Office of the Provost

REGISTER YOUR ATTENDANCE at Matriculation Convocation, Fall Faculty Conference and New Faculty Orientation
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VIEW 2013 Fall Faculty Conference Schedule (PDF File)


Dear Southwestern University Faculty and Staff with Academic Rank:

I know it is hard to believe, but the beginning of the academic year is fast approaching! In preparation for the activities that will launch the 2013-2014 year, please mark your calendar now and visit the REGISTRATION PAGE by Monday, August 12, to formally RSVP. Your timely response is especially important this year as we make plans for Monday afternoon’s lunch and faculty development conversations.

We will begin the year with Matriculation Convocation on SATURDAY, August 17 (please note that this is a departure from years past). Fall Faculty Conference will be held on Monday and Thursday, August 19 and 22. New Faculty Orientation will take place on Wednesday, August 21. President Edward Burger’s Opening Remarks to the University community will be Thursday, August 22, at 1:30 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. Later that afternoon, President Burger will host an Opening of School Reception in the McCombs Center Ballrooms beginning at 4:30 p.m. Below is information on each of these activities, followed by a few housekeeping items.

Matriculation Convocation

(Corbin J. Robertson Center - Saturday, August 17, 3:30-4:30 p.m.) NOTE NEW DAY AND TIME

As you may know, the purpose of the Matriculation Convocation ceremony is to formally welcome the entering students to Southwestern and to provide them with a sense of the expectations we have for the members of our community. All full-time faculty are expected to participate. Part-time faculty are welcome, but are not required to participate. Faculty robing will take place at 2:45 p.m. on the first floor of the Robertson Center in the main hallway between the racquetball courts and the locker rooms. Academic regalia for those who ordered it will be available in the first floor lobby at 12:00 noon. If you still need to order regalia, please contact Ms. Kelly Lessard as soon as possible at You may refer to the New Student and Transfer Student Orientation Guides online for details regarding other Orientation events of the week at

Fall Faculty Conference

(McCombs Campus Center Ballrooms - Monday, August 19, 12:15-5:00 p.m.)

Fall Faculty Conference will begin with lunch in the McCombs Campus Center Ballrooms promptly at 12:15 p.m. This year’s conference will focus on the new Paideia: our interdisciplinary approach to general education that allows students and faculty to organize courses around a central theme or question. Based on her work with Paideia faculty in 2012-2013, Dr. Sherry Adrian has developed activities both for faculty already involved in clusters and for faculty less familiar with the program. During lunch, Dr. Alison Kafer and Dr. Alison Marr will offer a brief overview of the new Paideia, followed by discussions at each table between those currently involved in Paideia and those yet to participate. (For those of you wanting a quick refresher in advance, please see the Paideia Overview.) After lunch, President Burger will discuss the importance of interdisciplinarity in the liberal arts and share ideas about innovative teaching and learning strategies. Following President Burger’s address, we will split into two groups, with cluster faculty continuing the work they began in December 2012 and May 2013 faculty development sessions, and the rest of the faculty exploring ways they might participate. Faculty not yet involved in Paideia will remain in the ballrooms, where Dr. Kafer and Dr. Marr will facilitate a series of small-group activities on three main topics: (1) Generating potential new themes for clusters; (2) Networking with other faculty; and (3) Learning more about what the program can offer, including brief discussions by Dr. Sarah Brackmann and Ms. Tisha Temple on the role of civic engagement and intercultural learning in the new version of Paideia. Faculty already involved in the three roll-out clusters (Global Health, Mediterranean Mingling, and Representing Gender) will move to Mood-Bridwell for workshops with Dr. Nancy Koppelman and Dr. Andrew Reece of The Evergreen State College. Working both as a large group and in their individual clusters, faculty in the roll-out clusters will cover two main topics: (1) Team-teaching and other strategies for collaborative teaching; and (2) Writing critical reflections and other strategies for encouraging students to engage in rigorous self-evaluations. Please note that we will be working throughout the conference and announcements will not be made as in previous years. As a reminder, full-time faculty are expected to attend all Fall Faculty Conference activities. Part-time faculty are welcome, but are not required to attend.

