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Peer Circles for Tenured Faculty Members

The Villanova Institute for Research and Scholarship's 2021-22 cohort of peer circles for tenured faculty members will begin forming during Fall Semester 2021. 



Tenured faculty members 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 can be overwhelming and contribute to diminished career satisfaction. Peer circles offer a forum in which tenured faculty members from different departments with similar challenges and ambitions can learn from and help guide each other. These confidential spaces among co-equals from different disciplines 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 including a designated peer facilitator will gather periodically throughout the academic year for profesional development and informal discussion on topics of shared agreement. Some common themes include access to resources, collaboration, career advancement, and balancing work life and personal life. Each circle determines the location, structure, and frequency of their gatherings beyond a minimum of 3 per semester beginning January 2022. Throughout the year, participants will also have the opportunity to attend additional VIRS programs, including professional development workshops, training, and networking events. At the end of the academic year, participants are invited to participate in a focus group to share reflections on their experience and suggestions for future mentoring and support opportunities.


  1. Improve the social and professional support available to tenured faculty 
  2. Provide tenured faculty members with the tools to build and sustain supportive communities
  3. Augment participant’s sense of empowerment to pursue personally meaningful career aspirations
  4. Enrich opportunities for collaboration by fostering campus-wide relationships
  5. Establish and institutionalize the infrastructure to support a culture of mentorship among tenured faculty


Tenured faculty of all ranks are invited to join VIRS peer mentoring circles. 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 join, faculty members will be asked to complete a brief application to help place them in peer groups.


The next call for participants will open in September 2021 for AY2021-22 Circles.  To be notified when the process opens please complete this interest form.  

The process involves completing brief application that helps us place participants in peer circles. We are committed to forming circles that are inclusive, respectful, comfortable spaces for all participants.

For questions, please contact us.