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Peer Circles for Associate Professors



Tenured associate professors are essential to the Villanova community, managing intensive service commitments to the institution and their disciplines while maintaining engaged teaching and research agendas. Juggling these responsibilities while trying to chart a path toward full professor can be overwhelming and contribute to diminished career satisfaction. Peer circles offer a forum in which tenured Associate Professors from different departments with similar challenges and ambitions can learn from and help guide each other. These confidential spaces among co-equals foster social support and enable candid counsel among participants. Among reported benefits are reduced feelings of isolation, demystification of different disciplinary cultures, sense of community, greater clarity and confidence in one’s career aspirations, and higher job satisfaction.

In this program, circles of up to six participants will gather at least three times during the semester for a combination of professional development seminars and informal conversations. Some common professional development topics include setting professional priorities, reimagining your research, developing a network of supportive mentors, and more. Each circle chooses its own professional development topics. Format, location, and schedule of meetings is up to each circle to decide. Aside from a mandatory 60-minute orientation, each circle determines the location and structure of their gatherings. Throughout the year, participants will also have opportunities to attend additional VIRS programs, including professional development workshops, training, and networking events.


  1. Improve the social and professional support available to Associate Professors. 
  2. Connect mid-career faculty to professional development resources and strategies appropriate to their career stage and needs.
  3. Enhance trust and community among faculty peers across the University.
  4. Enrich opportunities for learning and collaboration by fostering campus-wide relationships.
  5. Establish and institutionalize the infrastructure to support a culture of faculty peer mentorship.


All tenured Associate Professors are eligible to participate in this program. Participants are expected to commit to confidentiality, reciprocity, and respect in their engagements. They also agree to attend at least 3 group gatherings per semester.


To participate in the program, complete this application to help us place you in a circle that best supports your needs and interests. We are committed to forming inclusive, respectful circles for all participants. 

Applications are due by November 17. Participants will be contacted by December 1 with information about their circle placement and to schedule a circle orientation.

For questions, please contact us.