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    Seeking Faculty Excellence Through Development and Diversity

    Abbas Benmamoun is the newly appointed Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement at the Duke University. He is a leader who recognises the value of education and believes in looking out for talents at unexpected locality.

    Since his appointment, Benmamoun has been involved in discussions with the campus’s faculty and administrators with the objective of sustaining and enhancing excellence. Duke University must persist in employing, supporting and retaining the great talent from diverse backgrounds.

    Benmamoun highlighted that office’s accomplishment must be referenced to the advancement of the university. He also aims to create an an environment where the finest faculty can thrive, with a clear objective of attracting students to enroll in the institution and be attached to it.

    The vice provost position was initiated with the objective of reinforcing faculty excellence, with the embodiment of two important elements – diversity and inclusion; and also to furnish faculty members with more resources need to balance research, teaching and service, particularly for junior and mid-career faculty members. In addition, the office will be collaborating with units to reinforce faculty development programmes and resources, including mentoring programmes, career development programmes, and leadership development programmes for united leaders.

    Benmamoun pointed out that retention is often overlooked by universities’ faculty advancement, especially on the front end. In addition, universities are in fierce competition to recruit and retain outstanding talents. Therefore, “As a leader, you want to make sure you recruit strong faculty and then hold on to them and help them succeed,” he said. “It takes a lot of energy, effort and resources to recruit a faculty member. It’s painful when you lose key faculty, not just because you are losing a key member of your team, but your students and other faculty colleagues miss out, and you’ve expended resources and have to start over.”

    Benmamoun also has plans transform classrooms into a more inclusive environment for students with help from the faculty. The faculty will be responsible in helping open educational doors for students who have second thoughts about enrolling in the university. Opening educational doors is one of the interests that motivates Benmamoun in his work.

    Last but not least, the resources will also be supporting two new faculty hiring initiatives, namely, The Strategic Hiring for Faculty Excellence that provides units with financial support to recruit underrepresented faculty; and a Visiting Scholar Initiative that will allow both promising and senior scholars from underrepresented groups to the university and work with faculty and students for a semester or full academic year. A new seed grant programme will be initiated as well, offering departments funds to either launch or strengthen faculty advancement initiatives within their units.

    Source: Duke Today

    What do you think are the advancement universities will have to carry out in order to achieve and/or maintain excellence? Join us at the upcoming QS MAPLE Conference from 4-6 March 2018, at Manama, Bahrain as we talk about Advancement of University Excellence in all its forms.

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