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Glimpses From Duke’s New Faculty Orientation

Sixty of Duke’s new faculty members took part in an all-day program to learn about the many resources and opportunities available across the university. Held on August 25 at the Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center, the event included sessions with campus leaders and senior faculty as well as a reception with President Vincent E. Price. “We are very proud to have you all at Duke — thank you for bringing your talents here,” Price said. “I could not be more excited to welcome this new generation of scholars.”

Below, we present a few moments from the day’s agenda.

Welcome and Introduction to Duke

A woman in a mask gives a presentation

Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement Abbas Benmamoun set the stage for the day-long event and asked each new faculty member to share a brief introduction. Provost Sally Kornbluth gave the faculty an overview of the university to help them navigate the Duke environment and take advantage of the resources available to them.

Advancement and Promotion

People gather at an orientation

Craig Henriquez, associate vice provost for faculty advancement, and Abbas Benmamoun moderated a panel that provided tips on how faculty can position themselves for success and advancement throughout their career at Duke. Hae-Young Kim, professor of the practice of Asian and Middle Eastern studies, emphasized the value of being a good citizen within the academic community. Thomas Pfau, Alice Mary Baldwin Distinguished Professor of English, noted that “trying to bring into alignment one’s teaching with one’s own emergent research is productive.” Provost Kornbluth advised, “Keep your c.v. up to date. If you have to google yourself to find out what you’ve published, that’s not good!”

Research and Interdisciplinary Opportunities

A panel talks to an audience

Jennifer Lodge, vice president for research and innovation, spent most of the day in the audience as a new faculty member herself. Providing an overview of her office, Lodge concluded by announcing that Duke Research Week will take place on January 23-27. Edward Balleisen, vice provost for interdisciplinary studies, introduced faculty to Duke’s numerous mechanisms for engagement across the boundaries of the schools. The ten university-wide interdisciplinary units are “umbrellas for pulling together intellectual communities,” he added.

Undergraduate Education, Graduate Education and Student Life

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Gary Bennett, vice provost for undergraduate education, noted that “engagement comes in many forms” and there are myriad ways to get involved with undergraduates. Mary Pat McMahon, vice president and vice provost for student affairs, highlighted ways her office can help faculty. For example, “if you are concerned about a student’s behavior, you can call DukeReach. That team is here for you, and we’re here for you.” John Klingensmith, senior associate dean of The Graduate School, spoke about faculty opportunities and pointed out that “there are more graduate and professional students Duke than there are undergraduates.”

A Strong Start to Teaching and Engaging Your Students

A panel talks to an audience

“Constantly asking for feedback will help you assess where students are and what could help them learn better,” advised Amanda Hargrove, associate professor of chemistry. Deondra Rose, associate professor of public policy, encouraged new faculty to keep good notes to “help routinize for the next time.” Shawn Miller, director of learning innovation, pointed out his office’s wealth of resources. “Find your people,” urged Edna Andrews, Nancy and Jeffery Marcus Humanities Distinguished Professor, and “don’t suffer alone.” The panel was moderated by Sherilynn Black, associate vice provost for faculty advancement.

Community and Citizenship

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Moderated by Craig Henriquez, this panel included Tom Ferraro, professor of English, Kimberly Hewitt, vice president for institutional equity, and Leigh Goller, chief audit, risk and compliance officer. They shared their perspectives, offered advice and answered a range of questions. “I’ve been here almost 43 years, if you count my time as a student,” Henriquez added. “This is a very friendly place. Faculty governance is well respected at Duke.

The First Year Experience

A panel talks to an audience

Sherilynn Black moderated an informal discussion on navigating the first year as a Duke faculty member. She was joined by Carolyn Coyne, George Barth Geller Distinguished  Professor of Immunology, Polly Ha, associate professor of the history of Christianity, and Jarvis McInnis, Cordelia and William Laverack Family Assistant Professor of English. McInnis brought up a resource that he has found useful: “Through the Office for Faculty Advancement seed grants, I’ve been able to help create the Black Think Tank and get involved in a writing group.”

In addition to these sessions, University Archivist Valerie Gillispie gave a presentation on Duke’s history, a resource fair featured representatives from many Duke units as well as Discover Durham, and participants spent time getting to know each other over lunch and during a closing reception. This orientation was part of the Office for Faculty Advancement’s efforts to support Duke faculty members’ long-term career growth and success.