RU-N Hosts First Chancellor's Conference on the New Professoriate
How can the faculties of America’s colleges and universities thrive in an era of tectonic demographic and cultural shifts? What can they do to help their students do likewise, as well as their institutions and democracy, itself? These are critically important questions that emerged from the expansive and inclusive process that yielded Rutgers University – Newark’s landmark strategic plan in 2014. They also underlie a major Rutgers-Newark conference taking place Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, 2016 titled, The New Professoriate.
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A direct result of the report by a faculty-led working group formed to implement recommendations of the strategic plan, the conference will bring together national thought leaders and Rutgers-Newark faculty members for a day and a half to take on issues increasingly central to the work and lives of faculty members. A committee of distinguished Rutgers-Newark professors planned the conference in coordination with the P3: A Collaboratory for Pedagogy, Professional Development and Publicly Engaged Scholarship, a new entity at the university that is another direct result of the faculty working group’s report.
The New Professoriate conference will kick off with a jazz reception on Friday evening in one of Newark’s grandest spaces, the Great Hall of newly renovated 15 Washington Street, where Chancellor Nancy Cantor will be joined by University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s renowned president Freeman Hrabowski in framing the local and national context of the conference. Saturday will launch with a session inspired by the work of renowned legal scholar Lani Guinier, whose 2015 book, The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America, articulates concerns about cultural and structural barriers to social mobility and fulfilling the promise of democracy, themes also resonant in the Rutgers-Newark strategic plan. This will be followed by sessions addressing related topics such as:
- Increasing faculty diversity, including issues of recruitment and retention of faculty of color, women in STEM, and other underrepresented groups;
- Embracing the challenges of today, including interdisciplinary scholarship aimed at solving complex problems, diversity as excellence in scholarship, and valuing publicly-engaged scholarship;
- Preparing a new generation of the professoriate, including discussions of expanding the professoriate and preparing graduate students for diverse careers; and
- Leading to inspire change.
Lead conference organizer, Bonita Veysey, Vice Chancellor for Planning and Implementation and Professor of Criminal Justice, who also coordinated the working group, sees this as an essential set of conversations not only for Rutgers-Newark faculty members, but faculties nationwide. “New members of the professoriate will come from many different kinds of communities, both geographic and intentional,” Veysey points out. “They will increasingly engage in scholarship with members of those communities and will need to be better prepared to teach a richly diverse student population. Challenges like these are messy and will require collaboration across disciplines to tackle. This conference is designed to help us find ways forward.”
Registration remains open at The New Professoriate Conference Registration. Questions may be directed to:
Bonita M.Veysey, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Planning and Implementation and Professor of Criminal Justice
Office of the Chancellor
Rutgers University | Newark
Center for Law and Justice, Room 519
123 Washington Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102