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Guidance For New Faculty

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.282.1 - 4.282.3

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R. J. Soukup

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2275

Guidance for New Faculty

R. J. Soukup Department of Electrical Engineering University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE 68588-0511


This paper deals with advice for new engineering faculty members. It is the personal opinion of someone who has been a department chair for over 21 years. If you are at a public institution, your charter will be to assist the students in learning, perform research and other scholarly activities, and perform public service. If you are at a private institution the public service portion of the assignment may be quite different from that of a faculty member at a public institution. The things you must accomplish in order to succeed are those which bring positive attention to you and your department, college, and university. The thing you must not do is waste time, six years go by very fast.


Besides being a great lecturer or presenter of course material, there are many things you can do in order to become a first class teacher. The main task is to have a genuine interest in the students and in their welfare. You can show this in many ways, one of which will be to always welcome them to your office. You must make them feel welcome even when you are too busy to do so.

Volunteer to advise a student organization. If you do become an advisor be sure to attend all the meetings and functions they support, or at least all that you can. Make suggestions for their benefit, but try not to dictate or meddle.

Be innovative, find other methods than a lecture to use in the classroom. You are here at this meeting to learn what other people are doing, and I am sure that many ideas will be presented to you as you attend the various sessions. Use the ideas you acquire from this meeting in your classes this fall. Some will work and some will not. In order to determine which is which before it is too late, have a mid-term student evaluation of the class. There are other ways to learn about innovative teaching, the IEEE Transactions on Education is a very useful publication for electrical and computer engineering and may be of assistance to others. Many other discipline specific like journals and the ASEE Journal of Engineering Education for all disciplines merit reading by all engineering faculty members.

Do not make the course easy or give trivial exams in hope of getting better student evaluations

Soukup, R. J. (1999, June), Guidance For New Faculty Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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