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CAT's Support of New Faculty Members:
A Short List of Priorities

In November 2004, the Center staff met with members of its Faculty Advisory Group and 1st- and 2nd-year faculty members to discuss ways in which the Center could better support and serve new faculty members in their first few years at Xavier.

In January 2005, each Center staff member identified those items in the list that he or she considered most important. This list was discussed by the staff and whittled down to a subset of highest priorities items.

Finally, in March 2005, the staff developed a plan of action for each goal. In late spring 2006, the Center staff will review the extent to which it achieved these goals.

Ask new faculty often, "How is your class going? What could we do to make your work better or help you stay fresher?"

  • Beginning in fall 2005, David, Todd, and perhaps other staff will contact the new faculty members before midterm to inquire about their "settling in" at Xavier, experiences in the classroom, questions they may have, and ways in which the Center may help. At this time, we can also recommend upcoming workshops, particularly the "Mid-Course Correction: Using Student Evaluations in the Middle of a Semester," and initiatives.
  • Meet with the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to discuss the mentoring program, new faculty orientation, and continued support for new faculty during their first few years at Xavier before the fall 2005 semester begins.

Consider offering Joe Byrd's workshop on "Classroom Management" and the student handbook; what is the University policy on, for example, the disruptive student?

  • Offer this workshop annually beginning in fall 2005. This session could be presented at New Faculty Orientation and again in January as a follow-up session for all faculty. The latter event will be a panel discussion that would include, in addition to Mr. Byrd, experienced faculty members.

Continue to encourage new faculty members to participate in Course Portfolio Working Group (CPWG); have events outside of CPWG for new faculty members, but without any "assignments;" it's nice to have a group to share experiences (e.g., How do we adapt to culture of Xavier?)

  • At New Faculty Orientation each fall, continue to encourage new faculty members to participate in CPWG.
  • Continue to offer the "What We've Learned After One Semester at Xavier" luncheon for new faculty members in January.

Provide faculty opportunities to learn about or investigate theories of teaching and learning and assessment

  • During the spring semester, invite new faculty members to participate during their second year in the Seminar on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the Inquiry into Teaching and Learning Initiative.
  • During the academic year and summer, provide support to faculty to attend conferences and symposia on teaching, learning, and assessment.
  • Through a standing invitation for Communities Initiative projects, continue to provide opportunities to faculty to explore teaching, learning, and assessment in the discipline.
  • In March 2005 and until funding is obtained, continue to send the Assessment Academy concept paper to potential funding sources.

Survey new faculty at end of year: (1) Biggest challenge? (2) What CAT activity or event was most useful to you and should be offered again next year for first-year (and other) faculty? (3) What would you like to see added to CAT's support for new faculty?

  • Beginning in spring 2005, host an informal luncheon for new faculty members. The above questions will serve as "conversation starters."
  • Contact by phone those faculty members who could not attend the luncheon to arrange for a meeting to talk about the questions.

Continue to provide release time to first-time teachers (this is currently under the direction of the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs)

  • Explore the possibility of providing release time for all first-year faculty. Coordinate this with other centers and programs that provide opportunities and support to faculty (e.g., Center for International and Intercultural Programs, Center for Undergraduate Research, Faith and Learning Programs).

Introduce new faculty members to the student evaluation; promote use of mid-semester evaluations

  • Continue to offer the "Mid-Course Correction: Using Student Evaluations in the Middle of a Semester " session in the fall semester
  • Include a discussion of this in the "What We've Learned After One Semester at Xavier" session in January
  • Explore ways to increase participation of new faculty in these sessions
  • Provide assistance to faculty on a one-on-one basis to evaluate their courses via, for example, the Small Group Instructional Diagnosis method.

Have breakfast get-togethers with CAT and veteran faculty; have informal meetings to discuss the structure of the University; be sure to have a "theme"

  • Experiment with this idea by offering a breakfast session in the fall 2005 semester on "the University structure."
  • Consider offering a similar session in spring 2006 on governance, campus security, or some other topic.

Create a list of faculty who are open to having other faculty observe their classes; include information about the class, teaching style, etc.; Provide a list of faculty who will allow visitors to see them teach; if someone's doing something particularly interesting, list this information

  • This recommendation is similar to one of the goals identified by CAT's Strategic Planning and Implementation Group in spring 2005. We will plan and begin to develop this during summer 2005 so that at least some aspects of this service are available to faculty in fall 2005. We will continue to develop this during the 2005-06 academic year.

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