Faculty Retreats and Institutes

Since semesters are busy, then summers, weekends, or other breaks from teaching are often the ideal time when faculty can make progress on their scholarship and reinvigorate their passion for the profession. CELT offers various retreats and summer institutes for faculty to have dedicated time in a comfortable setting to recharge as educators.

Check back regularly for confirmed dates and updated descriptions as they may change.

Faculty Write Away! Retreat 

Has your scholarship been sidelined by the daily demands of teaching this year? Do you want to research and write during Spring Break? The literature on faculty development shows that having a dedicated space for writing, and being around colleagues who are also committed to research and writing, can help faculty get their work done.

For two consecutive days during Spring Break, VSU faculty can participate in the Faculty Write Away! Retreat at CELT. The entire building is reserved for VSU faculty to "get away" from their offices or homes so they can have a quiet and comfortable space to convene, research, and write.

Write away retreat

Faculty can use a desktop computer in CELT or bring their laptop, tablet, or pen to research, write, and share goals, struggles, and accomplishments with fellow faculty. Individual and collaborative work spaces are available. Participants receive complimentary lunch along with light beverages and snacks throughout the two days of the retreat. Come one day or two days, whichever suits your schedule and needs.

Dr. Darrell Fike (Professor of English) and Dr. Jamie Landau (Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Director of CELT) co-facilitate the Faculty Write Away! Retreat at CELT. Here is the retreat daily schedule:

  • 9 a.m.: Everyone meets for coffee, light breakfast snacks, and goal sharing.
  • 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Individual research and writing time.
  • 12:30–1:30 p.m.: Everyone reconvenes for lunch together and conversation.
  • 1:30–3:30 p.m.: Opportunities to convene in writing groups for feedback and problem-solving, receive one-on-one mentoring, or return to individual writing.
  • 3:30–4 p.m.: Everyone reconvenes to report progress, celebrate accomplishments, and plan for the next day’s work or action steps after retreat.

If participants need to step out for any reason during one day of the retreat or cannot make both days, then that’s fine, too. However, research on faculty writing retreats reveals that building community with colleagues is key to having a productive scholarly agenda. There will be a follow-up mini-retreat one Saturday in April.

When this retreat is offered, faculty can register through VSU's Training Portal.

Faculty Renewal Retreat   

Are you wondering what’s next after tenure? Are your professional goals less clear now than when you were junior faculty? Maybe you’re feeling burnt out? What do you want to be known for after you retire? Do you want to be a leader or leave a legacy on campus?  

Research in faculty development shows these are common questions and experiences of post-tenure, mid-career, and senior faculty. These issues are more prevalent in the current context that involves the mass retirement of Baby Boomers and significant changes in higher education across the country. 

During the Faculty Renewal Retreat at CELT in the summer, post-tenure, mid-career, and senior faculty will have the unique opportunity to gather together to reflect on, reframe, and renew their identities as teachers, scholars, practitioners, and leaders at VSU. Highlights include mindfulness and wellness activities, career coaching, leadership and legacy development, inspiration from colleagues who are distinguished teachers and researchers, and affirmation from students.

When this retreat is offered, faculty can register through VSU's Training Portal.

Gateways to Completion (G2C) Faculty Development Retreat

In partnership with the John Gardner Institute and the University System of Georgia, VSU faculty are working hard to improve student academic performance and retention in highly-enrolled core courses with historically high rates of Ds, Fs, withdrawals, and incompletes grades (DFWI). Specifically, VSU is focusing on gateway courses in the subjects of history, English, biology, chemistry, and mathematics.

The G2C initiative continues throughout the academic year, but a two-day summer retreat at CELT gives faculty an opportunity to think and reflect with their colleagues about what has worked so far to improve student learning and to discover together additional innovative teaching strategies to implement. Some outcomes of the G2C Faculty Development Retreat include describing and identifying strategies for faculty engagement with course innovation, sketching and finalizing a G2C core curriculum and assessment plan, and critically reflecting on and practicing implementation. 


Dr. Shani "Sha" Wilfred (Professor of Criminal Justice, G2C Liaison, and Chair of VSU GTC Steering Committee), Dr. Theresa Grove (Professor of Biology, Associate Dean of th College of Science and Mathematics, and G2C Liaison) and Dr. Jamie Landau (Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Director of CELT) co-facilitate the G2C Faculty Development Retreat at CELT. Here is the retreat schedule:

Day 1

  • 9-9:15 a.m.: Coffee, light breakfast treats, and overview of schedule and learning outcomes for retreat.
  • 9:15-11:15 a.m.: Strategies for faculty engagement with course innovation.
  • 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.: Catered lunch outside on porch or in lounge downstairs.
  • 12–2:30 p.m.: Sketch G2C core curriculum and assessment plan.
  • 2:30–2:45 p.m.: Brief afternoon break.
  • 2:45-3 p.m.: Goal-setting for next day.

 Day 2

  • 9-9:15 a.m.: Coffee, light breakfast treats, and getting settled for day.
  • 9:15-11:15 a.m.: Continue sketching and finalize G2C core curriculum and assessment plan.
  • 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.: Catered lunch outside on porch or in lounge downstairs.
  • 12–1:15 p.m.:  Practice persuasion and implementation of plan..
  • 1:15–1:30 p.m.: Brief afternoon break.
  • 1:30-3 p.m.: Critical reflection and post-retreat G2C action steps.

When this retreat is offered, faculty from history, English, biology, chemistry, and mathematics are invited to participate.

Blazer Summer Research Institute (BSRI)

The Blazer Summer Research Institute (BSRI) is a competitive program for VSU faculty and undergraduate students that is internally funded by Academic Affairs, University Advancement, and private donations. The goal of the BSRI 2019 pilot program is to support faculty-led undergraduate student research projects during the summer term, which aligns with VSU's Strategic Plan Goal 2 to increase experiential learning opportunities for students.

BSRI Summer 2019

For more info about the pilot institute, including details about funding for faculty and application timeline, see the Undergraduate Research Council's website for the BSRI. Or, watch the brief video below that overviews the BSRI and features student presentations at the end of the pilot program.