Checklist: What the New Faculty Member Will Need to Know before Arriving on Campus

What will you need to know?

Information about the position/campus:

Salary and benefits, including reimbursement for moving expenses; schedule of salary increases; scope of the position within the department and the department’s position within the institution; department structure and other faculty members; when to arrive on campus; parking for faculty; institutional traditions/expectations. Provide any handbooks the department and/or campus has available for faculty (e.g., faculty handbook, student advising handbook).

Information about the area:

Housing/real estate information, including a real estate contact; information about schools and daycare sources; cultural and entertainment events/schedules; sporting events; transportation to area; local laws/ordinances that could affect one’s lifestyle.

Information about the work environment:

Equipment provided in the laboratory or office, including computer availability, software and support; office assignment and the name of officemate (if applicable); clerical support availability for research and teaching needs; email availability; office address and phone number.

Information about courses to be taught:

Course load, expected number of office hours per week, profiles of typical course sizes and students in those courses, sample syllabi and book lists, list of others who have taught the course recently, summer teaching requirements/availability.

Information about service expectations for the department and institution:

Committee work and the number a new faculty member may be asked to join, student advisor expectations, availability of a mentoring program, service exemptions for the first year on campus, schedule of department meetings generally held, yearly calendar.

Information about research aid:

Availability and frequency of research assistants; sabbatical leave structure; travel funding for junior faculty; availability of research tools and equipment, including library resources; availability of funds to support research at the department, school, or university/college level.

Information about personnel issues:

Payroll schedule, benefits, availability of insurance (including when it is effective), schedule of pay raises, and spousal and dependent benefits.

Bensimon, E. M., Ward, K., & Sanders, K. (2000). The Department Chair’s Role in Developing New Faculty into Teachers and Scholars. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Co.