Dean of the Faculty

Fall Faculty Conference

Dear Colleagues:

I wanted to update you on our plans for Fall Faculty Conference this year.  As with most things in this pandemic world, we are approaching the week a bit differently.  Many of you have already engaged in the required faculty development for in-person and remote instruction over the summer and do not need to attend the faculty development sessions during Fall Faculty Conference week unless you want to do additional brainstorming with colleagues.  If you have not yet had a chance to engage in the foundational faculty development activities listed below, however, we ask that you do so during Fall Faculty Conference week.  Also if you switched to remote instruction after Session 2 of the summer Planning for Fall workshop that targeted remote instruction, Julie Sievers will be reaching out to you with suggestions for how to engage in next week’s activities.

We begin the year with New Faculty Orientation on Wednesday, August 12. Fall Faculty Conference events will be held during the week of August 17. Academic Advising for new students will be Monday through Friday (August 17-21) by virtual  appointment. Below is information on each of these activities, followed by a few housekeeping items.

Wednesday, August 12 – New Faculty Orientation

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. – online via Google Meet - Join with this link, or to join by phone: (US) +1 631-765-7056‬ PIN: 874 729 519‬# - the full agenda can be found here.

All new tenure-track and visiting faculty are required to participate in Orientation.  If you have already completed Part 1 of the program through the July 16 Early Start Orientation option, you may join the August 12 program at 12:30 for Parts 2 and 3. 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 portion of the session will focus upon aspects of course syllabi. Please do not finalize your syllabi before attending the New Faculty Orientation, but do have a copy on hand for reference.

Monday – Friday, August 17 – 21

Academic Advising for new students will be by virtual appointment. Jennifer Leach, Director of Advising and Retention, emailed advising assignments to all advisors on August 7.  The email included  information about reaching out  to advisees to schedule a virtual advising appointment. Advising resources are available here.

Monday, August 17

  • 12:30 – 1:50 p.m. – Faculty Meeting – via RingCentral – join here.
  • 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. – Exploring Instructional Models – for faculty teaching in-person courses, attendance is required if not taken over the summer – join here.
  • The Designing for Fall mini-course, Session 4, runs Monday, August 17 through Friday, August 21, with the first live meeting held online Monday from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.  Attendance is required if not taken over the summer.  For more information on this week-long program and to register, go here.  Registrations are due by Friday, August 14 at 3:00 p.m.  Note:  Faculty who switched to remote teaching in July and did not complete Session 2 of the “Designing for Fall” mini-course for remote instruction during the summer are asked to participate in some portions of Session 4.  The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship will send additional information for those faculty.

Tuesday, August 18 (for FYS and AES faculty only)

  • 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. – First-Year and Advanced-Entry Seminar Workshop – details, including the link, to be shared shortly by Julie Cowley.

Wednesday, August 19 (for department and program chairs only)

  • 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Department and Program Chair Meeting – join here.

Thursday, August 20

  • 12:30 –2:00 p.m. – The State of the University Address to Faculty and Staff – information is forthcoming.
  • 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. – Designing for Fall final live meeting.  Attendance in “Designing for Fall” session 4 is required if not taken over the summer.


Additional information:

After next week, additional optional faculty development workshops are scheduled for August 25 and 27. For a complete list of upcoming workshops, see the Summer 2020 Teaching Workshops & Resources list.

Committees have been populated and chairs have been appointed. The full committee book will be available the week of August 17 on the Dean’s webpage.

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

Many thanks to all of you for your preparations over the summer. 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