Welcoming New Faculty Colleagues

Departments and programs play critical roles in welcoming new faculty colleagues. Thank you for all of your efforts to ensure that our incoming colleagues have a smooth and successful transition. The following list of key items will assist you in helping new faculty to settle in.

Early Conversations

A number of matters should be discussed soon after the arrival of new faculty colleagues:

  1. Course offerings over the course of the first year
    • What courses will be offered?
    • What days/time and place? (Please avoid course offerings during the Friday lunch hour so that new faculty can engage in the yearlong orientation and professional development programming)
  2. Syllabi
    • Share copies of your own syllabi and teaching materials (if relevant), especially for core or foundational courses
    • Review new faculty syllabi and provide feedback prior to the start of the semester
    • Point new faculty to Lafayette’s course syllabi requirements: Lafayette General Course Syllabi Requirements
  3. Book order process (textbooks and reserves at Skillman Library)
    • Textbook requisitions can be made at https://collegestore.lafayette.edu/SiteText?id=89320and can also be accessed from the College Store website using the “Books- Course Adoptions Portal”
    • New faculty should order textbooks as early as possible
    • Booklist due dates for AY 2023-2024 courses are in early July (for fall semester orders), early December (for Interim courses), and early January (for spring semester courses)
    • Provide assistance with ordering course book reserves at Skillman Library’s reference desk (https://library.lafayette.edu/services-help/services/reserves/)—It is helpful to put course materials on reserve well before the semester starts and before students check them out for the semester.
    • Assist faculty with the process of ordering books for the library collection. If your department or program has a library liaison, please put the new faculty member in touch with that person.
  4. Research program
    • Discuss what new faculty need to set up their research programs (e.g., equipment, software, etc.)
    • Help order supplies and equipment (where funds are available and approved for this purpose)
    • Reach out to ITS for special software/computing needs (Contact Chris Koch at kochc@lafayette.edu)
  5. Library
    • Help familiarize colleagues with services that the library provides, such as PRA, introduction to instructional technology, course reserves, book orders, Interlibrary Loan, etc.
    • Connect new faculty with colleagues in Lafayette’s libraries and ITS for support with teaching and research
  6. Assistance with moving to the area
    • Health, retirement, and other benefits (contact HR)
    • Renting college-owned housing (contact Ryan Snyder, Senior Associate of Business Services)—please note that demand for college-owned housing is very high and that supplies are extremely limited
    • Encourage new faculty to join the Lafayette Underground for local information, contact Josh Miller (millerj@lafayette.edu)
  7. Key dates
    • Inform new colleagues of department events that they should attend
    • Share dates/times for department/program and faculty meetings, which faculty are expected to attend.
    • Please share the Clerk’s Schedule for Elected Faculty Committee Meetings, which includes dates for the Faculty meetings, Department and Program meetings, and the Department Heads/Program Chairs meeting.
  8. Additional topics that may arise
    • Employment opportunities for family members: encourage them to visit HR websites at the College and other LVAIC institutions
    • K-12 education for new colleagues with school-aged children

 Initial Welcome on Campus

Please arrange for one or two colleagues to be available within the first day or two of the new faculty member’s arrival on campus. The colleague(s) should be available to show the new colleague around the building and their office and to answer any questions that they may have.

Office-Related Items

Office Space and Furniture: The need for office space and furniture should be discussed with Amy Klotz, Director of Academic Operations, soon after the new colleague is hired. The department/program should arrange for updates to any office door name tags or department/program mailboxes with the new colleague’s name in advance of their arrival to campus. Prior to the arrival of the new colleague to campus, office furniture should be requested. This normally includes a desk and chair, bookcases, and filing cabinets. Questions can be directed to Amy Klotz (klotza@lafayette.edu) in the Provost’s Office.

