Faculty Engagement & Development

Faculty members enjoying a workshop

These efforts engage health sciences faculty in professional development that seeks to revise and reimagine curricula through the lens of health equity, intersectional identities, and social justice; create intentional spaces that foster a sense of belonging for and amplify the work of faculty of color; develop a clinical faculty research cluster that investigates the impacts of social justice on patient outcomes; and, implement recruitment best practices with the goal of increasing the recruitment and retention of URM faculty in health sciences.


  • Strengthen collaboration with the Office of Faculty Recruitment and Retention
    • We continue to work with OFRR on the RIC program, and in consultation with CTLE, are implementing the faculty development program focused on curriculum transformation and antiracist pedagogies. 


  • Implement the VCU Health Hub – History of Medical Education in Richmond during new faculty orientation.
  • Faculty training for search committees to address recruitment of URM faculty in health sciences is now available through the Talent@vcu portal.  Here are the instructions to access the online VCU search committee course:
    1. Log into Talent@VCU  go.vcu.edu/talentatvcu
    2. Click on the Learning Center Icon.
    3. Under where it says “Hi… what would you like to learn today?,” type in the words “Search Committee Training.” The full title for the course should appear in a dropdown menu. Click on it and it will take you to the course site.
    4. Click “launch” to start the course.


  • Scale up the Recruitment Inclusive Champion (RIC) program to address recruitment of URM faculty in health sciences.
    • Current RIC training is underway, to include reviewing the diversity statement requirement, accessing EEO data to support faculty searches, and the creation of strategic recruitment plans.
    • New RIC training is scheduled for October – November, 2020 for the health sciences campus, to increase our capacity to support best practices in diverse recruitment strategies.
    • Nominations for the next RIC training resulted in 20 health sciences faculty representing all five our health sciences schools scheduled to participate in the training.  Information about the RIC program can be found here.
  • Faculty Development program model that will provide professional development on research, frameworks, and models that address the impact of systemic racism, implicit bias and intersectional identities in health sciences education.
    • Scheduled for October – November, 2020 and includes faculty representatives from Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and the College of Health Professions.
  • Develop a Clinical Faculty Research Cluster that investigates the impacts of social justice on patient outcomes.
    • Dr. Vanessa Sheppard is working with the Wright Center for Translational Research to determine how to connect health equity research initiatives with the center’s work.
  • Be more intentional in creating a sense of belonging for faculty of color by creating spaces for dialogue, initiatives to heighten their visibility, and targeted professional development resources.
    • Conversations have started about a health sciences campus mentoring program designed to support URM faculty, post docs, and fellows.  The first meeting is scheduled for October 6th to begin work on this program.
  • The following mentoring programs and resources are in progress and available to health sciences faculty.A group of faculty will be convened in January, 2021 to identify additional ways to create space for dialogue, professional development and mentoring support for faculty of color.
    • Current Resource for Faculty Mentoring
      • The Center on Health Disparities is participating in a study through the University of Minnesota to provide mentor training for faculty.  The UM Clinical and Translational Science Institute and its collaborating partners have developed a series of self-paced, online, professional development modules designed to prepare faculty from a range of disciplines to be effective research mentors.
      • The C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research Mentoring Program is committed to providing high-quality, tailored mentorship to early career faculty pursuing clinical and translational research. Wright Center mentors possess a vast array of expertise necessary to support junior faculty. To provide flexible, open access to faculty mentors, the program allows mentees to request mentoring consultation with a mentor of their choice.
      • The Faculty Peer Mentoring Program in the Office of the Provost is a cross-disciplinary, one-to-one faculty mentoring program sponsored and coordinated by the Office of the Provost. The program provides a formal opportunity for early career faculty members to receive advice and guidance from a faculty member from outside their own department.
        • The goals of the Faculty Peer Mentoring Program are to orient early career faculty members to the VCU academic community and to assist them in successfully launching their academic careers at VCU. The program seeks to support early career faculty members, enabling them to succeed and thrive in the academy as both scholars and educators.
      • The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence:  VCU is proud to be an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). Due to our institutional membership, faculty receive a long list of benefits and resources such as live webinars, archived webinars and courses, writing challenges, and more.  Check out the NCFDD mentor map to get some clarity on your broader support network of mentors (peers, coaches, family members, academic friends). Take note of whether you may be over-relying on one or two people to meet all of your mentor needs. This map also helps to highlight where we have the biggest gaps in our career networks. What gaps do you see and how can you take steps to begin to fill those gaps?



Dr. Lisa Webb – lbwebb@vcu.edu