Diversity initiatives drive new membership in national organization

By Christine Collins on September 28, 2016

TU has joined the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

As part of its ongoing effort to improve diversity and inclusion in faculty, Towson University is now a member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity.

According to its website, the NCFDD is “an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community” that offers workshops and intensive mentorship training in addition to development. Its 89,000 members are faculty, graduate and post-doctoral students, and institutions. Other institutional members include the University of Maryland–Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Delaware, Texas A&M University, Marquette University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and 70 more.

“We joined the NCFDD because we are firmly committed not only to recruiting more diverse faculty, but also to giving all of our faculty the tools they need in order to succeed,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy J. L. Chandler. “These kinds of tools can be very helpful in advancing faculty toward tenure, as well as supporting their goals as researchers, instructors, mentors and other professional efforts.

“That translates to our students, because it translates through the faculty to give them a richer education," he added.

The membership allows any of TU’s faculty to take advantage of the NCFDD’s programs and offerings. It is also participation-driven; continuing membership depends on how many of TU’s faculty take advantage of those offerings, and how often, so the Office of the Provost encourages faculty to engage with the center.

The decision to join the NCFDD came as part of a process to promote faculty retention by providing access to tools supporting faculty’s ability to thrive. The Office of the Provost says it is committed to fostering that environment, as well as an environment of inclusiveness. Chandler says the office plans to continue researching and implementing available resources that are demonstrated to be effective and successful.

While the NCFDD membership is, in part, driven by the nationwide need for diverse faculty, any faculty member can use it. 

“We know we need to support and attract more faculty of color, and we know some of our faculty, regardless of race or ethnicity, would appreciate greater resources as they work toward tenure,” said Chandler. “We’re excited about this membership in the NCFDD because it can help with both.”