Dean of the Faculty

Fall Faculty Conference

Dear Colleagues:

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 2019-2020 year, please mark your calendar now and visit the registration page  by Monday, August 5, to formally RSVP. Your timely response is especially important as we make plans for each of Monday afternoon’s sessions and the faculty reception in the Howry Center.

We will begin the year with New Faculty Orientation on Wednesday, August 14. Matriculation Convocation will take place on Saturday, August 17. Fall Faculty Conference will be held on Monday and Thursday, August 19 and 22. Academic Advising will be on Wednesday, August 21. Below is information on each of these activities, followed by a few housekeeping items.

New Faculty Orientation

(Wednesday, August 14, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Cullen Building, Room 360)

All new tenure-track and visiting faculty are required to participate. New part-time faculty are strongly encouraged to attend. Julie Sievers, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, will facilitate a program designed to ensure that new faculty get off to a good start. 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 for reference. From 8:30 to 9:00 a.m., representatives from several campus offices (including Facilities Management, Human Resources, and the Campus Police) will be on hand to assist you with a variety of logistical arrangements, such as getting your office keys, employment paperwork, and parking permit, etc.

Matriculation Convocation

(Saturday, August 17, 2:00 - 3:15 p.m., Corbin J. Robertson Center)

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 (including new tenure-track and visiting professors) are expected to participate. Part-time faculty are welcome, but are not required to participate. Faculty robing will take place at 1:15 p.m. on the first floor of the Robertson Center in the main hallway between the racquetball courts and the locker rooms. Academic regalia will be available in the first floor lobby beginning 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 Welcome Week Guides for details regarding other Welcome Week events of the week here .

Fall Faculty Conference Day 1

(Monday, August 19, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., Olin Lobby & Room 105; 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Reception in the Howry Center.)

Fall Faculty Conference will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. in Olin 105 .

Please arrive in the Olin lobby by 12:45 p.m. so you will have enough time to check in and get your conference program and your name tag. After the welcome, faculty will attend three seventy-five minute sessions from a selection of six. More information about each of the six sessions listed below can be found here .

  • Undergraduate Research in the Arts and Humanities: The Apprenticeship Model, CUREs, and Labs - Chad Spigel, Trinity University
  • Thriving in Stressful Times - Roxanne Donovan, Kennesaw State University
  • Interdisciplinary Team Teaching: Planning for Instructor and Student Success - Dr. Sarah Bunnell, Amherst College
  • Information Literacy: Preparing Students to be Effective Consumers and Creators of Information - Theresa Zelasko, Megan Firestone, and Katherine Hooker; Southwestern University
  • Grant Writing in the Sciences and Empirical Social Sciences - Niki Bertrand, Southwestern University
  • Grant Writing in the Humanities and Arts - Sonya Robinson, Southwestern University

Following the conference, faculty will adjourn to the Howry Center, for conversation and refreshments from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. As a reminder, full-time faculty are expected to attend Fall Faculty Conference. Part-time faculty are welcome.

Academic Advising

(Wednesday, August 21, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.)

Faculty with new academic advisees should set aside the entire afternoon (1:00 - 5:00 p.m.) of Wednesday, August 21, for advising appointments. Assignments will be communicated to advisors by the week of August 12 by Jennifer Leach, Director of Advising and Retention. FYS/AES instructors will be discussing the Advising Syllabus and making the most out of the advising relationship with first-year and new transfer students in preparation for their appointments on Wednesday afternoon. Advising resources are available here .

Fall Faculty Conference Day 2

(Thursday, August 22, 12:30 - 5:00 p.m.)

On Thursday afternoon, activities will continue beginning with the President’s Executive Meeting of the Faculty and Staff (Alma Thomas Theater). Fall Faculty Conference Day 2 will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. beginning in the McCombs Ballrooms. Again, full-time faculty are expected to attend this session. Part-time faculty are welcome.

  • 12:30 - 1:50 p.m. – President’s Executive Meeting of the Faculty and Staff (Alma Thomas Theater)
  • 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Creating a Culture of Care - Jennifer Leach (McCombs Ballrooms)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Coordinating Committees Workshop (Howry Center)


  • Committee chairs will be appointed by the first week of classes.
  • A list of the meeting days can be found here .

Transcript Reminder:

As stated in the Faculty Handbook, all faculty are required to submit original transcripts to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty from all institutions from which a college degree was earned. If you have not previously done so, especially new faculty who were hired prior to completion of your PhD, please make arrangements now for your transcripts to be sent to:

Barbara Jean
Southwestern University
PO Box 770
Georgetown, TX  78627

Again, please follow this link  to complete the response sheet and let us know of your Fall Faculty Conference session choices by Monday, August 5, 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.

With best wishes,

Alisa Gaunder
Dean of the Faculty
Professor of Political Science