Ides of March Edition

One of our favorite events of the year is coming up in early April—our annual Celebration of Teaching. We hope that you’ll join us to share your teaching successes from the academic year and to get inspiration and insights from your colleagues. The event will take place in the Faculty Hub (3rd Floor of Boatwright Library) on Tuesday, April 4 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and is open to faculty and instructional staff. At 3:45 p.m., President Hallock and Provost Legro will provide welcoming remarks, and opportunities to visit and celebrate with colleagues will follow. Please RSVP to let us know that you’re planning to join us, and please indicate if you have teaching materials/outcomes you wish to share at the event.

Register for the Celebration of Teaching.

Continue reading here…

Faculty Accomplishments Reception TODAY, and March Faculty Hub Events

TODAY – Faculty Accomplishments Reception
Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
The Research and Collaborative Study Area on the First Floor in Boatwright Library

Please join us TODAY for the Faculty Accomplishments Reception hosted by the Office of the Provost in conjunction with Boatwright Memorial Library and the Faculty Hub. This is an opportunity to honor Richmond faculty members who have achieved successes in the form of research and scholarly publications, as well as creative achievements in the visual and performing arts between January 2022 and December 2022. Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Jeffrey W. Legro, will make remarks followed by a toast and reception. Learn more here. We hope you will join us!

Please read more about March events here.

Thinking about the AI

AI Impacts on Teaching and Scholarship

Blog posts about artificial intelligence are everywhere you look. To help you make sense of all the noise, we are writing another one :). This one will focus on you, University of Richmond faculty, who are curious how artificial intelligence will impact your teaching and scholarship. We’ll be focused exclusively on language artificial intelligence, if you are interested in other kinds of AI feel free to reach out to our technology consultant Andrew Bell to chat!

Large language models (LLMs) are AI systems that are trained to generate human-like language. They are trained using massive datasets of text (imagine being able to read 9 million word books once a day for an entire lifetime / 80 years, that’s how much text these models are trained on). They learn to recognize and generate words and phrases in the same way that humans do. This allows them to understand generate new content based on specific inputs or prompts. 

These LLMs are applied in a number of different applications and services. The one that you might have heard about is chatGPT but there are countless others like (specifically for helping the writing process) or (a service for helping read dense academic papers). For this blog post we’ll focus primarily on chatGPT. chatGPT, created by openAI, is a conversational chatbot that is sensationally good a generating human-like text. This has raised concerns within the education domain about academic integrity and whether writing is something our students will offload to artificial intelligence. 

Faculty Hub Recommendation #1: Develop a policy for AI use in your course and communicate it to your students

Article IV of the University of Richmond’s Honor code requires student’s pledge that they “have neither received nor given unauthorized assistance during the completion of [their] work”. Artificially intelligence generated text certainly could be considered unauthorized assistance but our recommendation is to determine a specific policy for AI generated text and then communicate that policy with your students. Whether it is a specific syllabi policy or a conversation in class, we recommend articulating a specific vision  for what your expectations are. 

  • Sample AI Policy Statements from Faculty Hub (link)
  • Ethan Mollick of Wharton Business School policy (link)


Faculty Hub Recommendation #2: Gain a better understanding of what LLMs can and can’t do for your discipline

Because these models are only as good as the text they are trained on, the impacts are dependent on what discipline you teach / research in. For instance, most court proceedings and scholarship is freely available and therefore likely part of the corpus that models like GPT-3 (backbone on chatGPT) are trained on. That’s in contrast to some humanities disciplines like modern literature whose primary literature and scholarship are copywrited and/or behind paywalls. This will primarily impact how ‘knowledge’ the models are (whether or not the resulting text is actually rooted an any sort of truth or just BS). We encourage you to investigate the abilities of chatGPT or if you aren’t interested in creating an account, schedule a consultation with the Faculty Hub and we can facilitate that investigate with you. 

Faculty Hub Recommendation #3: Identify processes / tasks that might benefit from AI assistance 

It is important to note that we are just at the beginning to understand the utility of these LLMs. There is still a lot of uncertainty about the impact they have. We have identified a few ways chatGPT can improve various processes that are a part of faculty workflows. Below are a few ideas but we encourage you to reach out to use to learn more about how it might impact your specific workflows:

  • Brainstorming and workshopping essay prompts: tell chatGPT what topics you are covering and then ask it to propose essay prompts 
  • Summarizing articles, arguments and evidence: While chatGPT makes mistakes when producing new content, it excels at summarizing text. 
  • Develop ideas for future directions of projects
  • Read primary literature more quickly – use to read papers outside your field faster
  • Avoid blank paper inertia
  • Use chatGPT as a personal coding assistant for new coding projects

Those are our three specific recommendations for thinking about AI impacts on teaching and scholarship. Likely there will be more as the tools and service quickly evolve over the next few months. Please reach out to use at if you have any questions!

Already February?!?

We here at the Faculty Hub hope that your semester is off to a good start. It is hard to believe January flew by so fast!

Please read on to learn more about our February events which cover a number of topics–mid-semester feedback, ChatGPT, alternative grading, courageous conversations, reclaiming joy, and much more! To see all of the events at a glance, we invite you to consult our Events page. In addition, please free to schedule a one-on-one consultation with us at any point if you have any specific topics you’d like to discuss.

Read more here!

