Pilot coaching program aims to help newly tenured faculty


Newly tenured faculty have been invited to join a pilot coaching program opened this fall by the Office of the Provost and U-M’s ADVANCE Program.

The Post-Promotion Academic Career Exploration, or PACE, program is designed to support faculty as they meet new career opportunities and challenges after promotion.


The pilot begins with faculty who have been newly promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure at U-M for fall 2023, and who do not already have coaching resources in their home units.

An email invitation to eligible faculty from Provost Laurie McCauley said the program is designed to help faculty address the opportunities and challenges that come with the transition to senior faculty.

Core goals of the program include assisting newly tenured faculty with planning to take on new roles in research, scholarship or creative engagement, as well as maintaining work-life balance as their responsibilities expand.

“Across diverse contexts, faculty have communicated that this juncture in their careers has presented unique challenges as well as opportunities, and we are excited to debut a resource to address them,” McCauley said.

PACE represents a targeted and individualized approach to faculty needs, with the goals of improving their quality of life on campus, supporting their ongoing academic and professional success, and retaining valuable colleagues at a time when career challenges tend to amplify, said Sara Blair, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs, arts and humanities.

“Building out from existing leadership and career development opportunities, the PACE program employs coaching to center the individual needs and challenges of faculty at a key moment in their academic lives and experience,” Blair said. “We anticipate that this will be welcome support for many faculty at this moment of expansion for their work and their careers.”

The PACE program’s design reflects the importance of addressing the needs of senior faculty, as demonstrated in an evidence-based research summary report from ADVANCE. Additionally, ADVANCE brings a depth of experience to this program from more than 20 years of providing faculty programming and support.

“ADVANCE’s long commitment to supporting faculty excellence is reflected in PACE,” said Denise Sekaquaptewa, ADVANCE director. “Building on ADVANCE’s experience in offering coaching programs, PACE addresses the need for career coaching voiced by faculty at this career stage in ADVANCE studies and nationally.

“We are pleased that the benefits of career coaching will be more widely available across campus.”


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