Creative Thoughts for Promoting Faculty Scholarship

Prompted by some comments from Mike Madison (Associate Dean for Scholarship, Pitt), we are tossing around the idea of doing a daylong “scholarship retreat” here at Pacific McGeorge. The idea would be to use a day during reading period to present works-in-progress, analyze scholarship trends, and discuss the writing and submission process.

I got a little carried away, however, and started thinking about more creative activities for the day – such as a contest to come up with the most interesting title for someone’s WIP, have a couple of sentences about tackling problems in your field that could encourage a free write, and maybe some other type of game (!) to get the creativity flowing. If your school does these types of scholarship retreats, how do you use the day? Have there been any particular suggestions that seemed to work well? I’d appreciate your comments.

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1 Response

  1. Mike Madison says:

    Pitt borrowed the retreat idea from the University of Illinois and from Washington & Lee. We’ve done two retreats, both pretty successful. Both featured talks by a range of junior and senior scholars. Both included four or five talks spread over an afternoon, beginning with lunch and concluding with dinner. Both were off campus but near the law school. The most important difference between the two was timing. The first one was scheduled shortly after the end of Spring classes. The second one, which was better attended, was scheduled right before commencement. We did not include any exercises or games; conversations over meals and during breaks seemed to flow nicely without them.