Dean of the Faculty

Fall Faculty Conference

Dear Colleagues:

I wanted to update you on our beginning-of-the-year activities. We begin the year with New Faculty Orientation on Wednesday, August 11. Matriculation Convocation will be virtual this year. A link as well as the time and date will be shared the week of August 9.  Fall Faculty Conference events will be held during the week of August 16. All full-time faculty are expected to be present for all Fall Faculty Conference activities. Given recent CDC recommendations regarding masking, we are requesting that attendees wear masks at all Fall Faculty Conference activities.

Below is information on these and other upcoming activities. Please submit your RSVP by completing this form by Friday, August 6.

Wednesday, August 11 – New Faculty Orientation

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.

  • 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Orientation – Fondren-Jones Science Hall 402
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Welcome Reception for New Faculty – Julie Puett Howry Center (all faculty – returning and new – are invited to attend)

Matriculation Convocation (virtual event)

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. Alicia Moore, Associate Professor of Education and recipient of the 2021 Teaching Award for Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty, is the featured faculty speaker.  I encourage you to participate remotely. A link as well as the time and date will be shared the week of August 9.

Monday, August 16 – Fall Faculty Conference Day 1

The keynote address on Monday, August 16 will be in-person and it will be streamed (follow this link to join).  Faculty who are not comfortable convening in-person are expected to participate remotely during the live event.  We do encourage faculty who feel comfortable being in-person to support Anita with your presence.  Seating for faculty will be distanced in Alma Thomas Theater, one of our largest meeting areas, for the in-person session.  We request everyone to wear a mask. If you are attending in-person, please arrive in the Alma Thomas Theater lobby at 12:50 p.m. so you will have enough time to check in and get your conference program, session assignments, and your nametag. After the Keynote Address, faculty will attend two sessions, from a selection of five. The breakout sessions will be held in-person from 2:45 to 5:00 p.m. and will be in smaller groups in spaces that will accommodate distancing.  More information about each of the session options is available in the RSVP form.

  • 1:00 – 1:10 p.m. Welcome, Alma Thomas Theater, Fine Arts Center
  • 1:10 – 2:30 p.m. Keynote Address - Being a Change Agent: Expanding the Faculty Sphere of Influence – Anita Davis, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Trinity College – Alma Thomas Theater, Fine Arts Center
  • 2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Break – Treats on the Academic Mall
  • 2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Session 1, Various locations
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Session 2, Various locations

Wednesday, August 18

  • 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Advising appointments for new transfer students with assigned faculty advisors (see information below)

Thursday, August 19 – Fall Faculty Conference Day 2

  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. The State of the University Address to Faculty and Staff (virtual event, a link will be shared the week of August 9.
  • 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. Dean’s Update to the Teaching Faculty (virtual event)
  • 2:00 – 2:20 p.m. Treats on the McCombs Veranda
  • 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.  Implementing Our QEP: Fostering Student Success Through Proactive Advising (Jennifer Leach, Scott McLean, Kendall Richards, and Debika Sihi), locations TBA. Faculty will be divided into four smaller groups.  Programming will be the same in each group. (In an effort to make this session as interactive as possible, the RSVP form invites faculty to respond to two questions about working with our new Professional Academic Advisors.)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. DIBE Training for Department and Program Chairs led by Fumiko Futamura and Melissa Johnson, Campus Center Ballrooms

 Additional information:

  • 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 a group advising session on Wednesday, August 18, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Individual advising appointments with their assigned advisors will occur during the first two weeks of the semester. Transfer students with 31 or more credits will be advised by the faculty (typically the chair) within the department of their major. Advising appointments for these students will occur from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 18. Jennifer Leach, Director of Advising and Retention, will email the assigned faculty advisors and these students about their advising assignments by August 10.
  • Committees have been 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