Dean of the Faculty

Fall Faculty Conference

Monday, August 15 - Thursday, August 18, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

I wanted to update you on our opening-of-school activities. We begin the year with New Faculty Orientation on Wednesday, August 10. Matriculation Convocation will be held on Saturday, August 13. Fall Faculty Conference events will be held during the week of August 15. All full-time faculty are expected to be present for all Fall Faculty Conference activities. 

Below is information on these and other upcoming activities. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR RSVP BY COMPLETING THIS FORM BY FRIDAY, JULY 29.

Wednesday, August 10, 8:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. – New Faculty Orientation, Fondren-Jones Science Center, Room 100

All new tenure-track and visiting faculty are required to participate in Orientation.  New part-time faculty are strongly encouraged to attend. Dr. Alison Marr, Professor of Mathematics, 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.

Saturday, August 13, 3:30 p.m. - Matriculation Convocation

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 members of our community. Attendance by tenured and tenure-track faculty is required.  Visiting and part-time faculty are invited to attend, but not required. 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 will be available in the first floor lobby beginning at 2:15 p.m.

Monday, August 15 – Fall Faculty Conference Day 1

Please arrive in the Alma Thomas Theater lobby between 12:30 and 12:50 p.m. so you will have enough time to check in and get your conference program and your name tag. After the Keynote Address, faculty will attend two sessions from a selection of five. More information about each of the session options is available in the RSVP form.

1:00–1:15 p.m. Welcome Alma Thomas Theater, Fine Arts Center
1:15–2:15 p.m. Keynote Address, Understanding and Addressing Implicit Bias in Evaluation, Dr. Leslie Zorwick, Professor of Psychology, Hendrix College Alma Thomas Theater, Fine Arts Center

This talk will introduce psychological research about implicit bias, identify how implicit bias can manifest in academic settings, describe broad approaches to address implicit bias in the evaluations of faculty and students, and offer concrete individual and institutional strategies to minimize implicit bias in evaluation.

2:15–2:30 p.m. Break  
2:30–3:30 p.m. Session 1 F.W. Olin Building, various rooms
3:45–4:45 p.m. Session 2 F.W. Olin Building, various rooms
5:00-6:00 p.m. Faculty Welcome Reception Howry Center


Thursday, August 18 - Fall Faculty Conference Day 2

12:30–1:30 p.m. State of the University Address to Faculty and Staff, Dr. Laura Skandera Trombley, President Alma Thomas Theater, Fine Arts Center
 1:30–1:45 p.m. Dean’s Update to Teaching Faculty - Dr. Alisa Gaunder, Dean of the Faculty Alma Thomas Theater, Fine Arts Center
 1:45-2:15 p.m. Title IX Update - Katie Rallojay, Title IX Coordinator Alma Thomas Theater, Fine Arts Center
 2:15-2:30 p.m. Break  
 2:30–4:30 p.m. Nuro Student Casework Software Training - Dr. Jennifer Leach, Director of Advising & Retention F.W. Olin Building, Room 105

Starting this fall, we will be using Nuro, an integrated student case management software. Nuro will allow us to collect student data and provide institutional reports which can be used to predict student characteristics (i.e., likelihood to persist, GPA’s, need for resources) and institutional data to aid with course scheduling, track outcomes, and report results. In addition, faculty will be able to generate alerts for students experiencing challenges and connect them to appropriate resources for intervention. This mechanism serves as a replacement for the former Academic Warning System (AWS). It is strongly recommended that all teaching faculty, including visitors and part-timers, attend to learn how to submit alerts on students in their classes. In addition, faculty and staff advisors will learn how to navigate students’ profiles and engage in proactive advising practices through the system.

Additional information:

  • Required SAP Concur Training - We are pleased to announce that SmartData is being replaced by SAP Concur. The system transition for faculty will take place in August.  The switch to Concur reduces the administrative burden of expensing credit card transactions.The new system will offer enhanced features including:
  • Single sign-on: Log into the system without entering a username or password.
  • Mobile capabilities: Book travel and submit/approve expense reports via your device.
  • E-receipts: Attach receipt images to a report instead of mailing paper receipts.
  • Copy expense: Copy expenses from one line to another.
  • Smart expenses: Credit card charges and electronic receipts can be automatically populated in the expense report.
  • Improved interface: Create expense reports more easily.

Training sessions for cardholders will be held during the week of Fall Faculty Conference (August 15-18).  Training is required for all cardholders. In the Opening-of-School Activities RSVP form you will choose two dates and times for the Concur training. You will receive an email confirming one of your two selections.

Items to bring to training:

  • Your current corporate card
  • Laptop

A separate training specifically for approvers (Department Chairs) will take place at a later date. If you have questions about the transition to Concur, you may contact Melissa Williamson ( ) or Jennifer Martinka ( ) in the Business Office.

  • Academic Advising  All new first-year students and transfer students with up to 30 credits will be advised by one of the Professional Academic Advisors. Students will be participating in Smooth Sailing (an SU bootcamp facilitated by the Professional Advisors) Monday through Friday of Welcome Week from 1:15 to 2:15. Individual advising appointments with their assigned advisors will occur during the first two weeks of the semester, including open office times for schedule changes. Transfer students with 31 or more credits will be advised by the faculty (typically the chair) within the department of their major. Faculty are encouraged to meet with the new transfer students within the first two weeks of the semester. Dr. Jennifer Leach, Director of Advising and Retention, will email the assigned faculty advisors and these students about their advising assignments by August 10. 
  • Committees are being populated and chair appointments will be finalized by the first week of classes. The full committee book will be available the first week of classes on the Dean’s webpage.
  • For information about Welcome Week for our new students, click here.

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

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