Faculty Affairs promotes networking, knowledge sharing through ‘meet-ups’

Image shows a lightbulb against a blackboard with chalk drawings of idea bubbles

The newly formed Office of Faculty Affairs in the Division of Equity, People and Culture has launched a series of “faculty meet-ups” to promote networking and knowledge sharing.

The “Pathways to Full” meet-up kicked off the series on Feb. 22 with a focus on associate professors interested in the process and experience of being promoted to full professor.

Two more gatherings are planned for:

March 14 – “Thriving in the Teaching Stream,” which will provide faculty members the opportunity to engage in discussions on developing strategies for bolstering the teaching stream inside and out; and
April 11 – “Women in Academia,” which offers an opportunity for self-identified women researching, teaching, and contributing at York to connect.

The inaugural meet up offered associate professors the opportunity to learn from full professors via small, interdisciplinary groups where discussions centred around topics including: the right time to seek promotion; how to lay groundwork for the process; and how to stay motivated by the deeper meaning and purpose of being a full professor.

Laina Ya-Hui Bay-Cheng
Laina Bay-Cheng

The full professors who facilitated the small groups came from both the teaching and professorial streams, and from a range of Faculties. York University Provost and Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps participated in the meet up in her capacity as full professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Laina Bay-Cheng, associate vice-president faculty affairs, believes meet-ups can support faculty members by promoting open discussion and exchange. “Some career paths or decisions can be explained in a PowerPoint or a policy, but there are ‘between-the-lines’ issues and circumstances that aren’t so neat and tidy. Meet-ups are a space for conversations about those complexities.”

The meet-ups are part of a networked, multiple-model approach to mentoring, says Bay-Cheng, which exposes “colleagues to all different kinds of lessons learned and possible paths, so that each individual can decide what makes sense according to their lives, circumstances and priorities.

“My hope is that this approach supports the values that are essential to faculty thriving: generosity and cooperation alongside pluralism and autonomy.”

The series is an opportunity expand who feels supported and how, Bay-Cheng explains. “Helping a wider range of colleagues thrive at York is the reason why the Faculty Affairs office exists.”

For more information on Faculty Affairs, visit https://www.yorku.ca/vpepc/faculty-affairs/.