Faculty Retreats

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! Retreats 

Has your scholarship been sidelined by the increased demands of teaching during the pandemic? When you finally find time to conduct research, do you feel rejuvenated in the profession? Does it contribute to your well-being? Indeed, the literature on faculty development shows that writing and being around colleagues who are also passionate about research and writing can help faculty cultivate resilience and care for themselves, and get their scholarship done.

During select Wellness Days this Spring 2021 semester, VSU faculty can participate virtually in CELT's Faculty Write Away! Retreats. The retreat used to run in-person for two consecutive full days over Spring Break at CELT. However, it has been redesigned for the current context. 

Specifically, faculty will still have individual and collaborative opportunities to research, write, and share goals, struggles, and accomplishments with fellow faculty. But now it will occur via video conference. In addition, faculty can choose to come one wellness day, two wellness days, or three wellness days, as well as the retreat will only run in the mornings for half days. Register here for whichever suits your schedule and needs.  

Dr. Jamie Landau (Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Director of CELT) facilitates the CELT Faculty Write Away! Retreats.

Here is the retreat schedule that will be repeated for Wellness Day 2 (Wednesday, March 17, 2021), Wellness Day 3 (Friday, April 2, 2021), and Wellness Day 4 (Thursday, April 15, 2021):

  • 9 a.m.: Everyone gets comfortable on video conference and shares goals.
  • 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.: Individual research and writing time OR join video conference breakout group for first 30 minutes to participate in writing activity prompt.
  • 12–12:30 p.m.: Everyone reconvenes on video conference to report progress, celebrate accomplishments, and plan for next steps after retreat.  

Faculty can register now through VSU's Training Portal. Faculty who register at least three days in advance will receive a Starbucks gift card to purchase coffee for writing. 

Faculty Renewal Retreat

“Reflect… Reframe… Renew” is the theme of this summer faculty development retreat.

  • Are you feeling burnt out or stuck in your career in some way?
  • Maybe you’re wondering what’s next after promotion or tenure?
  • Do you want to reinvigorate your teaching or research agenda, or take them in new directions?
  • Perhaps your professional goals are more nebulous than when you were junior faculty?
  • Possibly you long for community with colleagues who are at a similar advanced career stage?
  • What do you want to be known for after you retire?
  • Do you want to be a leader or leave a legacy on campus?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are not alone and CELT's Faculty Renewal Retreat is for you.

During the two-day Faculty Renewal Retreat over the summer at CELT, post-tenure, mid-career, and senior faculty from across colleges have the unique opportunity to gather together to reflect on, reframe, and renew their identities as teachers, scholars, and leaders at VSU. Highlights include career mapping, servant leadership and legacy development facilitated by a guest speaker, contemplative practices for combating burnout, inspiration from VSU’s distinguished teachers and researchers (especially in experiential learning and the scholarship of teaching and learning), and affirmation from faculty colleagues and students. An additional follow-up gathering will occur during the fall semester, as well as there might be a possibility to join a faculty learning community just for this cohort.

Complimentary drinks, breakfast treats, and lunch are provided each day of the two-day retreat. Another incentive is upwards of 15 faculty who participate in the retreat will each receive $250 to use for resources/supplies to implement their renewed professional goals during the summer and following academic year. Examples include books, equipment, software, professional membership, or a meditation cushion.

Eligibility and Expression of Interest Form:

Full-time faculty who have worked at VSU for 7 or more years (whether you’re an Instructor, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, or Full Professor) sign-up by filling out online a brief “expression of interest” form. Notices of acceptance are usually announced within a week, and those faculty will be automatically registered for the retreat in VSU’s employee training portal.   

Objectives of the Program:

  • Identify and design a career pathway and mentoring network
  • Recognize and demonstrate contemplative practices that combat burnout
  • Increase faculty competence, confidence, and sense of leadership to reinvigorate, empower, and advance through mid-career, achieve the next promotion, and/or to leave a legacy on campus
  • Articulate and apply best practices in experiential learning and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)
  • Build relationships and community among mid-career and senior faculty that bridges disciplines, departments, and colleges at VSU

The CELT Faculty Renewal Retreat aligns with VSU’s Strategic Planning Goal 1.5 to retain a quality workforce of employees, as well as it addresses Goal 2 related to high-impact practices since experiential learning will be discussed at the retreat.

Dr. Jamie Landau (Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Director of CELT) facilitates the Faculty Renewal Retreat at CELT and invites guest speakers for some sessions. Here is the retreat daily schedule:

Day 1

  • 9-9:15 a.m.: Enjoy coffee, tea, and breakfast treats while chatting with colleagues
  • 9:15-9:45 a.m. Why We’re Here. We’re Not Alone. Research on common experiences of post-tenure, mid-career, and senior faculty along with local and national context.
  • 9:45-10:15 a.m.: Contemplative Practice Together
  • 10:15-10:45 a.m.: Mapping Career Pathways (e.g. draft a post-tenure faculty development plan; construct a new mentoring network; redefine and strategize service)
  • 10:45-11:45 a.m.: Renewal Role Models: Inspiration from distinguished teachers at VSU who felt reinvigorated as teachers by engaging in experiential learning and taking their teaching in a new direction
  • 11:45-12 p.m.: Break
  • 12-1 p.m.: Lunch Together and Community-Building
  • 1-2:30 p.m.: Student Show and Tell: Stories of teachers who inspired us when we were their students, and artifacts of affirmation from our undergraduate or graduate students.
  • 2:30-3 p.m.: Choose Your Own Adventure: Contemplative practice together or experiential learning activity
  • 3-4 p.m.: Cont. Mapping Career Pathways: Breakout into cohorts of mid-career or senior faculty
  • 4-4:30 p.m.: Reflection on First Day of Retreat

 Day 2

  • 9-9:15 a.m.: Enjoy coffee, tea, breakfast treats while chatting with colleagues
  • 9:15-11:15 a.m.: Renewal Role Models Cont.: Inspiration from VSU faculty who revitalized their research agenda or creative inquiry by engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)
  • 11:15-12 p.m.: Choose Your Own Adventure: Contemplative practice alone or SoTL activity
  • 12-1 p.m.: Lunch Together
  • 1-3 p.m.: Workshop on Servant Leadership and Legacy Development. Facilitated by guest speaker Wendi Jenkins, USG Leadership and Institutional Development Manager and former Director of Center for Servant Leadership at Columbus State University.
  • 3-3:15 p.m.: Break
  • 3:15-4 p.m.: Follow Your Pathway: Servant Leadership activity (for mid-career faculty) or legacy development activity (for senior faculty)
  • 4-4:30 p.m.: Next Action Step on Own and Together as FLC: Reflection on retreat, renewed professional goals and manifestos, and implementation this summer onward

This year the retreat was canceled because of public health advisories about COVID-19. 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) Faculty Development Retreat 

June 23-24, 2021

  • 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. (including lunch break)

This retreat will be facilitated by Dr. Jamie Landau (CELT Director). The entire event will be virtual. Further details will be provided to participants later this summer.

For more info about the BSRI, see the website for the Blazer Summer Research Institute.