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Program in Career Development (PCD)

PCD Mission

PCD's mission is to promote the professional development of junior faculty in the College of Arts and Science by providing an array of programming and mentoring opportunities to support them in establishing a flourishing career at Vanderbilt and beyond.

PCD offers six different types of programming:

  • Lunchtime discussions of specific topics related to professional development
  • Confidential mentor-matching with senior faculty outside your home department
  • Cohort meetings to discuss issues specific to your time on tenure clock
  • Visiting speakers from outside the Vanderbilt community
  • A social event for junior faculty at the end of each semester
  • A Brightspace site that serves as a repository of hopefully useful information and links on navigating the tenure track.


PCD Director

Prof. Julian F. Hillyer, Department of Biological Sciences
phone: 615-343-2065

PCD Programs 

January 31, 2018 – Value and use of student evaluations of teaching

For the award of tenure a faculty member must achieve a “high level of effectiveness in teaching”.  One of the ways in which Vanderbilt assesses teaching is via student evaluations.  This activity will detail the usefulness of student evaluations, and will discuss how to interpret them.  This activity will also emphasize that Vanderbilt University uses student evaluations during tenure deliberations, and will present ideas on how to maximize participation in the evaluation process.  The presenters for this activity are: 

  1. Cynthia Brame, Assistant Director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching
  2. Julián Hillyer, Director of the A&S Program in Career Development

Time:  12:10-1:00 PM

Location:  Buttrick Hall, room 123


February 21, 2018 – Managing service responsibilities

Faculty members have obligations that go beyond research, scholarship, creative expression and teaching.  For example, faculty are expected to contribute to departmental and school activities, University governance, and service to the profession.  Vanderbilt expects its tenure-track faculty to assume a fair share of such service work and to perform it satisfactorily.  Thus, for the award of tenure, Vanderbilt requires “satisfactory performance in the area of service”.  This conversational activity will focus on the importance of service, highlighting what is generally considered to be useful service, discussing how to manage service responsibilities, and suggesting ways to seek useful service and to say “no” to overburdening requests.  The panelists for this activity are:

  1. Ruth Hill, Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Spanish
  2. Cindy Kam, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Political Science
  3. James Patton, Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences 

Time:  12:10-1:00 PM

Location:  Buttrick Hall, room 123


March 21, 2018 – Making tenure

The road to tenure is a long one, and no two paths are the same.  This conversational activity features recently tenured professors that will share their experiences as they traveled the path to tenure.  In particular, the conversation will focus on key decisions made during the path to tenure, and advice on how to – while on the tenure-track – balance the responsibilities of research, teaching and service.  The panelists for this activity are:

  1. Christin Essin, Associate Professor of Theater
  2. Joel Rodrigue, Associate Professor of Economics
  3. Ioana Suvaina, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Time:  1:10-2:00 PM

Location:  Buttrick Hall, room 123