Opportunity for Professional Development
Discover Your University offers visit days that invite faculty and staff (as individuals or teams) to visit places on campus and learn about great things happening at Iowa. Discover Your University experiences serve professional development, employee engagement, and team-building goals.
Iowa's Educational Opportunities policy encourages faculty and staff participation in educational and developmental opportunities, broadly defined. In addition, the Volunteer Time Release policy supports flexible practices for community engagement.
We encourage supervisors to treat Discover Your University like other professional development activities scheduled during the workday. Talk to your teams about the opportunity and encourage participation when feasible. If a particular day, time, or event conflicts with unit business goals, please work with team members to plan participation for future visit day.
Faculty and staff can participate in up to two Discover Your University activities each year. Activities generally run 1-2 hours.
See Discover Your University FAQs
Arranging Workplace Coverage
To participate in Discover Your University, individuals and teams must work with supervisors and colleagues to arrange sufficient coverage for normal work responsibilities.
Potential coverage solutions include:
- Splitting up teams and having different groups participate in different Discover Your University visit days.
- Arranging coverage—in-person or virtually—from another unit in your department.
- Closing non student/public-facing offices temporarily.
Clear communication is key—make sure teams understand business needs and expectations for operations and coverage.
Focus on Engagement and Well-Being
Research shows that employee engagement—emotional, cognitive, and physical connection to work—increases when we feel our work has meaning and offers us opportunities to grow and develop. Engagement enhances retention, effort, and commitment.
Discover Your University targets the “meaning in your work” driver of employee engagement. While Working at Iowa survey results suggest that employees understand how their work contributes to the university's mission, greater awareness Iowa people, programs, and distinctions happening could further enhance employee commitment.
We also know that having a sense of pride and purpose can promote wellbeing. Encouraging pride in the university, providing engaging breaks from regular work, and building in opportunities for exercise and wellness activities and possibly all support employee well-being.