KerryAnn designs keynote talks, workshops, and presentations to fit campus and conference needs; typically they fall into one of three categories:
(1) Thriving in Early, Mid, and Late Careers: Professional Growth Workshops for Faculty
Over the last 7 years KerryAnn has designed and implemented six different faculty learning communities to support the advancement and retention of women and under-represented minority faculty, early and mid-career faculty, and academic leaders. She works with campuses to develop and deliver workshops that support the agency faculty feel about career advancement, including such topics as productivity, balance of work and life, aligning time and priorities, and creating mentoring networks.
(2) Faculty Workload and Rewards: Equity Minded Reform for Faculty, Academic Leaders, and Academic Senates
Drawing from her scholarship and leadership as P.I. of the Faculty Workload and Rewards Project, a National Science Foundation (Advance Award:1463898), KerryAnn helps faculty and administrators learn more about implicit bias in how faculty work is taken up, assigned, and rewarded. She helps campuses understand specific strategies to mitigate bias in teaching and service workloads and design new organizational practices that are transparent, and equitable. For more information, see KerryAnn's Workload Brochure and Asked More Often Brief.
(3) Promotion and Tenure Reform
Today, most promotion and tenure processes have embedded organizing practices that maintain inequality. This is especially the case for newer forms of scholarship, such as community engaged, and interdisciplinary scholarship. Likewise, implicit bias can shape networks, workload, mentoring experiences and peer review in ways that disadvantage women and URM faculty. KerryAnn works with campuses to increase awareness of these issues and then draft policy language, or redesign promotion and tenure practices to better regard newer forms of scholarship, and mitigate biases that hurt the cases of women and URM faculty.
KerryAnn O'Meara is the first scholar I've encountered who has really made a difference for me in providing a conceptual framework for thinking about one of my purposes as department chair: cultivating a supportive departmental environment that enhances faculty growth and self-efficacy. Her research articulates the experiences of faculty and demonstrates the dynamics of expectations -- spoken and unspoken -- that they bring to their jobs. Her work also shows that these expectations, while individual in nature, also play out in organizational contexts. I am especially struck by her insistence that we need not give in to the idea that the academy is inevitably demoralizing, toxic, or overly bureaucratic. We can, in fact, affect the contexts in which faculty do their work; they are not immutable. By addressing the context of faculty work, both faculty and department chairs experience a sense of agency and efficacy. O'Meara's work should be on the top of new chairs' reading list.
Karin Peterson, Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology UNC Asheville & Academic Affairs Faculty Fellow at UNC General Administration.
On behalf of the faculty and administration of Rutgers-Camden, I would like to thank you for the terrific institute on community engaged scholarship that you brought to our campus. I have received nothing but praise from those who attended. Special kudos for engaging the faculty in discussion for almost the entire day.
Michael A. Palis, Provost, Rutgers University Camden
Thanks so much for coming to campus the past two days. You were easy to work with, your preparation was well thought out, and your workshops engaged our faculty and administration throughout the entire duration. You showed great breadth and depth of knowledge on reward systems, and had wonderful examples and resources at the tip of your tongue. Our participants left wishing they had more time to pick your brain, and are now ready to start tackling these issues in their respective departments and colleges. Furthermore, the audit and dashboards are clearly strong tools to keep developing. We can’t wait to see future iterations!
Jessica Donovan Program Director, University of Cincinnati LEAF Program (an NSF funded ADVANCE-IT Program)
KerryAnn O'Meara came to our campus this past summer for an all-day Teaching and Learning Institute. I had interest from faculty from all over campus, most of whom had not done community engaged teaching or scholarship. She was well received by everyone and her message was very accessible. Over the next few weeks our campus started a new strategic planning initiative and I heard many of the faculty in attendance bringing attention to the things we learned in the Institute. She is extremely knowledgeable and her research is relevant to engaged, diverse, and interdisciplinary faculty.
Ruth Kassel, Assistant Director for Academic Community Engagement, Siena College
KerryAnn O’Meara’s presentation and discussion have played a crucially important role in framing discussion as we move into our review of Tenure & Promotion policies on campus. In particular, I was struck by the importance of developing effective messaging and training around policies. I can see how having not attended to the messaging around faculty reward systems has led to many unintended consequences and perceptions among faculty that don’t reflect the policies. Another important take-away for me from her presentation is that reforming policies benefits from a value-based approach in which institutional values undergird the process.
