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Faculty Development Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce an expanded Faculty Development Program (FDP) to support the development and promotion of tenure-track, tenured and professional track faculty.

This year, the FDP program will have four distinct programming tracks:  Orientation, Junior Faculty, Mid-Career Faculty and Faculty of Color.   Although the individual sessions are designed for a target audience, college faculty are welcome to attend any session that might be of interest.

Participants who complete at least five FDP sessions throughout the year will be given priority for a small number of fellowships to be awarded by the College for the NCFDD Faculty Success Program (FSP).  Associate professors will also be given priority for either a fellowship to the NCFDD Post-tenure Pathfinders Program or a “service sabbatical” (i.e., one academic year with no service commitments) plus a $5000 research fund.   More details on these incentives will be announced later in the year.


The Orientation program track targets faculty who are new to the university or would like a refresher on the range of college resources available to support faculty. 

Dean's Welcome: Senior Associate Dean Claudia Benitez-Nelson
Introductions: CAS Academic Leadership
Faculty Panel: "Everything I Wish I'd Known in My First Year"
Monica Barra (Assistant Professor, School of Earth, Ocean and Environment and Department of Anthropology)
Besim Dragovic (Assistant Professor, School of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
Sayward Harrison (Assistant Professor, Psychology)
Hannah Rule (Associate Professor, English Language and Literature)
Kelly Wolf (Professional Faculty, Film and Media Studies)
Moderator: Claudia Benitez-Nelson (Senior Associate Dean for College Initiatives and Interdisciplinary Programs)

As a new faculty member, do you have questions about what resources are available to support your teaching in the College?  Do you wish you knew more about academic advising, experiential learning, and other opportunities available to your undergraduate students?  We’re here to help!  Join us for a panel discussion featuring experts from the CAS Office of Undergraduate Studies, University Libraries, and Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning.  You’ll hear a brief overview of what each of these services has to offer, followed by informal discussion and Q&A.


Christy Friend (Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, College of Arts and Sciences)

Nora Dragovic (Advising Liaison and Director of Students, College of Arts and Sciences)

Sharon Verba (Head of Research and Instruction, University Libraries)

Charlie Pierce (Faculty Executive Director, Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning)

Questions or Suggestions? Please contact Senior Associate Dean Claudia Benitez-Nelson



Now in its third year, the Junior Faculty program track will introduce participants to the resources of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), as well as other practical tips and information needed to be successful in their research, teaching, and service endeavors. Participants will cover a range of topics focused on strategic planning, productivity, work-life balance, and building healthy and supportive relationships.

While all junior faculty in the College are welcome to participate, CAS tenure-track faculty in their second year or after are strongly encouraged to attend.   

All sessions will be held in person in Gambrell 429.

Fall 2022 Junior Faculty Sessions

We often hear that having a mentor is important. But rather than having one mentor on which you rely for everything, we benefit more from thinking of mentorship as a village – as cultivating a network of different people with different expertise, experiences, and positionalities that can provide focused, just-in-time guidance on all facets of our (professional) lives. In this session, participants will hear from Qiana Whitted, Professor of English and African american Studies, and Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Senior Associate Dean for College Initiatives and Interdisciplinary Programs, who will share experiences and guidance on initiating mentorship relationships. Participants will also work with a mentorship network map to take account of those mentors already identified as resources, as well as discover - and work to fill in - those mentoring areas where support lacks. 

A major part of our responsibilities as faculty is to mentor graduate and/or undergraduate students in work outside the classroom, especially as they undertake research or other independent study or perform teaching or assistant responsibilities in labs or recitations. A positive mentoring experience can be mutually beneficial for faculty and student, but what does such a reciprocal relationship look like and how can we adapt our approaches to meet various student needs and abilities? In this workshop, Professor Mike Matthews, who is a facilitator in the “Entering Mentoring” program here at USC, will discuss some proven best practices from that program., as well as some of his personal experiences and observations with mentoring students. 

Do you ever show up to your office saying, “What am I going to work on today?”  You have many goals - submit that article or proposal or finally grade that stack of essays - but what you may not have are the detailed plans needed to realize those goals. It’s easy to push complex tasks off your plate simply because you don’t know where or how to start (and never starting just perpetuates worry and avoidance).  This meeting will focus on how to portion the time you have, planning out your semester by week, day, even to the hour, to meet your goals by breaking them into smaller manageable pieces. Implementing this planning process will help increase your productivity, avoid distractions, and create sustainable work habits that can minimize burnout and increase work-life balance.  Bring to this session your laptop or paper, your calendar, and your goals (in mind), as we’ll spend the session mapping out plans for a balanced and productive spring semester.    

Questions or Suggestions? Please contact Dr. Hannah Rule ( or Dr. Sheryl Wiskur ( 



To help associate professors prepare for promotion to full, the Mid-career Faculty program track will draw on the resources of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) in order to provide practical advice and resources for post-tenure faculty who are planning the next phase of their careers. 
Sessions will cover a range of topics, including productivity, work-life balance, strategic planning, networking, assessment of promotion criteria, and identifying good mentors. While all associate professors in the College are welcome to participate, post-tenure faculty who are beginning to work towards promotion to full are especially encouraged to attend. 

All sessions will be held in person in Gambrell 429.

This session will be dedicated to building a relationship between the facilitators and the participants in order to find the best plan of action for future sessions. The facilitators will briefly review the topics that may be covered in the future and provide a needs assessment to discover what the participants level of interest may be for each promotion-related topic, such as finding meaning after tenure, navigating service mid-career, and planning your path to promotion. This session will take place in Gambrell, and lunch will be provided. 

In this session, we will consider different aspects of planning a path toward promotion. The role of timelines, mentorship, self-assessment, and tracking progress will be discussed.on.

In this session, we will consider how to set, achieve, and sustain individual research goals. The importance of balancing the need for research goals alongside teaching and service commitments will be addressed.

In this session, we will consider how to link professional accomplishments to one's Unit Criteria for Promotion to Full Professor. Effectively building a personal statement that communicates how one's record aligns with criteria will be discussed. 

Questions/Suggestions?  Please contact Dr. Andrew Graciano ( or Dr. Amanda  Fairchild ( 


Faculty of Color Network

The Faculty of Color Network provides an empowering space for CAS faculty – tenure-track and professional faculty – who belong to one or more under-represented ethnic and/or racial communities to build and maintain a fulfilling career in the academy. With the support of Dr. Mylene Culbreath, Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, faculty will work together to: (1) discuss issues and provide information vital to the personal well-being, professional develop.m.ent, and the retention of CAS Faculty of Color; (2) serve as a conduit for advocating the concerns and needs of Faculty of Color to the Dean’s office and others; and (3) serve as a means to enact and reinforce the support systems of CAS Faculty of Color. This year, the Faculty of Color Network will be co-chaired by Dr. Qiana Whitted, Professor of English and African American Studies, and Dr. Todd Shaw, Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies.

If you want to join the CAS Faculty of Color Network, please contact Brianna Ashford-Carroll ( in the Office of the Dean.

Please contact Claudia Benitez-Nelson ( if you need help troubleshooting this form.

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