VIU Campus

Connection Points: Creating Community for New Faculty

The Provost and Vice-President, Academic is sponsoring “Connection Points”, a program of activities that bring together new and experienced faculty members to build community. Please review the outline of the program below and if you have something to offer and want to build a diverse and inclusive community at VIU, complete an Expression of Interest

Background

In 2021/22, a significant number of faculty retired, creating a large cohort of new hires over the next 3-5 years. At the same time, VIU received permission for a special program through the Human Rights Tribunal which encourages departments to advertise for and hire faculty that are representative of one of the federally designated groups as defined under the Employment Equity Act. The special program anticipates hiring twenty-five new faculty over the next five years who are representative of the equity seeking groups. By August of 2022, approximately twenty-six new regular faculty members will have joined VIU this year and we expect the growth in new faculty to continue. Of currently confirmed hires, eight of them self-identified as a member of an equity seeking group.

Connection Points

The goal of this program is to create an affinity group for new faculty members that leads to a sense of belonging and inclusion, along with an enhanced network of support that will accelerate and increase identification with the faculty role and with VIU as a place of support and opportunity. The program will create opportunities to connect so that new faculty feel comfortable with seeking assistance or explanation for concerns and challenges that occur early in a faculty members career at a teaching focused university. A blend of structured and unstructured activity will ensure that faculty have opportunities to acquire mentors or consult with colleagues based on self-selection through mutual interests.

The Connection Points Program brings together faculty who are experiencing the early career challenges of teaching, scholarship, and student support to explore solutions and understand their common experiences. Using a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion, the program explores common experiences and solutions while recognizing that some experiences are not shared but are unique to the person, and may be associated with their experience as a member of an equity seeking group. Above all, inclusion in the VIU community is the objective.

The program has three components, with various layers, and both formal and informal opportunities for leadership:

  • Provost-hosted opportunities to meet and socialize in a semi-structured environment.
  • Experienced faculty, including those representing equity seeking groups, will participate in events and offer informal mentoring and social support to new faculty.
  • A guide for Deans on equity, diversity and inclusion and new faculty supports for success, as well as events hosted by Deans.

Click here for the form: Expression of Interest