 Keys (Facilities): Notify new colleagues of the locations of their offices and classrooms. In advance of your new colleague’s arrival, arrange for keys to be created for these spaces. Departments and programs can submit work orders for keys to Facilities (see https://facilitiesops.lafayette.edu/servicerequests/lock-and-key-policy/) at any time after the hiring process is completed. New faculty should be directed to pick up their keys at 901 Bushkill Drive. Questions can be directed to Roy Bollinger (bollingr@lafayette.edu) in Facilities.

Computer, email, and telephone (ITS): Prior to the arrival of the new colleague, a computer and functional telephone line should be in place, ready for use on arrival. An email account is normally created shortly after the hiring process is completed. Questions can be directed to Chris Koch (kochc@lafayette.edu) in ITS.

Campus directory (Communications): After the office, email, and phone number are set up for the new colleague, the department/program should contact the Provost’s Office with this information and ensure that it is listed in the online campus directory. Updated information should be sent to Nancy Williams (williamn@lafayette.edu) in the Provost’s Office.

Building Connections and A Sense of Belonging

Consider ways to help new faculty to form connections within the department or program and more broadly at the institution so that they can build their networks. For example, having a departmental colleague serve as an informal mentor or buddy that they can contact if they have questions is strongly encouraged. Additionally, faculty taking turns inviting them to coffee or an informal chat, walking with them around campus or downtown, and checking in to see how they are doing can provide other connection opportunities. Whenever possible, having you or a colleague present the day a new colleague arrives on campus can be a warm gesture of welcome.

We also encourage you to help new colleagues build connections across campus by engaging in CITLS’ new faculty community of practice, attending monthly faculty meetings called by the clerk of the faculty, and engaging in campus social events such as Friday Club meetings and informal get-togethers hosted by the President, Campus Life, and student organizations.

Routine Reminders

Orientation & Professional Development

The Center for the Integration of Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship coordinates a multi-day orientation for all faculty new to the College. New faculty also have the opportunity to engage in a number of professional development sessions during the year on Fridays at noon to support their transition to the College and to build community with colleagues in their cohort. Please make every effort to schedule new faculty teaching schedules and department/program activities at times other than Fridays at noon.

Mentoring Clusters

In their first year, new tenure-track faculty will be grouped in mentoring clusters with two mentors not from their department/program and a small group of first-year or more advanced pre-tenure colleagues. Mentoring clusters meet about three times a semester and offer new colleagues with varied perspectives on faculty life related to being on tenure-track and life around campus, Easton, and the Lehigh Valley.

Resources for Full-Time Faculty

Although new faculty will have received information about resources to support faculty, we urge that you remind them about these resources when they arrive on campus and periodically during their first year. A list of resources, including faculty conference travel support and research support (e.g., the Excel Scholar program*, preparation/publication/production grants*, faculty research grants, Mellon and Scott faculty research fellowships, advanced study grants, research and travel grants for mentored students*) is available on the Provost’s website.

*visiting faculty are eligible for these programs

Matters Pertaining to New (and Continuing) Visiting and Adjunct Faculty


The primary responsibility of visiting (and adjunct faculty) is to teach their contracted course load at Lafayette. Unless specified in their contracts or if they volunteer of their own accord, they should not be asked to perform service for the department or program or individualized instruction (e.g., independent study, thesis supervision). Service in a department or program includes faculty searches, work on curriculum, organizing department/program events, or advising departmental/program student organizations (Section of the Faculty Handbook). We thank you for supporting them in fulfilling their primary obligation of teaching their assigned course load for your department or program.

Career Support

Many visiting faculty seek tenure-line positions; teaching at Lafayette supports their career trajectory. Visiting faculty may welcome informal teaching observations and/or opportunities to speak about their area of expertise in guest lectures. Some visiting faculty may also need to keep up with their scholarship in order to secure a tenure-line position and will appreciate support from the department or program as they prepare for these future appointments. Connecting visitors with potential faculty collaborators and students who can work with them as Excel scholars or research assistants may also be valuable. Like all of our faculty, these colleagues benefit from demonstrations of appreciation for their efforts in supporting their respective departments or programs.