6 | COMMUNITY COLLEGE JOURNAL AACC.NCHE.EDU
Community college provosts and presidents are well
aware of the need to invest in committed faculty
and faculty development. With the increased
scrutiny on success rates, particularly for colleges
with large populations of minority students, it is
paramount that faculty be engaged in making sure
students are learning beyond their own classroom.
One area of faculty development that often gets
overlooked is leadership development. Leadership
development for faculty is often seen as training for
administration, as if being a dean or department
chair is the only worthwhile goal of such efforts.
But leadership doesn’t depend on a title, and
faculty are already leaders. They lead in their classrooms, departments and colleges. They coordinate
introductory courses, work with the department’s
adjuncts, run programs and advise student groups.
In order for the nation’s colleges to dramatically
improve student success, administrators must
invest in and work with faculty to further develop
and strengthen pedagogical leadership.
With multiple faculty roles in mind, in 2016
Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)
created a faculty leadership development pro-
gram that is informed by positive organizational
development research and has as a primary goal
to advance equity and a culture of care across the
campus, both to eliminate equity gaps for students
and ensure a community in which all members
can thrive—faculty, staff and students. One of the
guiding principles of the program is also key to our
strategic planning efforts: all students can learn
under the right conditions. Collectively, it is our
responsibility at the college to create those con-
ditions. Also key to our strategic goals is the deep
analysis of classroom pedagogy, what works, and
opening the doors to teaching and learning.
A diverse faculty is necessary to serve a diverse
student body. The faculty at BMCC is very diverse,
and 12 of the 19 academic departments are chaired
by women, and nine are chaired by people of color.
Ultimately, the Faculty Leadership Fellows Program
was created to develop the skills of faculty in a
multitude of leadership roles, including but not
exclusively, current department chairs and those
who are interested in chair positions. So far, the
program has been offered three times, and has
engaged more than 40 participants.
HOW IT WORKS
The Faculty Leadership Fellows program includes
a week-long seminar in January in which national
leaders are invited to present on models of transformative change in community colleges, developing
compassionate workplaces, and culturally responsive pedagogy (among other topics). Five follow-up
sessions throughout the spring semester are held on
Helping faculty lead in
and out of the classroom
By Karrin E. Wilks
“A diverse faculty is necessary to serve a diverse student body.”