24 hours. That is all we get in a day, and in that time span we are expected to sleep, eat, take care of ourselves, lecture, mentor, grade, be a mother, be a father, be a friend, be a daughter, be a son, conduct our research, engage in meetings that roll over into your next meeting. The rest tend to pile on. 24 hours, that is all we get to succeed and with life in Academia, there can never be enough hours.
NCFDD offers a program that helps you, become a more successful faculty member. This program is designed to transform your personal and professional life. “It’s all about learning the secrets to increasing your research productivity, getting control of your time, and living a full and healthy life beyond your campus.” (NCFDD)
This program is for tenure-track and tenured faculty. Specifically, those “who are looking for the perfect combination of empirically-tested methods to improve research productivity through intense accountability, coaching, and peer support and to propel their work-life balance and personal growth to a whole new level.”(NCFDD). While this Faculty Success Program is a 12-week Bootcamp, the results have been positive for those who have participated at Washington State University.
“I found it really helpful in my academic productivity and for my psychological well-being…when you start off as a assistant professor on the tenure clock things can be overwhelming especially when you are juggling many different things, you can feel isolated. And even though there are things offered, sometimes it is nice to go to things outside the university to talk to other people who are having the same struggles, so I think I found it very helpful.” – Erin Thornton, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Washington State University.
When addressing the problem with adding another thing on your already full plate, Erin Thornton had this to say,
“It is a time commitment up front when they take you in and you learn all these strategies, it is time consuming, but you become more efficient in the process…I tried to be smart when I did it. When I’m tired I use my time to reflect my energy and be strategic. I recognized when I am the most productive and put the important things first and [did] not put them off.”- Erin Thornton
NCFDD’s Faculty Success Bootcamp prides itself on forming communities of support and accountability. Once a week, there is a Training Module where you will learn empirically-tested skills, strategies, and practices that will help you to align your time with your priorities, identify what’s holding you back, and move through whatever resistance you experience. While all this is happening you are working with a small group and a NCFDD certified Productivity coach. When asked about the benefits of this network, Erin Thornton had this to say.
“They say that you need to get out of the vacuum that you are in and get some external feedback, and it is really useful and psychologically better. They pair you with people (a coach) outside your department who have no effect on your tenure decision, and we got on the phone every week and we talked. It is an absolute safe space to talk and get advice. It is amazing how common your problems are. It was a total safe space whether it was academic or personal stuff that you could work through with your network, and to be honest I still talk to people I was originally paired with.“ – Erin Thornton
Erin is now involved in the Alumni Program for NCFDD. The Summer 2017 Faculty Success Program runs from May 21 – August 12, 2017. March 27, 2017 is when the Summer 2017 FSP Registration OPENS with Early Bird Tuition Savings and the deadline is April 21, 2017. To get more information about NCFDD or their Faculty Boot camp Program please visit their website here.
By Kathlina White