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Welcome from the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs

Being an academic in Chicago brings several unique privileges including access to a multitude of vibrant cultures and communities, world-class museums and libraries, and – importantly—a rich and diverse intellectual community made possible by the city’s numerous colleges and universities.
 
Chicago Connections: A Faculty of Color Retreat, organized by the Office of Faculty Affairs at Loyola University Chicago, offers an opportunity for BIPOC scholars at LUC and Chicago-area universities to participate in professional development workshops, foster professional and personal connections, and recover from the challenges of the academic year.

The retreat will take place at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC) in Woodstock, IL. LUREC features 98 acres of prairies, savannas, woodlands, wetlands, and ponds and serves as an ideal location for re-centering, community building, and interactive learning.

I am delighted to provide the opportunity for faculty of color at Loyola and at our neighboring Chicago-area institutions to meet one another, share knowledge and experiences, rediscover the joy and purpose in your research and writing, and develop strategies for collaborative and ethical research. Most importantly, it is my sincere hope that each and every retreat participant makes a connection (or two!) that results in a writing buddy, research collaborator, trusted reader of first (or second, or third) drafts, a sounding board, and even a friend.

Chicago Connections: A Faculty of Color Retreat is designed to provide a space of connection, community, and collegiality among minoritized faculty who have been historically underrepresented in the Academy.

From my own experience as a “solo” faculty member and from working with thousands of faculty across ranks and disciplines as a coach, mentor and administrator, I know that the challenges faced by underrepresented faculty are pervasive and strikingly similar across all institutional types—from community colleges to R-1 universities. As Chicago academics, we can leverage our unique geography to forge intellectual and social connections across institutions, which serves to enrich our lives—both personally and professionally.

We hope to make the Chicago Connections: A Faculty of Color Retreat an annual event and we look forward to your participation in our inaugural event in May 2022.


Badia Ahad, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Professor, Department of English


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Registration for the May 2023 retreat will open in February 2023