Information for New Faculty, 2017-2018

Dean’s Program to Introduce New Faculty to the College 

Please check this page frequently, as it will updated throughout the summer.

Because they will provide information and perspectives to help you in your work as teachers, scholars, and members of the Amherst community, we expect that new members of the faculty will attend each of these events. If for any reason you must miss one, please contact Austin Sarat.


Wednesday, August 30, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“What I Wish I had Known When I First Arrived at Amherst” 

Location:  Alumni House

What should I cover on the first day of class? What happens during the so-called “shopping period”? What resources does the college provide for students who are in academic distress? What mentoring opportunities are available to me? What about teaching evaluations? May I ask the library to order books in my discipline? This session will answer these and other “nuts-and-bolts” questions that are of interest to those who are new to Amherst. Three tenure-track faculty members who have been at the college for different periods of time will share their experiences as newcomers and will be available to answer questions, as will the chief student affairs officer, the chief diversity and inclusion officer, and the registrar. Members of the dean’s staff will be introduced. After this session, there will be lunch and Title IX Training from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Beneske Museum of Natural History

Wednesday, August 30, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dean’s Welcome Barbecue with Dinosaurs and Friends

Location: Amherst College Beneski Museum of Natural History

All new faculty members and their families, as well as their department chairs, are invited to a barbecue and introduction to the Beneski Museum of Natural History (which dinosaur lovers young and old particularly enjoy). Information will be provided about teaching, using the museum’s collections.


Thursday, August 31, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Dean’s Second Annual Retreat on Inclusive Pedagogy:  Disability and Accessibility

Location:  Lord Jeffery Inn, Dickinson Room

Many students at the College have a documented disability which may qualify them for an accommodation. What are our responsibilities and rights as teachers? What are our students’ responsibilities and rights? As we’ll explore during this day-long retreat, many of the pedagogical strategies designed for accessibility enhance everyone’s learning (and teaching) experience.

A reception and resource fair will follow the program.


Monday, September 4, 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. LABOR DAY

First Faculty Meeting

Location: Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

Preceding convocation, there will be a short faculty meeting to introduce new and returning colleagues and approve some new courses. After the meeting, everyone is invited to a light supper in Converse lobby until 7:00 p.m., allowing time to put on regalia for convocation.


Convocation

Monday, September 4, 7:30 p.m.

Convocation

Location: Johnson Chapel

Please plan to attend convocation. Faculty and administrators who participate wear academic regalia. If you need to rent regalia, early notice is essential. Please contact Paula Mieczkowski for rental information. Paula can also help with purchasing regalia at any time during the year. Please place your order as soon as possible, and definitely by July 10, to avoid high shipping fees.


Tuesday, September 12, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Library Open House for Faculty and Staff

Location: Frost Library

The library staff will welcome new faculty and staff in the Periodicals Reading Room on the first floor of Frost Library. Learn about how you can take advantage of the library’s resources and services, talk with library staff about possible collaborations, and get to know others who are new to the college. Wine, cheese, and other light refreshments will be served.


Tuesday, September 19, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

Lunch-Discussion for New Faculty: Student Rights/Student Problems—Faculty Responsibilities

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

Colleges are now facing the convergence of a generation of students who arrive on campus with serious problems and, at the same time, a more rigorous legal and regulatory climate. Areas of prime concern include disabilities (ADA), privacy (FERPA), and reporting of infractions (Clery Act). We, as teachers, may wonder how our role with students is changing and how the college is working to assure the rights and intellectual freedom of all parties. As informants we have invited John Carter, chief of campus police/director of public safety; Jodi Foley, accessibility services manager; and Lisa Rutherford, chief policy officer and general counsel.


Tuesday, September 26, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Mead Art Event for New Faculty

Location:  Mead Art


 

Tuesday, October 17, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch-Discussion for New Faculty: Well-Being and Student Learning

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

Two staff members from the counseling center will discuss the ways in which students' well-being may affect their ability to learn. They will offer advice to faculty about how they can help students deal with stress and other factors that can have an impact on student learning.


Tuesday, October 31, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch-Discussion for New Faculty: Faculty Governance (tenure-track faculty only)

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

Amherst prides itself on its tradition of faculty governance. This conversation will focus on the roles that faculty members play in setting policy and making decisions at the college. We will discuss the faculty meeting and its norms, as well as the roles and responsibilities of two major college committees—the Committee of Six (the executive committee of the faculty) and the Committee on Educational Policy (CEP).


Tuesday, November 7, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch-Discussion for Visiting Faculty: How to Get the Most out of Your Time at Amherst (visiting faculty only)

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

Being a visiting faculty member at Amherst can be a very rewarding and exciting experience. In this session, colleagues who have been/are visiting faculty members will reflect on their experiences as visitors. What worked for them in helping to get the most out of being at Amherst? What pitfalls can be anticipated and avoided?


Tuesday, November 28, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch-Discussion for New Faculty: The Role of Athletics at Amherst

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

Amherst seeks to combine academic and athletic excellence. In this session we will discuss the ways in which that combination works. We will talk about the place of athletics at the college, relevant policies that guide our student-athletes, and the work of coaches.


Sunday, January 28

Dean’s Reception for New Faculty

Information to come


Tuesday, January 30, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch-Discussion for New Faculty: Reading/Interpreting Teaching Evaluations

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

This conversation, which will take place after new faculty have received their first Amherst teaching evaluations, will focus on how to interpret the evaluations and, for those on the tenure track, how they are used in the reappointment and tenure processes. Senior faculty will offer their perspectives.


Tuesday, February 20, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch-Discussion for New Faculty:  Teaching and Learning

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

During this lunch, we will discuss a range of pedagogical possibilities, including active learning approaches, community-based teaching, and strategies to foster effective student research.


Wednesday, February 28, 6:00 p.m.

Dinner for New Faculty and Senior Colleagues

Location:  Home of Dean Catherine Epstein


Tuesday, March 20, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch-Discussion for New Faculty:  Looking Forward to Advising (tenure-track faculty only)

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

Advising is one of the important and challenging of the responsibilities of the Amherst faculty. This workshop will explore why advising is so important and so challenging. We will talk about what it means to do advising at the college, what makes a good advisor, and how to prepare for the work of advising.


Wednesday, April 25, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Dickinsons and Amherst College


 Monday, May 7, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch-Discussion for New Faculty: Reflections and Plans Going Forward

Location: Mullins-Faerber Rooms, Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall

New faculty will offer their impressions of their first year at Amherst and discuss their experiences, while also looking ahead to the future.