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WVU to host virtual conference for non-tenure track faculty

Hills and Hollers

With support from the WVU Office of the Provost, two Eberly College of Arts and Sciences faculty members will launch the University’s first virtual conference focused specifically on the experiences of non-tenure track faculty. 

Service Professor Nathalie Singh-Corcoran and Teaching Professor Lisa Di Bartolomeo are set to host “Hills and Hollers: The Challenges and Kinship of Academic Life off the Tenure Track” June 29-30.

This virtual conference aims to facilitate connections among non-tenure track faculty, promote best practices, identify areas of concern and provide guidelines for improving work cultures. 

The two-day event will include panel discussions, roundtables, networking sessions, and a keynote presentation by Adrianna Kezar, a national expert on change, governance and leadership in higher education. 

“We recognize that often faculty who are not on the tenure track lack networks of support and mentorship, as well as opportunities to learn from one another’s experiences with campus organizing and advocacy,” Di Bartolomeo said. “Nathalie and I have helped build an on-campus group over the course of many years and felt it was time to reach out to a larger audience. Folks at a variety of institutions are raising their voices, getting noticed for their achievements, and advocating for their colleagues. This conference offers a way to lift up all the great work being done.” 

Di Bartolomeo also highlighted the affordability and accessibility of the Hills and Hollers conference. The conference sessions mirror typical opportunities for interaction at a traditional, face-to-face conference coupled with the ease and low cost of virtual delivery. 

“Making this conference affordable was among our priorities, and we are hoping that graduate students will participate as well, since many of them will consider non-tenure track positions when they graduate,” she said. “The sessions for “Hills and Hollers” will help them start to navigate that world.” 

Interested participants from WVU are encouraged to register by the priority deadline of June 15 for a fee of $25; students from any institution can register for only $15. General priority registration before June 15 is $30. Participants registering after June 15 will pay $40. 

Kezar’s keynote presentation, “The Future Landscape for Contingent Faculty,” will be free and open to the WVU community. Her address will kick off the conference at noon Thursday, June 29, and a link will be provided closer to the event date. 

Kezar is the director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. The center annually recognizes important achievements among contingent faculty, and the conference will include some of the awardees for the past year from Skidmore College. 

“The Provost’s Office has generously unwritten the conference, and we appreciate their support in this important work,” Singh-Corcoran said. “We couldn’t have done it without their help and funding.” 

For additional details about the conference, the full schedule and links to the registration site, visit the conference website.

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