On Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, UW announced that they have partnered with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NFCDD) as part of the anti-racism commitments set by president Feridun Hamdullahpur in 2020 to advocate for equity and anti-racism at the school. In the statement, vice-president James W.E. Rush urged faculty members and students to claim their free membership as the site highlights many internal programs and resources available at Waterloo.
“One reason it’s significant is that it was something that when the president of the university was meeting with faculty and students, and staff and other members of the community felt like they weren’t properly represented or having the opportunities they showed on campus. One of the things they asked for was this, and frankly, this is a fairly easy commitment for the university,” David Devidi, association vice-president, academic, said.
Devidi went on to explain the decision to join the NFCDD as an easy commitment to make – a step forward in the right direction.
“It tells us that they felt like some of the things that they think this organization could offer is stuff that we don’t have yet. Either there’s something that we need to tweak about the way we offer it, or we’re not letting people know that’s there,” Devidi said.
Furthermore, Devidi provided insight on the types of services and resources the membership offers both students and faculty members. Specifically, he explained how it can be a useful tool for upper-year and post-graduate students in finding valuable advice and guidance.
“Some of the things that look really useful to me, that we are only starting to work on, is that we’re working on developing mentoring programs. There’s also advice on there, tailored to where you are in your career stage… it’s really mostly for people who are grad students or hire grad students, staff, postdocs, faculty members of different career stages… How do I go about getting a job right? How do I? How do I go about it? Getting connected with others in my professional community,” Devidi said.
Devidi added that although it is a small step, it was something that the community felt was necessary and which the school could bring. However, he also elaborates that this partnership is advantageous as it allows a research centered school like UW to contribute new materials and resources to smaller schools that may not have the resources.
The NCFDD is an independent US-based professional development, training, and mentoring community that was founded in 2010. The organization offers various tools and resources, including workshops and course webinars on topics focusing on career development, writing and research funding, as well as advocating for equity, empowerment, and anti-oppression. More information on how to sign up and about the organization can be found on the UW or NCFDD website.
Summary: To fulfill one of the anti-racism commitments set by president Feridun Hamdullahpur, UW announces its partnership with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity in hopes to support its community members and advocate for equity and anti-racism.