Opportunities for Faculty

We hope the semester is off to a good start for you. Now that classes are in full swing, we thought it might be a good time to revisit one of our Morning Blend videos from last semester: Healthy Boundaries with Students by Dr. Laura Knouse. Dr. Knouse shares some research and some pointers that might help you find some balance during a busy spring semester.

Below, we’ve shared information about some ongoing and upcoming programs designed to support you with your teaching and scholarship in the coming months. You can find a complete list of upcoming events on our Events Page. We also invite you to reach out for a one-on-one consultation with us at any point if you have any specific topics you’d like to discuss.

Continue reading about upcoming opportunities here.

Greetings and Welcome Back!

We hope that you were able to find some time to rest and enjoy the company of friends and family over the break. As you ease yourself back into the pace of the semester, we invite you to join us for some events this week, all designed to get the spring semester off to a good start. And, if you have something specific to your teaching or scholarship that you’d like to explore in more depth, know that the Faculty Hub staff is always available to meet for one-on-one consultations anytime. Please feel free to send us an email (, and we’ll find a time to meet at your convenience.

In addition to this week’s events, we invite you to our Welcome Back Breakfast next week on Wednesday, January 11 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. here in the Faculty Hub on the 3rd Floor of Boatwright Library. We’ll have a range of breakfast options, coffee, and beverages–sustenance to keep you going during that first busy week of classes. Feel free to stop in for any amount of time you can spare, or just grab a quick snack on your way to the office.

Read more about upcoming events here.

Fall 2022 Wrap Up

We hope your fall semester is wrapping up nicely. We’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the great things happening in the Faculty Hub that you might have missed this past semester.

The Faculty Hub space is seeing more and more activity this semester as a ‘return to campus’ trend continues. Looking for meeting space or just a quiet place to deliver a zoom conference talk? From faculty conferences to departmental meetings, the Faculty Hub space on the third floor of Boatwright Library has lots of great options for your next meeting. Reach out to Jane Bise to learn more about ways you can utilize the Faculty Hub space.

Our fourth semester of Morning Blend, a weekly opportunity to learn something new, welcomed a number of campus partners to the Faculty Hub. We were joined by Laura Knouse, Associate Professor of Psychology, for a session on Healthy Boundaries, and Samantha Guss, Social Sciences Librarian, spoke about citation management (yay for Zotero)! Director of Grant Support, Jeanine Larson, also helped us demystify the grant writing process. Faculty Hub staff led many other great sessions like “First Day of Class” and “How to Take Advantage of UR’s Digital Pedagogy Toolbox.” You can find the full archive of the fall 2022 Morning Blend sessions here.

We also started a new coaching program for faculty wishing to work one on one with a faculty colleague or Faculty Hub staff. This semester that program has engaged faculty on wide ranging topics from: building code for a data science project to getting feedback on a new book proposal. If you are interested in engaging with the coaching program next semester, reach out to Kitty Maynard to learn more.

Faculty Hub staff facilitated 17 courses assessments his fall (an all-time semester high for us – woot!). This service helps faculty better understand the student experience in their classes and promotes student metacognition. Interested in using this service in one of your spring 2023 courses? Schedule a facilitated course assessment here, or reach out to Kylie Korsnack to learn more.

This fall we offered a variety of opportunities for faculty to explore and deepen their knowledge of inclusive pedagogies. We hosted our colleague Carlos Hurtado initiative for a workshop on strategies to promote a sense of belonging in the classroom, and we co-sponsored a session on Understanding the Hidden Curriculum with guest speaker, Rachel Gable. New this semester, we launched the Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort 2.0: Students as Partners as an expansion to the Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort initiative that has existed in the Provost’s Office since 2018. This new group consists of six faculty members and five students (Student Inclusive Pedagogy Consultants employed by the Faculty Hub) who are working together to explore the possibility of creating a student-faculty partnership program focused on inclusive pedagogy. Please reach out to Kylie Korsnack if you would like more information about any of these workshops or programs.

Creating time and space to learn more about our faculty scholarship is one of the goals of our Faculty Hub Talk series. This semester over lunch we learned more about the scholarship of our colleagues: Matthew Oware and Julie McConnell. We also heard about the inspiring projects by last year’s Faculty Fellows David Brandenberger, Monti Datta, and Julietta Singh. In addition to hearing about the scholarly efforts of our own faculty, we also welcomed nationally-known Helen Sword for a session on Writing Productively – it can be viewed here.

In collaboration with our faculty partners on the Faculty Technology Committee, we awarded three Digital Pedagogy grants this past semester. 3D scanning (creating a digital three-dimensional model of a physical object) were central to two awards: Lizzie Baughan was awarded funds for iPads with 3D scanning ability, and Sandy Williams was awarded funds for an EinScan H scanner for large scale scanning projects. These applications were funded through a one-time funding opportunity for equipment. As part of our recurring software funding process we approved Lauren Henley’s exploration of an AI powered discussion board tool (Packback) that promotes student learning through deeper engagement. If interested in applying for a Digital Pedagogy grant, email Andrew Bell to learn more.

Giving Thanks

Gratitude Day here at the University of Richmond is November 3, and it seems like a perfect opportunity for us to take a moment to express our gratitude to you. We’ve been here in our space on the third floor of Boatwright Library for a little over a year, and we’ve come a long way thanks to a lot of help from our friends. We’re grateful to the many campus partners who collaborate with us and enrich our programs with their expertise. And we’re especially thankful for the committed, creative, and caring members of the faculty here at the University of Richmond. We’re very lucky to work with and learn from you all.

Read about our November happenings here.