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Office of the Provost

Garnet & Black Associate Professors Program


The Garnet & Black Associate Professors Program is a mid-career professional development initiative designed to invest in the personal and professional success of associate professors at the University of South Carolina.  The program is open to tenured Associate Professors on the USC Columbia campus who have been tenured for at least 2 years.  Through a strategic professional development experience, faculty are provided an opportunity to thoughtfully refocus and recharge, strategically identify and plan new professional directions, and develop the critical skills needed to thrive in the next stage of their career.  

Having achieved tenure is a significant professional accomplishment! The mid-career stage of a faculty member’s journey is a time of celebration, pride, and accomplishment. This career stage also offers an important opportunity to reflect, refine, and refresh professional goals. Mid-career faculty represent a significant and important community of experts, researchers, artists and scholars who will advance knowledge, innovate practice, and provide highly skilled service to global communities through the strategic pursuit of their life passions. 

The experience begins with a one-day “Impact & Possibility: Mid-Career Faculty Symposium” held in-person. The opening symposium is followed by participation in the Provost’s Mid-Career Faculty Institute which is a series of 2-hour monthly sessions throughout the academic year. Institute sessions are synchronous professional development meetings with both in-person or virtual attendance options.

By participating in the program, faculty are provided an opportunity to strategically advance their professional goals, explore leadership opportunities and new possibilities for professional pathways, learn effective strategies for navigating professional and personal life challenges, obtain professional training to help navigate the contemporary academic landscape (social media platforms, brand identity, public engagement, media relations), and gain assistance with developing a strategic professional support team. The program also helps to demystify the process of promotion to full professor.

Program Goals for Faculty

  1. Determine new goals and directions: Faculty reflect on and align their career trajectory (past, present, and future), personal passions/priorities, and new professional interests to map an authentic new direction for the next career stage. 
  2. Engage and develop an awareness of institutional resources and well-being practices available to help faculty and their families navigate both personal and professional challenges.
  3. Understand skills, knowledge, and practices that are critical for next stage career advancement.
  4. Establish a team of multiple sources of personal support including mentors, sponsors, and peer advisors/collaborators. 

Program Nomination Process

The program is limited to 20 participants. Deans may nominate up to three faculty per year.  Nominating units determine their own processes for selecting nominees. However, nominators should keep in mind that the program is designed for all faculty representing a broad range of professional development needs and strengths. Nominators complete a short nomination form.  

Nomination Form
2024-2025 Nomination Deadline Monday April 22, 2024

Nominees might exhibit one (not all) of the following strengths and characteristics:

  • Faculty demonstrating continued potential but who desire opportunities to explore innovative possibilities for the next phase of their career;
  • Faculty seeking successful academic careers through less traditional pathways;
  • Faculty that are highly productive in the traditional areas of research or teaching;
  • Faculty that are highly engaged in the service arena

Program Eligibility

  • USC Columbia tenured faculty members at rank of associate for at least 2-years
  • Available to attend 2024-2025 cohort-based professional development sessions

Program Benefits

Annually, 20 scholars will be selected as Garnet & Black Associate Professors. Selected scholars will hold the designation as Garnet & Black Associate Professors for two years and receive the following benefits:

  • Participation in the Provost’s Mid-Career Faculty Institute, a cohort-based professional development initiative with monthly sessions and activities organized by the Office of the Provost (see below). 
  • Optional one-semester service sabbatical (release from campus-based service obligations for one semester during the two-year fellowship). Scholars may choose not to take this release if desired. 
  • In the second year, Garnet & Black Associate Professors who successfully completed the campus-based program are eligible for competitive funding consideration to participate in a nationally prestigious professional experience.

Program Design

The program provides Garnet & Black Associate Professors with a chance to delve further into the university's commitment to fostering faculty innovation in both research and teaching, advocating for societal impact through publicly engaged research and service, and fostering faculty involvement that enhances the national standing of our institution. Fulfilling these objectives demands a commitment to and investment in the specific needs of our mid-career faculty members. The institute centers USC’s commitment to be a caring university. By not only focusing on work production, but also offering expert sessions related to critical life challenges, family integration and mental/physical wellness, the institute reclaims resilience as an institutional value. 

The institute includes the following experiences: 

  • “Impact & Possibility” Opening Symposium (Full-day event): Faculty impact, achievement, and advancement are institutional priorities at the University of South Carolina. The Impact & Possibility Symposium engages mid-career faculty in an exploration of the many professional possibilities and opportunities that are present at the mid-career stage. 
  • Monthly professional development sessions focused on critical needs of mid-career faculty (Private networking with funders/foundations, Relationship building with publishers, Social Media Training, Wellbeing Experiences, Engagement with senior scholars and executive leaders at USC). Monthly sessions are synchronous and available for in-person and virtual attendance. 
  • Individual Professional Development Plan: Each participant is offered guided assistance in creating an individual professional development plan. This holistic plan factors in faculty interests, passions, and needs related to both professional life (teaching, scholarship, service) and personal life (self, dependents, extended family). 
  • Conversation Café: Participants engage in motivational and strategic conversations with USC Emeritus Faculty aimed at sparking ambitious and exciting pursuits among mid-career faculty. In these sessions, seasoned and retired faculty offer advice on critical issues such as effectively managing time, juggling priorities, and building a sustainable team of support (both internally and externally). 
  • Professional Support Team: The program expands the focus on mentoring, to account for the need to establish a broader support team that includes institutional mentors, peer-advisors, and external sponsors. 
  • Media Relations Coaching: Participants will receive professional media coaching, image building/professional branding support, and information on institutional resources and supports for dealing with incivility on social media platforms. 
  • Synergy groups: Consisting of five faculty participants, these peer groups serve as a professional community for networking, ideation, collaboration, and peer mentoring/support.  Synergy groups are formed based on a primary “next-phase” deep-dive areas of interest: (1) Exploring Interdisciplinary Research-New Directions (2) Growing Public Engagement & Impact (3) Expanding Student & Peer Mentoring Expertise (4) Building Teaching Expertise 
  • In the second year, scholars continue to meet informally with their peer synergy groups to build collaborations and when available, engage as senior G&B scholars in select institute events with new fellows (symposium, closing reception, conversation café, etc.).  Scholars are encouraged to apply to participate in a relevant national professional development experience such as the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity Faculty Success Program or another nationally prestigious opportunity in their discipline. 

2024-2025 Program Calendar

Tuesday, August 20, 2024 First Day of Classes
September 2024 Opening Symposium
Thursday, October 17 & Friday, October 18 Fall Break
October 2024 Monthly Session: Job Crafting & Career Vitality
November 2024 Monthly Session: Navigating the Next Phase
November 18-22nd 2024 Thanksgiving Break/Campus Closed
Friday, December 6, 2024 Last Day of Classes
Monday, January 13, 2025 First Day of Classes
January 2025 Monthly Session: Building a Funding Network
February 2025 Monthly Session: Building a Publishing Network
March 10-14th 2025 Spring Break
March 2025 Monthly Session: Contemporary Media Engagement
April 2025

Monthly Session & Closing Reception: College-Level Capacity 

Building to Invest in Mid-Career Faculty

Meeting Location

Russell House Room 322

Meeting Times

2:00-4:00pm (In person & Virtual Options)

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