Last week, over 40 new faculty attended a series of Welcoming Events prepared to help them acclimatize to their new roles as faculty members at the University of Waterloo. On Wednesday, September 4th new faculty gathered in E5 for a day filled with information sessions and 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 uWaterloo Roles with campus administrators addressing the faculty triumvirate of teaching, research and service along with some words of guidance about how co-operative education interfaces with them all. At the subsequent refreshment break, participants had the opportunity to explore the Academic Support Units Resource Fair showcasing services and resources available across campus.
Next came 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 Shannon Dea (Philosophy), Carey Bissonnette (Chemistry) and Christopher Small (Statistics & Actuarial Science/Faculty Association). 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 pub?).
The morning was capped off by a luncheon with the Chairs, Directors and Deans in the Festival Room at South Campus Hall accompanied by more conversation and an informal information exchange. Later that day, new faculty and their families attended a BBQ at Victoria Park Pavilion in Kitchener. After words of welcome from University President, Feridun Hamdullahpur, and FAUW President, David Porreca, attendees were able to enjoy a casual meal and socialize with their fellow new colleagues and their families.
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 2013-2014 new faculty to share experiences and start making connections with their colleagues and the broader University of Waterloo community. The day’s 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 WatPort.