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Held annually and in its 12th year, May Symposium compiles a variety of faculty development experiences featuring faculty-led workshops and roundtables on innovative topics. This exciting collaborative effort provides full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and academic unit leaders with opportunities to focus on teaching, scholarship, career planning, and more. The programs during May Symposium are proposed and facilitated by departments, organizations, and offices from across the university. 

Program Genres & Areas


Workshop (75 minutes). 75-minute workshops offer introductory experiences to new pedagogies, scholarly experiences, or foundational components of comprehensive career planning. Workshops should provide participants with hands-on opportunities to apply new learning to teaching, scholarship, or career planning.

Roundtable (60 minutes). Roundtables build insight and community around topics of mutual interest by offering facilitated, research-informed inquiry into a timely issue or dynamic related to teaching, scholarship, career planning, or academic culture. Please note that a roundtable is not a panel presentation, but an opportunity for rich, informed dialogue around a timely topic.

Extended workshop (120 minutes). Extended workshops offer more in-depth experiences pertaining to academic culture, career planning, scholarship/research, and/or teaching. The extended time frame is designed to allow participants to leave with concrete takeaways that advance their work as scholars, teachers, and citizens within and outside of the academy.

Areas of Programming

Teaching programs are designed for faculty to appreciate pedagogy as a significant higher education endeavor; identify factors that influence pedagogical choices; create assignments that support higher-level learning (deep learning); design and offer courses that align learning objectives, assessment, and learning activities; articulate how current pedagogical choices reflect disciplinary norms; practice the integration of scholarship with teaching and other career aspirations; and integrate knowledge of student development models in teaching philosophies and practice.

Scholarship programs are designed for faculty to appreciate the changing role, forms, and delivery modes of scholarship in higher education; enhance scholarly productivity; form collaborative research projects with students, faculty, and staff at JMU and other institutions; advance scholarly skills and output; explore and secure funding opportunities to support scholarly activities; and practice the integration of scholarship with teaching and other career aspirations.

Career Planning programs are designed for faculty to appreciate the fluidity, complexity, and changing demands of academic careers; achieve self-defined career milestones; integrate career development within the context of university, unit, and disciplinary missions; demonstrate knowledge of university-wide resources to support career roles and responsibilities; access resources to enhance career development plans; and develop and foster productive mentoring relationships.

All CFI programs, especially programs that support the enhancement of academic culture at JMU, are designed for faculty to feel an increased sense of belonging to the JMU community; enhance diversity and inclusivity through teaching, scholarship, and career development; engage in reflective practices about faculty roles; establish and strengthen relationships with colleagues across disciplines, colleges, and ranks that support teaching, scholarship and/or career development; and develop holistic, integrated, and satisfying agendas in teaching, scholarship, and career development that align with the values of academic units and discipline(s).

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