New Faculty Orientation

(McCombs Campus Center Ballrooms - Wednesday, August 21, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)

All new tenure-track and new visiting faculty are required to participate. New part-time faculty are strongly encouraged to attend. Dr. Ed Kain, Professor of Sociology, will facilitate an informative program that will ensure that new faculty get the year off to a good start. The session is informal and will provide ample opportunities for dialogue. A major portion of the session will focus upon aspects of course syllabi—please do not make student copies of syllabi before coming to the New Faculty Orientation, but do bring a copy of each one for reference purposes. From 8:30 to 9:00 a.m., representatives from several campus offices (including the Business Office, Human Resources department, and the Campus Police) will be on hand to assist you with a variety of logistical arrangements such as getting your parking permit, a long distance calling card, office keys, etc. Breakfast pastries and lunch will be provided during the day. You may want to bring a light sweater or jacket to New Faculty Orientation as it can be a bit cool in the Campus Center.

Department/Program and Division/School Meetings

On Thursday afternoon, following President Burger’s Opening Remarks, Fall Faculty Conference activities will continue with time set aside for department/program and division/school meetings. Department meetings are scheduled from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., with meetings of the divisions and The Fayez Sarofim School of Fine Arts from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Program meetings will take place at 4:15 p.m. You will receive information regarding the locations for these meetings at a later date from your department, division, school, or program chair. This format will provide the opportunity for these groups to focus on issues of importance to them as we approach the beginning of the academic year.

President’s Opening of School Reception

(McCombs Campus Center Ballrooms - Thursday, August 22, 4:30-6:00 p.m.)

Faculty and staff are invited to stop by the McCombs Ballroom to enjoy a beverage, snacks, and conversation before leaving campus for the day. RSVPs are not required.

Other Housekeeping Items

  1. Faculty and staff advisors may pick up their printed Catalog and folders for new advisees in the Registrar’s Office, located in the Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning, Wednesday, August 14 through Friday, August 16 (except during the lunch hour). Sign-up sheets for new student advising will be included, and should be posted on office doors by 8:00 a.m. Monday, August 19.
  2. As stated in the Faculty Handbook, all faculty are required to submit original transcripts to the Provost’s Office from all institutions from which a college degree was earned. If you have not previously done so, please arrange for your transcripts to be sent as soon as possible.
  3. Once again, University Relations will be setting up a temporary photo studio for tenured and tenure-track faulty in the Merzbach Room the day of Fall Faculty Conference. New and current tenured and tenure-track faculty members who have never had pictures taken, or would like an updated photo, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Ellen Davis, Director of Communications, at 512/863-1570 or Photos will be taken Monday, August 19, from 8:00 a.m. to noon. It is important that we have professional quality photos of all tenured and tenure-track faculty members for our website.

As a reminder, all full-time faculty members are expected to attend Matriculation Convocation and Fall Faculty Conference and all part-time faculty members are welcome, but not required to attend these events. Please go to by Monday, August 12 to complete the Response Sheet so that we receive a head count for each event. Should there be a reason you are unable to participate in these activities, please let me know in the space provided. I am looking forward to a new academic year and to working with you in making it a success.


James W. Hunt
Provost and Dean of the Faculty

2013 Opening of School Schedule

Saturday, August 17

Matriculation Convocation
Robertson Center, 3:30pm
(faculty robing at 2:45 p.m.)

Monday, August 19

Lunch/Paideia Faculty Development
Ballrooms, 12:15 p.m.

5 p.m.

Wednesday, August 21

New Faculty Orientation
Ballrooms, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Advising Appointments
Faculty/Staff Offices, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 22

President Burger’s Opening Remarks
Alma Thomas Theater, 1:30 p.m.

Department Meetings
Various Locations, 2:30 p.m.

Divisions/SSFA Meetings
Various Locations, 3:30 p.m.

Program Meetings
Various Locations, 4:15 p.m.

Opening of School Reception
Ballrooms, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Monday, August 26

Classes Begin