Wofford recently received a grant of $250,000 from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations designed to align faculty development and support with the learning needs of tomorrow’s college students.

With the grant, the college will create a mentoring program for faculty that enhances collaboration and leverages talent and expertise at all levels. The grant also will enhance faculty and administrative collaboration to better address challenges facing the future of private higher education.

“Tomorrow’s college students are increasingly first-generation, socioeconomically diverse and students of color,” Provost Michael J. Sosulski says. “They often are driven by specific value propositions about college education and its pathway to career outcomes, and upon graduation, they will enter a rapidly changing economy with industries facing disruption on all sides.”

That means Wofford must build on more than 160 years of educating community and professional leaders by creating “time and space for our faculty to dive deeply into discerning how best to prepare our students to navigate an unpredictable future that is evolving at an unprecedented pace,” says Dr. Stacey Hettes, associate provost for faculty development and lead on the grant.

The three-year, $250,000 grant will allow for an innovative approach to faculty mentoring, including specific programs for pre-tenured, mid-career and advanced-career faculty as well as a comprehensive leadership development program for academic department chairs. 

Providing support for Wofford’s faculty through grants such as this as well as the creation of endowed chairs and professorships is extremely important to the student experience, President Nayef Samhat says. “Our faculty define the curriculum and expose students both to the essential foundational or classical knowledge that sustains us as human beings and the knowledge that prepares us for the future.”

by Laura H. Corbin