EAB, an education industry firm committed to making education smarter through research, technology and services, recently cited Virginia Tech as an example of national best practices for faculty recruitment and retention strategy in a resource guide titled, “Instilling Equity and Inclusion in Departmental Practices.”
Virginia Tech’s Future Faculty Development Program and its approach to engaging prospective faculty through campus visits and networking, and the university’s commitment to connect prospective candidates with a work-life liaison for a confidential discussion about work-life policies were highlighted in two sections of the resource guide.
“These programs help to position Virginia Tech as a destination for faculty talent,” said Jack Finney, vice provost for faculty affairs. “Recruiting, mentoring, and retaining a diverse community of scholars is critical to achieving our Beyond Boundaries vision and offering students the best possible academic experiences and opportunities. The Future Faculty Development Program and work-life liaisons are just two examples of how we are effectively competing for and attracting top talent from around the world.”
Virginia Tech’s Future Faculty Development Program is a two-day program for doctoral candidates and post-doctoral scholars traditionally underrepresented in their fields who are interested in entering academic careers. It seeks to enhance the faculty pipeline by establishing and developing significant meaningful relationships with prospective faculty. The program also provides an opportunity for participants to gain a greater awareness of Virginia Tech and to envision themselves as members of the community, and helps both participants and Virginia Tech faculty develop a network of new scholars in priority research areas.
Twenty-two cohort members were hosted by Virginia Tech academic departments for the 2018 Future Faculty Development Program held in January, with participants touring research facilities, meeting with current faculty to gain a greater awareness of research and teaching opportunities, and discussing their career prospects and academic work.
Work-life liaisons at Virginia Tech support faculty recruitment efforts in each college by meeting individually with candidates to discuss the university’s dual career resources, extend-the-tenure-clock policies, modified duties polices, and commitment to diversity. Prospective faculty also learn about community resources and a variety of other support and additional information. The meetings are confidential and separate from the formal search process.
The role of the work-life liaison is designed to meet the unique needs of each college. In some cases, the work-life liaison may also help shape search processes and answer specific questions from search committee members.
The Future Faculty Development Program and work-life liaisons are initiatives supported by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost to strengthen the process of recruiting outstanding faculty to Virginia Tech.