Next Workshop: August 3-4 and August 7-8, 2017
Challenges for New Faculty
New faculty members face some tough challenges. To succeed, they must do the following:
- Plan a research program, get it funded, recruit and manage new graduate students and possibly postdocs, do the research, get it published in first-rate journals and deal with a bewildering variety of headaches that always arise in research.
- Design course syllabi, learning objectives, and lesson plans; give effective and engaging classes and labs; create good homework assignments, projects and exams; and deal with a bewildering variety of headaches that always arise in teaching.
- Manage the competing demands on their time of research, teaching, service and personal life and integrate themselves into the cultures of their university, college and department.
Unfortunately, most Ph.D. programs teach little or nothing about any of those things. The result is that it takes most new faculty 4 to 5 years to become as productive in research and effective in teaching as they can be. Since their getting tenure depends heavily on how well they do in their first 2 to 3 years, this is not a healthy situation for either them or their universities.
Over 392 new faculty from our two colleges have participated in the New Faculty Orientation Workshop since August 2000. Although most of them initially had misgivings about spending four days at a workshop just before their first semester, they ended by agreeing that the time was well spent, giving the workshop more than 278 ratings of excellent and 49 ratings of good.