Faculty Development Is Goal Of Weekend Retreats

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

New faculty members will have the opportunity to discuss professional and spiritual life at Boston College with their colleagues at two special Andover Weekend retreats next month.

While the retreats long have been a staple of the University, they now are part of a more elaborate orientation program that emphasizes faculty development, administrators say.

In addition to the Nov. 8-9 and Nov. 14-15 Andover Weekends, the Academic Vice Presdident's Office has organized other events this semester to acquaint new faculty with Boston College, the most recent a discussion held Oct. 22 on the University's Jesuit Catholic tradition and its relation to students, led by Center for Ignatian Spirituality Director Howard Gray, SJ. Earlier in the semester, the office sponsored a "Roundtable on Teaching" led by College of Arts and Sciences Dean J. Robert Barth, SJ, and a seminar and demonstration on integrating technology in the classroom.

"We're addressing a number of interests and concerns," said Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ. "Boston College has become an increasingly diverse institution and there is a strong sense that faculty, especially those who are new to campus, should have an understanding of that diversity.

"It's also vital, of course, that faculty understand what it means for us to be a Jesuit and Catholic university," he said. "This conversation about our tradition and heritage is taking place throughout the BC community and so it is very appropriate that its newest members become involved as early as possible."

All tenure-track faculty members who were hired for the 1997-98 academic year are invited to register to attend one of the weekends at the Andover Inn. The retreats feature discussions on Ignatian spirituality, the core curriculum, professional issues such as balancing teaching and research, and a presentation by the University Counseling Services staff on how they assist students experiencing academic or other problems.

"We feel these retreats can really benefit new faculty," Fr. Neenan said. "It's certainly a great way to form relationships and perhaps pave the way for future professional collaboration. But we hope the faculty members will find these and other events useful in helping them to gain a fuller appreciation of the mission of Boston College, and the role they play in it."

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