As the GROWTH Change Team enters the second year of working with leadership across colleges, collaboration continues to infuse opportunities into professional development planning.  

“One of the most impactful benefits has been the breadth and wealth of ideas and networks for speakers,” said Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Diane Zosky. Throughout the first year of GROWTH, CAS provided professional development for faculty on topics such as serving students who are neuro-diverse, working with students who face mental health issues, and exploring partnerships with Student Access and Accommodation Services. “Our team of GROWTH coaches have been long-committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) work, so they brought names of speakers to our discussions with CAS leadership,” noted Zosky. 

Growth Change Team logo with flower over lilypad and words Growth Change Team
Growth Change Team logo

GROWTH is an initiative through the Division of Academic Affairs to develop college-specific professional development programming with a focus on the Framework for Inclusive Excellence (FITE). The GROWTH Change Leadership Team, appointed by the Office of the Provost, supports colleges and units in their development of their professional development plans to focus on teaching, support, and service practices with an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens.   

“Faculty members play a significant role in students feeling a sense of community,” said Assistant Vice President for Faculty Development, Diversity, and Learning Dr. Yojanna Cuenca-Carlino, who oversees the work of the GROWTH Change Leadership Team. “At the center of GROWTH is student support through developing faculty excellence.”  

GROWTH Change Team member Dr. Jennifer C. Friberg noted coaches offer guidance as college leaders tailor professional development. “Working with college leadership has made GROWTH efforts true partnerships that allow for specific attention to be paid to needs that are priorities for each college,” said Friberg. “This collaboration localizes our professional development efforts and makes information immediately applicable.” 

The cohesive work of GROWTH is having a University-wide reach, said GROWTH Change Team member Dr. Katy Strzepek. “I appreciate that colleges are working to collaborate with the EDI teams led by departments to enhance communication and to share data,” said Strzepek, referring to some of the academic departments who have formed committees dedicated to advancing EDI. Leaders of EDI committees and councils across campus, known as the EDI Leader’s Circle, met in the fall.  

“The collaborative nature of GROWTH means we learn from our best resources—one another,” said Cuenca-Carlino.