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UAlbany, UUP Albany Win Joint Labor-Management Grant for Pilot Faculty Mentoring Program

Assistant professors Sami Schalk of English and Andrea Lang of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences will participate in the faculty mentoring/success program in spring 2015. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

The University at Albany and the UAlbany chapter of United University Professions recently received a grant from the statewide UUP Joint Labor Management Committee. The grant, matched by UAlbany’s Office of the Provost, will allow two tenure-track assistant professors to participate in a faculty mentoring/success program in spring 2015.

The grant covers registration fees for Andrea Lopez Lang, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, and Sami Schalk, Department of English, to participate in the Faculty Success Program of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. This 15-week “boot camp” constitutes the Center’s signature program and promises that participants will be transformed personally and professionally. Faculty will learn techniques to balance research, teaching and outreach, avoid common time management mistakes, and increase their research productivity. Lang and Schalk will participate in weekly group telephone sessions with the program director and also work in small groups with a certified coach on goal setting.

The grant was developed in collaboration between the UAlbany Provost’s Office, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Albany chapter of United University Professions. This kind of collaboration supports UACCESS’s goal to expect high outcomes for all faculty, said Tamra Minor, Assistant Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer.

“When we partner with others, everyone benefits,” Minor said. “Faculty members benefit from professional development, students profit from being taught by outstanding professors, and UAlbany’s reputation is enhanced through life-enhancing research and scholarship.”

“UACCESS is about excellence, scholarship, and success and this partnership epitomizes all of these,” Minor added.

The Albany Chapter of UUP is excited to work with the University on any efforts to help faculty grow professionally, said Barry Trachtenberg, Chapter Vice President for Academics.

“Effective mentoring of junior faculty is necessary to their success and the promotion of an equitable and diverse workplace,” Trachtenberg said. “It’s our hope that this partnership will enhance longstanding efforts by the University and the Chapter to recruit, mentor, and retain a diverse group of colleagues.”

According to Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Tim Mulcahy, “This new partnership serves the best interests of the University at Albany and is the first of what I expect will be many opportunities for UUP and the University to join forces to advance common interests in the semesters ahead.  Finding common ground anytime we can bodes well for all parties. We’re excited to be working with UUP on this issue and thank them for their partnership.”    

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.