The new academic year always brings new faces to campus, and this year, that includes dozens of new instructors joining the Illinois State family. A special series of events set for the week of August 15 will prepare them to engage with the university’s diverse student population in robust, meaningful learning.
New Faculty Orientation is organized by the Center for Integrated Professional Development (formerly CTLT), in partnership with several units across campus, including the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Research, and Milner Library.
“We know it is vital to help new instructors hit the ground running when classes start in a little over one week,” says Dr. Jennifer Friberg, the center’s director of scholarly teaching and the Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. “We’re especially excited to once again hold a face-to-face event to welcome our new colleagues, something we haven’t been able to do for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The welcome event will be held Monday afternoon at the Alumni Center. It kicks off with a welcome from Provost Aondover Tarhule, followed by an introduction to teaching resources facilitated by Friberg and Dr. Anthony Piña, the center’s new director of online education. New faculty will also get an introduction to research on campus from Dr. Craig MacLauchlan, associate vice president for research and graduate studies. The afternoon will culminate in roundtable discussions focused on each new instructor’s college.
Representatives from Illinois State’s faculty affinity groups will also be on hand to meet and greet new colleagues. These groups include Asia Connect, the Association of Black Academic Employees, the Organization of Latino/a Employees, the Multicultural Alliance at Work, and the Queer Coalition.
President Terri Goss Kinzy will host a reception for new faculty at the University Residence on Monday night.
More sessions will take place later in the week, allowing new faculty to engage in deeper explorations of important topics.
“Traditionally, New Faculty Orientation was packed into one, all-day event,” explains Dr. Dana Karraker, the center’s assistant director for educational development programs and the orientation’s lead organizer. “But one thing new faculty responded to positively during COVID was having professional development opportunities spread throughout the week. It allows them to balance their professional development with the things we all go through when starting a new job—setting up house, making childcare arrangements, and more. This year, we’re striving to offer maximum opportunity with maximum flexibility.”
Two sessions on Tuesday, August 16, will provide orientations on the resources available to faculty and students through Milner Library and an overview of teaching technology.
Topics on Wednesday, August 17, include two special sessions: The morning workshop, “Equity in the College Classroom,” focuses on inclusive teaching and learning strategies, and it features a panel of Illinois State students, who will talk about their experiences. The afternoon will feature a deeper-dive into what makes a successful researcher at Illinois State. Experts will be on hand from Research and Sponsored Programs to answer new faculty member’s questions.
An online session on Thursday, “Getting to Know Digital Accessibility,” is open to both new and returning instructors at Illinois State. It will showcase strategies on how to support the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. It will also highlight resources available on campus to make that happen.
New instructors can view the complete New Faculty Orientation schedule, including registration links, on the center’s website. In addition, all instructors, including graduate teaching assistants, are invited to participate in Faculty Prep Week, which includes sessions on ReggieNet, Microsoft Stream, Nearpod, Teaching with Adobe, Teaching with Zoom, and special in-classroom technology demonstrations facilitated by Learning Spaces. and Audio/Visual Technologies.
Staff from the Center for Integrated Professional Development are also available for consultations by appointment. If you have questions or need a special accommodation to participate in any of these events, please email the center at [email protected]