Yesterday, Wednesday, September 9th, nearly 50 new faculty gathered at Federation Hall to attend this year’s New Faculty Welcome Event. The program for this annual half-day orientation event features a series of information sessions designed to acclimatize our new faculty to the University of Waterloo and to provide opportunities to meet one another and members of the larger University of Waterloo community.
After a brief welcome from Ian Orchard (Vice-President, Academic and Provost), the day got underway with a presentation entitled Navigating Your Roles at UWaterloo which provided an overview of the roles new faculty will have to assume in their academic careers. Donna Ellis (Director of the Centre for Teaching Excellence), John Thompson (Associate Vice-President, University Research) and Tim Kenyon (Arts Associate Dean, Research) addressed the faculty triumvirate of teaching, research and service.
Next came the Getting to Know Waterloo session which provided a big-picture overview of our institution and what defines the Waterloo Way. Logan Atkinson (University Secretary & General Counsel) spoke about the university’s structure and governance and made extensive reference to the Secretariat and Office of General Counsel website particularly when referring to some the key university policies. Sue Grant (Assistant Director, Organizational and Human Development) discussed the culture at Waterloo and highlighted our Basic Principles. The FAUW (Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo) President, Sally Gunz, talked about the organization of the faculty association and the support services available through their office. Scott Davis (Faculty Relations Manager for Arts, Environment, and Accounting) rounded out the session with a presentation about co-operative education and how it interfaces with all aspects of university activity.
The morning concluded with the Adjusting to Waterloo panel discussion where peers spoke openly about their own experiences as new faculty members and shared thoughts and insights with the audience. This year we were joined by Joanna Garcia (School of Accounting and Finance), Simron Singh (School of Environment, Enterprise & Development) and Mark Smucker (Management Sciences). The post-session Q & A period allowed new faculty to seek answers to a variety of questions ranging from academic (What types of tenure and promotions considerations do I need to be aware of?) to broader community interest inquiries (Where do I find the best craft beer?).
Incorporated into the program were opportunities for new faculty to explore the Academic Support Units Resource Fair showcasing services and resources available across campus. There were 21 academic support units represented this year and such a gathering of resource material represented a unique opportunity for new faculty to pose those questions that were in need of answers to the very people that could provide those answers.
The morning was capped off by a luncheon with the Chairs, Directors and Deans accompanied by more conversation and an informal information exchange.
What’s next on the new faculty calendar? Later this week, on Friday, September 11th, new faculty and their families have been attended to attend a BBQ at Steckle Farm in Kitchener. This annual event is co-sponsored by the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) and the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and will be hosted by University President, Feridun Hamdullahpur, and FAUW President, Sally Gunz.
These welcoming activities were intended as a brief introduction to faculty life at the University of Waterloo and to provide a forum for our incoming class of 2014-2015 new faculty to share experiences and start making connections with their colleagues and the broader University of Waterloo community. These two marque events were planned and hosted by the New Faculty Committee which is composed of representatives from the Centre for Teaching Excellence, the Faculty Association and Human Resources.