Faculty Orientation Helps New Recruits Get Their Bearings

August 04, 2021

For the 130+ new full time faculty starting at Columbia this year, there is a lot to take advantage of, but it can be hard to know where to start. 

“When you’re starting in a new position, in a new university, and possibly in a new city, it is like drinking from a firehose. There is so much to take in,” said Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement Dennis Mitchell.

To help new faculty acquaint themselves with Columbia, this year’s virtual faculty orientation will introduce faculty to the broad spectrum of University resources and offices devoted to supporting their teaching, scholarship, and overall well-being. These cover a range of topics, from strategies for course design to an overview of tenure track and tenure review processes to resources to create a more inclusive Columbia.  This program is intended to complement school-based orientations, and is presented by the Office of the Provost's Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement.

This is the second time that the program will be presented virtually and asynchronously, and this has its benefits. “Faculty can access the course at their own convenience, and can refer back to the modules once they have had a chance to get settled,” said Mitchell.

In addition to introducing new faculty to support from the CTL and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, these online modules include resources from the Office of Research Initiatives, the Office of Faculty Affairs, the University Libraries, the Office of Work/Life, Columbia University Information Technology, and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. Each module contains an introduction from leadership, a list of key contacts, and a checklist of action items.

“The past 18 months have demonstrated the power of online learning. We hope faculty will take advantage of these in-depth online modules to become acquainted with Columbia’s teaching community and its array of resources,” said Soulaymane Kachani, Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation. “We look forward to planning opportunities for new faculty to meet one another in person this fall.”

In a note to new faculty invited to the online course, Provost Mary Boyce underscores the University’s focus on fostering a supportive climate for the new recruits. “As you will come to learn, Columbia’s pursuit of excellence is grounded in a commitment to fostering a dynamic, equitable, and inclusive climate where you and your colleagues can thrive.”

Faculty who are looking for opportunities to meet their colleagues can take advantage of Faculty Development sessions hosted by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, upcoming opportunities from the Center for Teaching and Learning, and upcoming workshops from the Office of Work/Life.

Please enroll in the New Faculty Orientation course.