What is NFD (NetWorks for Faculty Development)?

NetWorks’ goals are a vibrant intellectual community, effective undergraduate teaching, and career-long professional development.

Welcome to NetWorks for Faculty Development (NFD). NetWorks provides opportunities for faculty to get to know each other informally and to mentor one another.

For new faculty, these opportunities begin at workshops and orientation events in the late summer. Throughout the year, faculty in their first three years, including pre-tenure faculty, all visitors, artists in residence, Mellon post-doctorate fellows, and Bolin fellows, are invited to participate in the First3 Lunch Schedule and other events (for more information, see First 3). These discussions provide a forum for asking questions and sharing answers, for learning about the College and its academic resources, for discussions of teaching, scholarship and/or creative endeavors, as well as how to balance it all.

All Faculty lunches (a collaborative effort typically facilitated by the Dean of the Faculty’s Office and First 3) and NFD events occur throughout the year and are open to all, addressing questions of interest to faculty at all stages of their Williams careers. NFD also helps to coordinate programs for all faculty that support our teaching and our own scholarship and creative endeavors, and provides information about the College’s resources in support of that work. Events over the course of the year include Drop-In Lunches with Associate Deans, a publishing workshop and faculty retreat in the spring, and workshops that range from grant-writing and Design Thinking to writing retreats and new media training. The goals are a vibrant intellectual community, effective undergraduate teaching, and career-long professional development.

We hope you’ll check back often to see what’s in store, and contact First 3 or the Dean of Faculty’s office with suggestions for ways that we can support your work.


NetWorks Events


Upcoming events

Difference, Power, Equity (DPE) Faculty Chats

Williams College is committed to creating and maintaining a curriculum, faculty, and student body that reflects and explores a diverse, globalized world. In the spirit of that commitment, the  the faculty voted in the spring of 2017 to change the current Exploring Diversity Initiative requirement to the Difference, Power, and Equity Requirement.

To ensure a seamless transition, the Committee on Educational Affairs and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty are hosting a series of opportunities for faculty interested in teaching a Difference, Power, and Equity course to share syllabi and ideas with each other. Please join us for the upcoming syllabus-brainstorming sessions this academic year:

11/29/17:  Lunch in the Faculty House lounge: 11:30am-1:00pm

12/11/17: “Wine, Cheese, and Syllabus” in the Hollander lounge: 4 PM

1/9/18:  Lunch in the Faculty House New Private dining room: 12:00-1:30pm

1/11/18:  Lunch in the Faculty House lounge: 12:00-1:30pm

For questions, please contact Professor Lara Shore-Sheppard, Chair of the CEA

Design Thinking Pilot @ Williams

Thanks to a very generous gift, Williams has officially launched a three-year Design Thinking pilot program,  to be spearheaded by Richard Grefé, our Design Thinker in Residence (DTiR). Ric will be a resource for faculty, staff and students who would like to learn more about and engage innovative practices. For faculty in particular, he will be a hands-on resource for planning courses, assignments, and creative approaches to original research. The position represents a broader institutional interest in promoting creativity as a core component of the college educational mission for the campus community as a whole.

Design Thinking, a human-centered approach to problem solving, has been emerging at Williams for a number of years (see DesignWilliamsATimeline), and facilitated in great part by the interest of students as well as faculty and staff partners in Art, CLiA, Mathematics, and WCMA.

With its evolution from grassroots initiative to a more formalized pilot, we are excited to launch more robust programming and work during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Interested in learning more about Design Thinking? Check out these recent ruminations!

Yes, Design Thinking is B.S…And We Should Promote it Anyway

Can Design Thinking Redesign Higher Ed?

How Design Thinking Can be Applied Across the Campus

How to Solve Problems Like a Designer

Drop-in lunches with Associate Deans

Dear colleagues,

Last year, the Associate Deans’ lunches explored issues impacting faculty climate in the classroom, and at the unit-level. This semester, we will focus on a range of topics related to labor and community commitments at the college level (writ large).

The Associate Deans’ lunches are held on Wednesdays at noon. They are occasions for faculty to get together and talk—across ranks, divisions, and disciplines—on topics of mutual interest.

We hope you will join us for one or more lunches this fall, which will be held in a variety of locations. When held at the Faculty House (see the schedule for details), please charge your lunch to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

Co-hosted by Associate Dean for Institutional Diversity and Equity Ngonidzashe Munemo and Associate Dean of Faculty Rhon Manigault-Bryant. If you would like to suggest a topic for discussion, please contact one of us.


Lunch Dates & Locations

  • September 20, 2017: Labor and college community commitments – Noon in the Black Room at The Log
  • October 4, 2017: Open Conversation Noon in the Black Room at The Log
  • October 11, 2017: Who is actually doing college service? Noon in the Black Room at The Log
  • October 25, 2017: I notice I am the only one who cares about…Noon in the New Private Room of the Faculty House
  • November 15, 2017: Does service actually make a difference? Noon in the Black Room at The Log
  • December 6, 2017: How do we balance labor and college community commitments? I need a break from service, what do I do?  – Noon in the New Private Room of the Faculty House



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