We seek to attract and retain outstanding, high-potential faculty, students and staff and cultivate excellence through:
1. Thoughtful professional and personal development for faculty and staff
1.1 Faculty Training and Workshops
- The college has begun implementing a series of trainings and workshops in support of faculty members' success. These include: New Faculty Orientation, Let's Get Started, Mentoring for Success in Teaching, a variety of resources from a dedicated group of instructional consultants in the Office of STEM Education Excellence and the New Faculty Network for Professional Track Faculty.
1.2 Emerging Leaders Program
- This program brings together regularly early and mid-career faculty members in Natural Sciences to connect with the dean's office leadership and develop themselves as leaders. Participants explore timely university topics, build community across departments among excellent faculty at similar career stages and foster stronger, recurring connections between faculty and college/university leadership.
1.3 Initiative Investing in Professional-Track Faculty
- With help from a soon-to-be-established working group, CNS aims to improve the clarity and transparency of professional-track faculty roles and affiliated pathways to promotion. This work will include better defining and aligning workload expectations in our recruitment processes, systematic reviews and promotion processes so that faculty are supported in purposeful teaching, service, research and mentorship. In alignment with department and college priorities, we aim to do all of this while also creating new methods of recognition and support for professional faculty, such as awards, summer support and professional development leaves.
1.4 Staff Training and Leadership Development
This effort aims to foster collaboration and sharing of best practices, while building a stronger sense of support among college staff through communities of practice; to equip personnel with professional development opportunities that enable them to be more effective in their current roles and better prepared for future growth opportunities; and to work collaboratively with staff to build intentional organizational culture aligned with our college values.
1.5 Building Pathways to Awards and Recognition
- To celebrate excellence at all levels, the college is proactively identifying, supporting and nominating people here for prestigious awards and recognition so that CNS remains a place of continuous personal, professional and career growth.
Key Updates and Priorities for 2022–2023
The College is working to advance professional-track faculty after having conducted a thorough analysis of the needs of professional-track faculty with the work of a task force over the summer to identify key strategies for investment and practice changes to support these faculty members’ success. Dean David Vanden Bout is simultaneously leading a campus-wide task force on professional track faculty for the provost’s office.
Staff development and growth supported: The college hired a senior training coordinator who has developed training programs for supervisors, new employees and lateral communities. Following a series of focus groups and surveys with staff and supervisors earlier in the year, the first new professional development offerings—related to employee support, strength-finding and leadership development—rolled out this fall.
1.1-1.2 build upon work underway in the college, while 1.3-1.5 represent newer priorities.
We aim to foster a community that brings people from many backgrounds together, valuing the respectful exchange of different ideas and perspectives through:
2. Prioritizing a Texas Science culture of equity and belonging
2.1 Early Career Faculty Fellows and Recruitment Competition
We are partnering with the provost's office to further our university’s critical goals of diversity, equity and inclusiveness as we work to attract and hire candidates with outstanding scholarly records and knowledge and experience in the issues and practices of diversity, equity and inclusion. Because the college views inclusiveness as integral to our excellence, we are designating CNS hiring resources also for faculty scholars with expertise and demonstrated commitment in diversity, equity and inclusion.
2.2 World Changers Display and Narrative Project
- In our buildings and spaces throughout the college, we are amplifying the stories of STEM trailblazers.
2.3 New Equations College Discussion Series
Each long semester, we are coming together as a college community to have difficult and important conversations about the inequitable histories of STEM disciplines and the overlapping areas of identity, lived experience and science.
2.4 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fellowships
CNS will be offering prestigious, compensated opportunities for students and faculty to work closely with college leadership on initiatives aimed at making CNS a more inclusive and equitable place of learning and discovery.
2.5 Seeking Scholarships and Fellowships to Support More Students
- The CNS Office of Development is actively seeking greater philanthropic support for graduate student scholars and undergraduates so that talented students of limited financial means can attend the College of Natural Sciences and meet their potential here.
Key Updates and Priorities for 2022–2023
Record new funding secured for scholarships, including for students of limited financial means. By the August 31 end of the fiscal year, 1,200 Natural Sciences students had received scholarships and the development team had raised $12 million in new scholarship support—an all-time high for a single year.
DEI Fellowship programs will launch this academic year, with applications opening soon for opportunities for faculty members and graduate students to gain new experiences and receive compensation for contributions to the culture of belonging and equity we are seeking to advance throughout the college.
2.1-2.3 build upon work underway in the college, while 2.4-2.5 represent newer priorities