the campus recently became an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity.
Both as part of the NCFDD and through campus efforts, the university has aimed to promote diversity and inclusiveness in its hiring and provide educators with resources for this goal.
Associate Provost Sep Eskandari discussed the importance of resources like the NCFDD.
“The NCFDD is made available for all kinds of issues and other resources,” Eskandari said. “It is directly supported by president Coley and rolled out in 2019.”
As part of the national organization, faculty members have access to diversity and inclusiveness training and expert-led webinars. One webinar in particular focuses on developing anti-oppressive communities.
However, the program goes beyond simple training and development. From workshops that promote mental health to seminars led by experts on the art of saying “no,” the NCFDD serves as a resource for faculty and staff to seek career direction, diversity training or simply to sign up for “Monday Motivator” e-mails.
Victoria Bhavsar serves as the director for the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence and described the NCFDD as “a community that provides faculty resources, and mentoring.”
Bhavsar also emphasized the accessibility NCFDD resources.
“We introduce the program to new faculty but it’s definitely one of those things you can forget you have available to you,” Bhavsar said. “Every faculty member, staff and graduate student can take advantage of these resources.”
The NCFDD is also responsible for programs that aim to help faculty members balance teaching and research.
Associate Professor and Program Director for Sociology Anthony Ocampo credited the NCFDD for expanding his network and connecting him with other scholars. Ocampo’s 10-year involvement with the NCFDD led to his direct involvement with the program as he now serves as director of campus workshops.
“My involvement with the NCFDD first came as a faculty participant. It helped me maintain my research agenda and get writing done on a daily basis,” Ocampo said. “Aside from the productivity stuff, the NCFDD really helped me organize my career in so many ways.”
The NCFDD website provides a wide range of resources for members such as courses on adjusting to virtual teaching, proposal writing seminars, 14-day writing challenges and faculty boot camps that increase research productivity and promote personal growth.
(Feature image courtesy of Dave Amos)
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