Finding it difficult to get time to work on that project that will get you promoted to Full Professor?  You are not alone.  Eight Associate Professors from around the United States convened at Chapman University for the inaugural National Communication Association Mid-Career Scholars Writing Retreat June 26th to July 1st.  Hosted by the School of Communication at Chapman and coordinated by Dr. Michelle Miller-Day, this retreat was designed to provide an opportunity for intensive writing time in a non-distracting environment and to provide guidance from faculty mentors during the process. The retreat was specifically targeted to faculty that hold the rank of Associate Professor to support significant progress toward the completion of an in-progress writing project.

The National Communication Association (NCA) Research Board reviewed numerous applications for attending this retreat and only eight applicants were accepted. It just so happens that all accepted applicants were female and more than 80% of the applications were submitted by female faculty. According to Mindy Fenske, Chair of the NCA Research Board, “This highlights the gendered nature of faculty work.”  Applicant CVs and applications revealed that, on average, women applicants performed a disproportionate amount of service for their departments and universities and this service seemed to have had an impact on their productivity in terms of research and publication. For more information about gender differences in faculty service see “Faculty Service Loads and Gender: Are Women Taking Care of the Academic Family?” published in Research in Higher Education, by Guarino and Borden.

President Struppa and Dean Lisa Sparks hosted a kick-off dinner for the group at their lovely home and the retreat concluded with a parting breakfast at The Filling Station. The writing retreat was a success with a number of manuscripts, chapters, and grant proposals completed during the event and all participants were charmed by the Chapman campus.  Next year the NCA writing retreat will be held at the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign.