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From the Desk: A commitment to support our faculty

The IUB 2030 strategic plan encourages innovative approaches to prioritizing academic excellence, transformative research and student success. To maximize potential in these areas, Indiana University must work to establish and ensure a culture of respect and integrity, an appreciation for diverse perspectives, and a commitment to clear, open dialogue among colleagues.

Carrie Docherty. Carrie Docherty.

Throughout the IUB 2030 planning phase and the deep listening required by this process, we grew aware of a need to better support faculty where difficult conversations and alternative resolution options are concerned.

As I transitioned into the role of vice provost for faculty and academic affairs, these conversations continued, and it became apparent that we all want faculty to:

  • Thrive in their professional relationships.
  • Promote creative problem-solving in an array of group dynamics.
  • Experience equity, respect and inclusivity as the norm.
  • Have confidence in a private resource to discuss sensitive interpersonal matters.
  • Make empowered decisions as they build capacity and find pathways through challenging situations.

To this end, the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs has convened an advisory committee to examine alternative dispute resolution planning, mediation, conflict coaching and skills for critical conversations on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. The committee will collaborate with members of the Bloomington Faculty Council as well as other individuals and offices on our campus who have expertise in this area. The committee will identify strengths, opportunities and challenges to better navigate conflict and recommend a structure for providing resources and support.

This campus committee includes the following members:

  • Co-chair Lisa-Marie Napoli, director of PACE, the Political and Civic Engagement program.
  • Co-chair Colleen Ryan, professor of French and Italian, and associate vice provost for faculty and academic affairs.
  • Asaad Alsaleh, associate professor and chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.
  • Ishan Ashutosh, associate professor of geography, and a core faculty member of the Dhar India Studies program.
  • Carmen Henne-Ochoa, assistant dean of diversity and inclusion for the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Anna Krause, associate director for the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Rashad Nelms, associate vice president for strategy and innovation, and associate vice provost for diversity and inclusion.
  • Sean Nicholson-Crotty, professor in the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and director of the Graduate Mentoring Center.
  • Cathrine Reck, clinical professor in the Department of Chemistry and a Bloomington Faculty Council member.
  • Libby Spotts, senior associate dean of student life, deputy Title IX coordinator and director for the Office of Student Conduct.

Your input is important. Faculty needs, accessibility and the incorporation of diverse perspectives are at the core of the committee’s work.

If you wish to anonymously share your thoughts, please send questions, insights or feedback regarding the initiative via a survey link.

For a more direct conversation, I encourage you to reach out to members of the advisory committee at with any suggestions you may have to inform the committee’s research, discussions and recommendations. Committee members pledge to maintain privacy for those who choose to share.

The mission of our office has always been to support our faculty in every step of their career. Navigating conflict and ensuring we find systems to encourage meaningful resolutions are a major part of that support. Thank you for your contribution to our efforts.

Carrie Docherty is vice provost for faculty and academic affairs.