Julia Metzker, Professor of Chemistry and Director of ENGAGE, Georgia College and State University
Thank you for your visit to our university this fall. Your presentations on engaged scholarship were an important first step in promoting broad-based conversations across our campuses on this topic. You assisted us in defining engaged scholarship and in exploring how to best address the challenges faced by engaged scholars in academic reward systems (e.g., promotion and tenure, faculty development, finding peer networks). Since your visit, I have received emails from faculty members asking about how to continue to build upon the momentum. I believe that the resources that you offered to provide, along with those available publicly on your faculty website, will be important references for us going forward. I also appreciate your small-group discussion with administrators about the actions that they can take to establish organizational practices that support engaged scholars and faculty community engagement. Your expertise gave voice to many working in this area who have not been able to effectively articulate the importance of their work to their colleagues. For that reason alone, your presence was deeply appreciated.
Patricia L. Donat, PhD, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
I think we hit a home run when we identified Dr. O'Meara as a speaker. She had a message to share that was substantive and relevant, she wasn't afraid to challenge the status quo, but she approaches change in a way that is non-threatening. I sense that we've planted some great seeds to help grow engagement at UT, we just need to do some watering and fertilizing to make them sprout and bear fruit.
Tim Cross, University of Tennessee
Thank you very much for your superb keynote address at our April 20 forum, Community-Engaged Scholarship in Research Universities. We could not have hoped for a better outcome for the forum. Your remarks earned superlatives from many here and greatly stimulated our conversation about and interest in engaged scholarship at U Albany. The range of topics you covered--from the history about and interest in engaged scholarship in higher education to the steps institutions can take to "set the table" in the P&T process--provided the needed breadth of scope for U Albany.
You stimulated an equally excellent discussion at the luncheon for U Albany deans and other campus leaders. Because of your own scholarship on faculty rewards, work and life issues, and community engagement, you deftly fielded questions and extended our own inquiries. We heard very positive feedback from many participants including members of the Council on Promotion and Continuing Appointments.
We greatly appreciate everything you did to listen to our needs and fine-tune your remarks and documents to make our first conversation about this critical area such a success.
Miriam Trementozzi, CCUCE Co-Chair and Associate Vice President of Community Engagement, President's Office
The Department of Physical Therapy at Springfield College, Springfield, MA engaged KerryAnn O’Meara from May, 2012-September, 2012 as a consultant. In this role, KerryAnn was charged with assisting us in developing and coordinating a retreat that revolved around clarifying both personal faculty and department plans and goals.
KerryAnn was outcomes focused, ensuring that we met the retreat objectives. She promoted and facilitated collegiality, responsibility and engagement. KerryAnn’s skills include her strong knowledge base and her keen analysis of our situation both in the external environment of our profession and in the internal college environment. She drew on her experience and research work in faculty and organizational development enlightening us along the way about major issues and trends for faculty across professions and institutions. Her approach to working with a small group was exactly what we needed, the right does of humor, of dynamism, and a solid work-ethic. In sum, she exceeded our needs and set us on a course with reachable, realistic targets.
Julia Chevan, PT, PhD, MPH, OCS Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Therapy, Springfield College
On behalf of my colleagues in the School of Education, I want to thank you for providing the keynote lecture at our annual Research Colloquium last month. Your talk, "Building the Plane As We Fly It: Faculty, Universities, and Change" hit all the right notes in laying out the issues, the challenges, and possible solutions as we work toward creating the "new normal" faced by universities and faculty. Your own scholarship on the issues and your comprehensive grasp of the literature was woven into a dense but highly accessible talk from which we all benefited.
I just received the evaluation report we went to SOE attendees about all of our activities that day, including your keynote lecture. Not surprisingly, the evaluations echo my assessment- over 90% of the respondents were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with your talk. Comments include "engaging and highly relevant for all in attendance," "pertinent and provoking," "great speaker," and "nice opportunity to engage campus community members." You get the idea- it was a homerun and I am grateful for the time and energy you put into the talk.
Deborah L. Speece, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
A huge thank you for accepting our invitation to come to USI and for sharing your expertise with us today! Your workshop was an amazing learning experience. The strategies that you discussed are, without a doubt, going to help us in what is next in our academic career. Your passion for higher education was contagious and left the room inspired a with bigger plans for summer.
Gabriela Mustata Wilson, University of Southern Indiana