Faculty as Scholars
F&M Faculty Members are highly productive scholars as well as dedicated teachers. At the Faculty Center, we offer programming to support our faculty in their ongoing pursuit of the advancement of knowledge through research and other scholarly activities.
“Only in doing ongoing research are you forced to deepen a point of view. A point of view is not an ideology. It’s a way of thinking about major issues. And you deepen it only if you’re engaged in that effort independently of the classes you’re teaching.”
—Annette Aronowicz, Robert F. and Patricia G. Ross Weis Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies
"Professors who are actively engaged in pursuing questions in their field are constantly reminded of why they became interested in the first place. You’re able to bring students into a subject if you’re actively engaged in asking questions about it."
—Joel Eigen, Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology
Office of College Grants
F&M Faculty receive institutional support for their scholarly endeavors in a variety of ways. The Office of College Grants, including a dedicated Director of Faculty Grants, is available to help faculty garner funding for their creative and scholarly pursuits. The Faculty Center is pleased to partner with the Office of College Grants to provide programs such as Fiscal Grant Management, NEH Faculty Grants, and Fellowships and Planned Leaves.
Please see our calendar for upcoming events.
The Faculty Center sponsors a Writing Retreat at the end of each semester. On one of the student reading days, faculty members are invited to gather for a structured day of quiet work. Participants begin the retreat by defining individual goals and then set to work, with agreed upon times for conversation/snack breaks and meals.
"I was so productive, I was surprised how helpful it was to be in a room of people working. I thought I might be distracted, but I was not at all."
Resources such as goal setting worksheets, tips for effective writing, style guides and ideas to combat writer's block are available, as well as the camaraderie and support of colleagues.
"The presence of colleagues was a comforting form of community."
The Faculty Center facilitates the creation of Faculty Writing Circles.
Writing Circles seek to sustain faculty research and writing, by offering support and encouraging accountability. Although Writing Circles are particularly useful for early-career faculty, they are open to all members of the faculty. The Faculty Center proposes two different models:
1) Accountability Writing Circle. In this model, a group of three-four faculty meets regularly once a week or twice a month for about an hour. Each member describes her research goals for the past week/fortnight, indicates whether or not she has met them, and sets additional goals for the following period. Because in this type of Writing Circle members of the circle do not read each other’s work, membership may be diverse. Some circles of this type have found that a system of rewards for achieving one’s goals is very helpful.
2) Traditional Writing Circle. In this model, a group of three-four faculty members meets once a month to read and provide feedback on each other’s work. Members of the circle will presumably be from similar academic disciplines. Because this model requires a more substantial time commitment on the members’ part, the Faculty Center offers a small stipend to faculty participants. In 2013-2014, the Faculty Center has been able to support two new traditional FWCs.
The two models follow a similar protocol, in so far as they require confidentiality (e.g. members will not discuss the content of other members’ work or the progress they made on their writing and research outside the circle) and a long-term commitment.
Whether the membership of your Writing Circle is already clear in your mind, or you need help to find others to work with, the Faculty Center will offer support. Additionally, the Faculty Center will provide a comfortable space for your Writing Circle meetings.
Further reading and online resources:
Online writing circles and coaches:
Post-Sabbatical Research Talks
Intended to welcome colleagues back from sabbaticals and junior faculty leaves and provide faculty the opportunity to engage in intellectual exchanges across disciplinary boundaries. Post-Sabbatical Research Talks are hour-long panel discussions that consist of several faculty members who share the highlights of their research as well as offer retrospective insight for colleagues planning their research leaves. F&M has a long-standing tradition and culture of excellence in scholarly productivity and faculty research. Post-Sabbatical Research Talks supports and enlivens this culture by enabling faculty to share the fruits of their scholarship with one another. Check our calendar to see the current schedule of talks.