To: Departments Heads, Program Chairs, Administrative Support Staff
From: Jamila Bookwala, Dean of the Faculty, Professor of Psychology and Tracie Addy, Associate Dean of Teaching & Learning, Director of CITLS
Re: Preparing for and Welcoming New Colleagues: Tenure-Track, Visiting, and Adjunct Faculty
Departments and programs play critical roles in preparing for and welcoming new faculty. We thank you for all your efforts in ensuring that our incoming faculty have a smooth and successful transition. Based on our experience and with input solicited from new faculty, we have prepared a list of key items to assist you. If you have additional items to add to this list, we welcome your input.
We recommend that teaching-related conversations with new colleagues occur as early as possible regarding courses to be offered, teaching schedule (days and times, while avoiding the Friday lunch hour so that they can engage in the new faculty orientation and professional development programming), book ordering practices. Early discussions about research program setup also are recommended to allow for a smooth transition. We also encourage you to connect new faculty with colleagues in Lafayette’s libraries and ITS should they need support with any anticipated teaching and research needs.
New colleagues moving to the area also can be directed to learn about our health, retirement, and other benefits from Human Resources. Whether they are looking to rent a college- or privately-owned apartment or to purchase a home, they should contact Ryan Snyder, Senior Associate of Business Services, as early as possible.
Conversations about K-12 education for new colleagues with school-aged children and employment opportunities for family members at the College or in the region also are likely to be helpful. New colleagues may wish to visit websites of the Human Resource offices at the College and LVAIC institutions early and often as these sites routinely update with new employment opportunities.
Initial Welcome on Campus
We recommend that you 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. If the colleague(s) agree, providing a contact phone number for any urgent questions would also be helpful.
Office Space and Furniture (Facilities): The need for office space should be discussed with the Dean of the Faculty soon after the new colleague is hired. Assignment of office and lab space for all new faculty involves discussions with Facilities, who conduct an assessment of the impact on other occupants of the building through discussions with relevant department heads/program chairs. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Provost’s Office.
Keys (Facilities): Knowing the locations of their offices and classrooms as well as where and when to pick up keys for these is important for all new faculty in the first few days that they arrive on campus. Departments and programs can submit work orders for keys to Facilities at any time after the hiring process is completed. New faculty should be directed to pick up their keys at 901 Bushkill Drive, which is open 24/7; a department/program colleague accompanying the new faculty member to pick up the keys, if feasible, is likely to be very welcome. Questions can be directed to Roy Bollinger (email@example.com) 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; this should be confirmed by sending a test email to the new colleague. Questions can be directed to Chris Koch (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (email@example.com) in the Provost’s Office.
Information on Course Support & Department/Program Events
Any support for teaching such as making available course syllabi and teaching materials, especially for core or foundational courses, should be offered to help new colleagues get a better framework for how to teach their courses and support a more successful first semester. Additionally, new faculty may not be aware of various department events as well as meetings that they can/should attend, so letting them know this information will help them feel more part of the community.
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.
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 the academy and build community with colleagues in their cohort. We request you to make every effort to schedule new faculty teaching schedules and department/program activities at times other than Fridays at noon.
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 new faculty about these resources when they arrive on campus and periodically during their first year. We include a list of these resources below, many of which are described on the Provost’s web page under the “information, forms, and lists” tab:
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 18.104.22.168.2 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.
Many visiting faculty are seeking tenure-line positions and teaching at Lafayette is supporting their career trajectory. Performing teaching observations of their classes can support their career paths as they may not have many opportunities for such given there is not currently a formal process for observing visiting faculty at Lafayette. If a visiting faculty member expresses interest, invite them to teach a guest lecture in another department/program course to share and highlight their expertise. While the primary responsibility of visitors at Lafayette is teaching, if they are also seeking tenure-track positions, they may need to keep up with their scholarship in order to secure a tenure- line position. Opportunities for the department or program to support aspects of their scholarship while they are at the College, can support their next career steps.
Connecting visitors with students who can work with them as Excel scholars or research assistants on scholarship can be valuable, as well as connecting them with potential faculty collaborators. Finally, like all our faculty, these colleagues benefit from demonstrations of appreciation for their efforts in supporting their respective departments or programs.