Leader's Circle: Leverage Existing Resources to Enhance Graduate Professional Development

Friday, April 24, 2020

10AM - 11AM EST

Increasingly, graduate schools are expected to provide professional development despite having limited staff and financial resources. As such, graduate education leaders are looking for ways to lead their schools in this charge to create diverse professional pathways for graduate students. 

Join Beyond the Tenure Track as we host Dean Phillip Brian Harper (Graduate School of Arts & Science, New York University) and Associate Dean Ernest L. Brothers (The Graduate School, University Tennessee, Knoxville) to discuss recent award-winning initiatives and programmatic re-launches at their respective institutions.

In this intimate, information-sharing session exclusive for graduate leaders, we will discuss:

  • How the graduate school can provide professional development without conflicting with efforts delivered by departments or colleges. 

  • The importance of establishing a conceptual framework to guide the development and strengthening of all programming.

  • Approaches to integrating academic and applied skills development in professional development design. 

  • Ways to identify and collaborate with internal and external partners to create new programs.

  • How to engage faculty to collaborate on professional development initiatives, especially for applied careers.

Beyond the Tenure Track is excited to launch the Leaders’ Circle with this informative discussion about promising practices to develop affordable, creative and sustainable graduate professional development programming.


Session recording will be made available for all who register.


Ernest L. Brothers serves as Associate Dean in the Graduate School at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and as director of the Office of Graduate Training and Mentorship. He is also the associate director for diversity enhancement for the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) and an adjunct assistant professor of political science. He is an advocate of recruiting, retaining, and graduating more underrepresented students with graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Brothers has served as the president of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, president-elect of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools, chair of the Audit Committee for the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools, and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy (ACAPP) for the Council of Graduate Schools. He has earned a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.S. in Natural Sciences from Delta State University. In addition to those degrees, Brothers has also earned a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from Mississippi State University and a PhD from Jackson State University in urban higher education.

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Phillip Brian Harper is Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University. He is the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Literature and holds a joint appointment in NYU’s Departments of Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA) and English. A scholar of modern and contemporary U.S. literature and culture, of African-American expressive culture, and of gender and sexuality, Dean Harper is the author of numerous publications in these fields and their intersections—most recently Abstractionist Aesthetics: Artistic Form and Social Critique in African American Culture (New York University Press, 2015)—and his research has been supported by such agencies as the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Having joined the NYU faculty in 1995, Dean Harper was the Founding Chair of SCA, and he also served as Chair of the English department before being appointed to lead the Graduate School of Arts and Science in July 2017. He received his A.B. from the University of Michigan, and M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University.


Fatimah Williams, Ph.D. is the CEO & Founder of Beyond the Tenure Track, a professional development and career-planning firm that prepares graduate students, faculty, and PhDs for leadership roles and high-quality careers. Her professional development guidance has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Scientific American, University Affairs, and numerous podcasts. She has been an invited speaker at leading national conferences such as the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools and the 69th Annual Meeting of the AAU’s Association of Graduation Schools. She is a member of the Board of Managers of the University of Virginia Alumni Association. Fatimah is the author of two books: Professional Pathways Planner and Be Bold: Launch Your Job Search or Career Change with Confidence.