Ensuring that your institution's new faculty are supported and fully engaged will provide a better experience for them and for your students.

How department chairs can support new faculty


Ensuring that your institution's new faculty are supported and fully engaged will provide a better experience for them and for your students

Recent articles (from Fortune and Harvard Business Review) and even a podcast speak about the post-COVID phenomenon of Quiet Quitting. Gallup stated in early September that “quiet quitters” make up at least half of the US workforce. One of the key reasons for this, according to Gallup, is that employees do not feel cared about or are not provided growth opportunities from their managers.

In education, those first-line managers are generally department chairs. As chairs and the other members of the hiring team have often invested significant time–and often emotion–in the process, it is important to make sure that new faculty (and even mid-career faculty) are satisfied with their position and ensure they have the opportunities necessary for success.

A few things that can help a chair or other supervisor engage new faculty and ensure they are successful include the following:

Introducing them to key faculty members across the campus that are known to be good mentors and supporters of young faculty. Do not limit this to the first week or so of school when everyone is overwhelmed and focused on starting classes. Make time to do this throughout the semester.

Discuss expectations for making appropriate progress towards tenure and promotion; share successful examples of materials they need to gather. Offer to review their materials prior to submission or suggest someone else who could do this if your supervisory relationship would not allow you to do so. Make sure they set reasonable expectations as a new faculty member. It is common for faculty to try to emulate more senior faculty who have years of publication and presentation experience. Make sure they understand what level of productivity is expected from new faculty. If possible, make connections between them and others with aligned research interests to encourage collaboration. Sharing publication, presentation, and grant opportunities with new (all) faculty is an easy way for a chair to support their faculty.

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