Columbia Hosts Ivy+ Faculty Advancement Network Retreat and Program Launch

In September, Columbia hosted a kickoff retreat for the launch of the Ivy+ Faculty Advancement Network’s Institute on Inquiry, Equity & Leadership. This year-long program, which began in 2022, offers the selected cohort of fellows the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of equity-minded leadership in higher education in a collaborative setting.

October 31, 2023

Convening Faculty Advancement Leaders

In welcoming the group, Interim Provost Dennis Mitchell discussed Columbia’s history as a co-founding institution of the Faculty Advancement Network (FAN), a consortium of Ivy+ leaders who seek to advance inclusive excellence in the professoriate. FAN offers a unique opportunity for cohorts of faculty to come together to address common higher education challenges, learn from experts in the field, and build community among peer institutions.

He introduced Kiernan Mathews, inaugural FAN executive director, who underscored the role of faculty leaders in shaping and transforming both the profession and the larger academy. Columbia Institute alumnae Helen Lu, Percy K. and Vida L.W. Hudson professor of biomedical engineering and senior vice dean of faculty affairs and advancement, and Tian Zheng, professor and department chair of statistics, shared their experience in the program and offered guidance to the newest cohort of fellows.

Columbia senior leaders and faculty

A Presidential Welcome

President Minouche Shafik joined the group for an intimate dinner where she spoke about her work on economic policy and her recent book, What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract (Princeton University Press 2021). Using examples from her book, she discussed the concept of "lost Einsteins," the impact of inequality on economic growth, and the role institutions can play to better support each other to thrive. In order to diversify the professoriate and improve equity in admissions, hiring, and the like, investments in pathways programs are fundamental, she noted.

three panelists seated

Session Highlights

The launch also included sessions on inclusive leadership and equity in faculty workload. Keynote speaker and Columbia Professor Valerie Purdie-Greenaway discussed a framework for equity-minded leadership and shared strategies and tools to navigate resistance that undermine equity-based initiatives. A panel of higher education leaders including Prabhas Moghe, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rutgers University; Patricia Ramsey, President of Medgar Evers College; and Winston Soboyejo, Provost, Worcester Polytechnic Institute & President-elect of SUNY Polytechnic candidly discussed other challenges to building more inclusive and diverse institutions.

Presenter giving talk in front of powerpoint presentation

The event ended with Teachers College Provost, Dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs KerryAnn O’Meara leading an inquiry on promoting equity in faculty service and labor. She reviewed evidence-based policies and practices that departments can use to identify inequities, assess needs, and re-design workload with equity in mind.

Equity-based Academic Leadership Workshops at Columbia

This retreat reflected the mission of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement (OVPFA) to support scholars throughout their careers. OVPFA plans to bring knowledge from the Institute to Columbia through hosting equity-based academic leadership workshops throughout the academic year on topics such as Searches and Hiring; Graduate Education; and Service & Workload. Learn more information about these workshops and other faculty leadership development opportunities at Columbia and through FAN.