Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) deepen knowledge, enhance teaching, encourage reflection, and build community across the schools.

FLCs encourage cross-program, cross-department, and cross-school interdisciplinary engagement with projects that are germane to the institution’s intellectual vitality and mission. Each FLC will engage in collaborative year-long projects that reflect the breadth and depth of UR faculty commitment to expanding the frontiers of knowledge and/or education. 

The quality of proposals will be assessed based on the strength of the expected goals and outcomes, as well as the extent of cross-disciplinary and cross-school representation (participation of faculty from two or more schools is encouraged). Priority will be given to FLC proposals that emphasize interdisciplinary projects that promise to nurture productive research, successful grants, and/or important contributions to a UR education. Proposals that also contribute to strategic plan priorities are a plus.

Learn more about submitting a proposal or explore previous FLCs.

2023-2024 Faculty Learning Communities

Climate Justice

Facilitators:  Mary Finley-Brook (Geography, Environment and Sustainability), Alicia Diaz (Theatre and Dance), and David Salisbury (Geography, Environment and Sustainability)

The core objective of this cross-school FLC is to network faculty and staff with a shared interest in climate justice so we can: (1) learn from each other, (2) increase campus climate knowledge and action, (3) strategically inform implementation of the Faculty Senate Climate Justice Resolution, and (4) build an ethical problem-solving community attentive to climate challenges now and in the future.

Members of this FLC have a range of experiences and expertise - our goal is to contribute to campus climate justice initiatives in motion while also organizing high-impact initiatives together in the spring.

Strengthening UR Connections with Costa Rica

Facilitator:  Kristine Grayson (Biology) and Marina LaMastro (International Education)

This FLC aims to build opportunities for the UR community to engage with Costa Rica, the highlighted country for International Education Week (IEW) in November 2024 and location for future travel through the faculty seminar. The FLC will bring together faculty and staff to get involved and share their expertise or interest in learning about the region, while envisioning sustained and reciprocal connections with our campus.

The specific goals for this FLC are to: 

(1) Identify and share knowledge on local-to-global issues that jointly impact Virginia and Central America.

(2) Brainstorm curricular opportunities, community partners, and connections to build with Costa Rica.

(3)  Generate ideas for International Education Week programing and future collaborations that will strengthen the connections between our campus and Central America.


Teaching with AI

Co-facilitators: Andrew Bell, PhD Faculty Hub & M. Saif Mehkari, PhD Economics

The rapid evolution of artificial intelligence, especially generative AI, presents an incredible opportunity to revolutionize education. The "Teaching with AI" FLC aims to harness the potential of AI in the academic setting, focusing primarily on exploring its role in teaching, identifying strategies where AI can enhance student learning, and fostering a community among faculty eager to integrate AI methodologies into their pedagogical repertoire.


What Do We Know About Successful Women?

Co-facilitators: Della Dumbaugh (Mathematics & Statistics- A&S) and Maia Linask (Economics-RSB)

The goal of this Faculty Learning Community is to discover and share knowledge about women and gender equality that will inform our teaching, advising, mentoring, and research. More specifically, we aim to know more about how women succeed, especially in fields that are traditional dominated by men. Topics of discussion at our meetings will include, for example, what hurdles women face, who they trust for support, what they attribute their own success to, whether there are key turning points in their education or career, and whether they succeed “because of” or “in spite of.” Our focus on women’s success reflects UR’s commitment to inclusivity, equity, belonging, and thriving. We anticipate that the group will help us all become better teachers and advisors to all our students. We also hope to learn about how we can attract and (especially) retain more women to our respective academic fields and how we can support women in their research. Finally, the FLC will form a supportive community for faculty who are dedicated to increasing gender equality in their own fields and in society more generally.