June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
New Engineering Educators
15.768.1 - 15.768.9
Integrating New Male and Female Junior Faculty into the Drexel University College of Engineering
Over the past ten years, the Drexel University College of Engineering has hired more than thirty new junior faculty. While this rapid influx of young engineering researchers has dramatically changed the face of the college, a significant challenge lies in integrating such a large number of new faculty into existing, established departments. We initiated three programs to facilitate new faculty integration: a junior faculty advisory board, engineering-specific new faculty orientation, and a women in engineering research network.
The junior faculty advisory board’s function is to advise the dean of significant issues facing individual junior faculty or the entire cohort. The board is composed of at least one junior faculty member from each engineering department. The board is led by the Assistant Dean for Faculty Development, who is also a junior faculty member, and who meets regularly with the dean and attends the engineering department heads meeting. The junior faculty representatives on the advisory board meet once per quarter with the junior faculty members in their departments and then report their findings back to the advisory board. The advisory board then initiates programming to address junior faculty needs when possible, or advises the engineering dean about significant issues beyond the board’s control.
An engineering-specific new faculty orientation was also recently initiated. While Drexel University does have a university-wide new faculty orientation, these sessions did not provide much of the necessary information required for success in the college of engineering. Our new faculty orientation took place after the university orientation but before classes started to ease new faculty tension. Sessions were held on the three tenure criteria: research, teaching, and service. In each session, a panel of three tenured faculty (one senior and two recently tenured) spoke about what was required for success and answered junior faculty questions. Following the three sessions, the junior faculty had lunch with senior administrators and a discussion with the engineering dean.
A particular problem in new faculty integration is bringing women into departments in which few or no women currently work. We started a women in engineering research network to connect junior and senior women in all engineering departments, and thereby attain a critical mass for effective peer-mentoring. The network meets once a month either for a social lunch or for an educational session designed to help female faculty achieve successful research careers. Past sessions included negotiation skills, communication styles, and work-family balance.
Through these three programs, we hope to successfully integrate a large number of new junior faculty into our existing engineering departments. Success will be measured both quantitatively through funding, publication, and tenure rates, as well as qualitatively through new faculty surveys.
Clyne, A. (2010, June), Integrating New Male And Female Junior Faculty Into The Drexel University College Of Engineering Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16848
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