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Post-Tenure Pathfinders Program


The NCFDD Post-Tenure Pathfinders Program is a 12-week, online-based program that provides space for recently tenured faculty to pause, engage in a discovery process about what’s possible in their next chapter, and build the support network necessary to move powerfully in that new direction. In order to participate in this program, faculty members must have already completed the Faculty Success Program. In addition, the Post-Tenure Pathfinders program is intended for:

  • Recently tenured faculty members who want to find their post-tenure pathway, OR
  • Tenured mid-career faculty members who want to plan their next chapter.

Program Outcomes

  1. Reconnect with who you are and what you love.
  2. Explore your potential post-tenure possibilities.
  3. Make the identity transition from “junior” to “senior” faculty.
  4. Decide who you will become as a person with power on your campus.
  5. Release mindsets that were effective pre-tenure but will no longer serve you.
  6. Pick a post-tenure pathway.
  7. Construct a new mentoring network for your path.
  8. Plan for your success.
  9. Participate in an intensely supportive community that processes day-to-day challenges, pushes individuals when they need it, and celebrates members’ successes as they occur.

Session Dates

The NCFDD Post-Tenure Pathfinders Program is only offered during the summer from mid-May to early-August.


Standard tuition is $3,450 per participant.

Program Scholarships

The Office of the Provost will provide scholarships to three faculty to attend this program and will partially fund four others.  We especially invite applications from individuals whose participation will support the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals with respect to the retention of faculty from underrepresented groups.


Full-time associate professors with tenure who have already completed NCFDD’s Faculty Success Program are eligible for tuition support.

Faculty who would like to pay their own tuition through other funding sources are welcome to enroll in the program without financial assistance from the Office of the Provost and should work directly with their department and college to enroll.

Expectations and Requirements for Scholarship Recipients

Faculty who receive funding are expected to complete the Post-Tenure Pathfinders program and to participate in the weekly calls and exercises, as described in the program.

Within a year following completion of the program, scholarship recipients either individually or in small groups are expected to share with others in the university community what they learned from their participation in the program. Sample activities include:

  • Facilitate a weekly or monthly writing group with graduate students or faculty in your department or college.
  • Host one of NCFDD’s virtual workshops for faculty and students in your department or college. This can be a live virtual workshop, or an on-demand showing of a recorded workshop from NCFDD’s digital library.
  • Present to students, staff, or faculty in your department or college, relevant lessons learned from your participation in the program (e.g., time management) via brown-bag or colloquium.
  • Lead a workshop or participate in a panel session for campus-wide seminars on related topics organized by campus units.

Application Process

Applications for tuition support should be submitted as a single PDF to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs ( Applications should consist of:

  • A brief statement (about 2 pages) that includes the following:
    • Your name, title, department, and college
    • The year you received tenure at UTK
    • The session (fall, spring, or summer) and year in which you completed the NCFDD Faculty Success Program and a short description of how your participation in this program has impacted your experience as a faculty member
    • What you hope to gain from participating in the program and how your participation will allow you to achieve your next level professional goals
    • What you will bring to the NFCDD program cohort
    • Statements indicating (1) your willingness to provide the Provost’s Office with feedback about your experiences when you complete the program and (2) your willingness to initiate some sort of programming after your participation to enhance and support faculty and/or graduate student development at UTK.
  • Endorsement letter from your department head, program director, or mentor
  • Endorsement letter from your college

Application Deadlines

Applications are due by February 1 in the year in which you are requesting assistance.

Selection of Scholarship Recipients

The Office of the Provost will charge a committee with reviewing applications and selecting recipients for the fully funded scholarships. The Office of the Provost will select recipients of the partially funded scholarships both using guidance from the committee and considering other factors such as college representation and a college’s prioritization of applications, if provided.

Those who are selected are expected to register in time to receive the priority registration tuition rate for these sessions. Information about registration deadlines can be found online at the NCFDD website.