New Faculty Orientation
The Office of Academic Affairs will be in contact with the new faculty member over the summer to discuss computer needs, housing, etc. Be sure that the new person has contact information for you during the summer, in case questions arise.
You might need to contact the new person regarding course descriptions, classroom preferences, or other matters that demand attention over the summer. Let them know of such deadlines as early as possible. It is best not to overburden the new faculty member with emails or phone calls, however, because they might be finishing a dissertation, completing another job, or preparing to move. However, it is appropriate to invite the new person to any planned summer activities (such as a conference or meeting hosted by the department) while making it clear that attendance is not mandatory. Department members might wish to send "welcome" emails or offers of assistance with making a smooth transition.
Once the new person arrives on campus, the Office of Academic Affairs will direct them to the appropriate offices for keys, ID, and other personnel matters.
Cornell's faculty mentoring program extends institutional support for new faculty by creating a special, informal relationship with a senior person outside the new faculty member's department. The Dean will ask you for suggestions. This relationship should complement the fundamental relationships with the department chair and the academic dean, providing opportunities for new faculty to enlarge their circle of collegial acquaintance in a non-evaluative context. The program encourages new faculty to consult freely with their experienced mentors about anything and everything connected with being at Cornell.
During the week prior to the start of classes, the Office of Academic Affairs will sponsor an orientation session for new faculty to introduce them to one another and to provide basic information about Cornell. Faculty will have the opportunity to meet with the academic dean, the assistant dean, the registrar, the librarian, and other key people of interest to new faculty. Orientation sessions continue throughout the first year, focusing on topics of interest such as grading standards, writing assignments, the faculty governance system, advising, and writing letters of recommendation.
New faculty will receive assistance with the following, but check to see if they have any remaining questions:
Keys: The faculty member may want to check out keys to the assigned office, the building, and to other resources, such as technology cabinets.
Phone: Professional calls may be charged via an assigned, individualized code. Cornell's long-distance calling is remarkably economical, and faculty may wish to charge personal calls to their account also. Monthly statements will be sent by the Office of Information Technology, at which point personal calls that appear on the statement should be calculated and paid for at the cashier's window.
Office supplies: A moderate amount of office supplies (paper, pens, paper clips, etc.) may be charged to the department at the bookstore. If the bookstore does not have a needed item in stock, faculty secretaries can assist with catalogue ordering from the college's preferred vendor.
Photocopying: Photocopying for courses or a moderate amount of copying for other professional activities may be charged to the department using one's Cornell ID card.
Computers: For help on anything regarding computing, the faculty member may start by calling the Help Desk, x4357 (H-E-L-P on your phone pad), or by filling out a work order request at http://www.cornellcollege.edu/information-technology/.
- Escort new faculty and guest to the opening reception.
- Have a social event or two that will introduce the new person to people in your department, as well as to people outside the department who may be of special interest. (Or, if you are unable to organize the event yourself, see that someone else in the department does so.)
- Escort the new person to the first faculty luncheon and the first Brackett House faculty social of the year.
- Check in with some regularity to see how things are going and to give the new person a chance to ask questions. Encourage other members of the department to do the same.
- Figure out the things specific to your area that a new person may need to know, and convey that information. For example, new faculty will need to know where supplies are kept and how to access the AV equipment in the classrooms they will use. Other recent hires in your area will be a good source of information about what was mysterious to them.
- Share documents that will help the new person learn about the make-up, concerns, and plans of the department (e.g., any recent curriculum proposals, the departmental assessment plan). Tell them about the department's ambitions and goals, its philosophy, its style-and ask them about their own. Explain the structure of the curriculum and how this new faculty member's courses fit into that structure.
- Give them a copy of the department budget, and explain availability of funding for office supplies, photocopying, etc.
- Discuss expectations one might have for students (and what students expect of us).
- Talk about grading practices, academic standards, etc.
- Invite the new person to sit in on your courses (and/or those of other members of the department).
- Go together to the first faculty meeting or two so that you can explain some things during the meeting (who's who, etc.). Take some time to de-brief afterwards-this is a good opportunity to give some institutional history that will explain the weird things that happen at faculty meetings.