Faculty leaders and administrators from across the country gathered at the Virginia Tech Research Center - Arlington last week to participate in the inaugural Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Faculty Success and Development Meeting.

Hosted and co-organized by Virginia Tech’s Office for Faculty Affairs, more than 40 senior faculty administrators from APLU member institutions traveled to Northern Virginia to share ideas and perspectives on a number of topics impacting each institution’s academic enterprise. Discussions ranging from promotion and tenure to diversity and inclusion to career development drove the agenda and conversations during the two-day event.

Jack Finney, vice provost for faculty affairs at Virginia Tech and meeting co-organizer, capitalized on an opportunity to connect colleagues from land-grant institutions across the U.S. to think strategically about short-term and long-term impacts for supporting faculty in higher education.

“Academic leaders working in the area of faculty success and development identified the need for an opportunity to discuss best practices that have been developed and to create a network to promote communication,” said Finney. “This meeting is one of the first to focus exclusively on topics pertinent to faculty affairs work, and we hope to continue these meetings at APLU and at other universities.”

Finney, along with co-organizers Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for faculty at Iowa State University, and Ellen Granberg, senior associate provost at Clemson University, also facilitated discussions on faculty mentorship and retention, guiding new department heads and academic leaders, faculty assessment strategies, and family and work-life programs.

APLU members were joined by Kieran Mathews, executive director and principal investigator for the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mathews shared information on increasing response rates for COACHE faculty satisfaction surveys and strategies for effectively communicating results to the campus community.

Plans for future meetings of APLU faculty leaders are in the works and will continue to focus on engaging members to discuss and develop best practices and advance faculty growth and success programs.

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of more than 230 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU is focused on increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement.