New faculty orientation: Getting to know York U

headshot of Celia Popovic

Orientation isn’t just for students. New faculty starting work at York University will have their own orientation Aug. 26 and 27 at the Keele campus. More than 60 new faculty will attend the New Faculty Day on Aug. 26 and the Teaching, Learning and Student Success Day on Aug. 27. The programs for both events, which are planned and hosted by the Teaching Commons, have been designed to get faculty well acquainted with how York University works and the wealth of educational supports available through the Teaching Commons.

“New Faculty Day marks the start of the new academic year for the Teaching Commons. We are delighted to welcome new faculty to York, and see the event as the start of a journey together,” says Celia Popovic, director of the Teaching Commons.

Celia Popvic, director of York Teaching Commons
Celia Popovic, director of the Teaching Commons

“Universities are all about creating and sharing knowledge. Teaching and research are key activities for all faculty; the Teaching Commons is here to provide support for the former while drawing on the latter,” adds Popovic. “The purpose of the second day of the New Faculty Orientation is to focus on teaching – the characteristics of York students, the support available and an emphasis on the importance we attach to teaching at York University.”

Over the two days, new faculty will meet with York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, Provost and Vice-President Academic Rhonda Lenton, Associate Vice-President Teaching and Learning Susan Vail and Vice-Provost Students Janet Morrison. They will also have a chance to hear from experienced faculty about tenure and promotions, and learn about teaching and the many research and professional development opportunities available at the University.

In 2013, Dale Stevens, a professor in the Faculty of Health, started work at York University. “I found the new faculty orientation to be extremely valuable,” he says, “because it put a lot of fears of the unknown to rest. Coming into a tenure track faculty position can be a bit overwhelming because you aren’t sure of what you don’t know, and the new faculty orientation was a comprehensive day with tons of great information.”

Dale Stevens
Faculty of Health Professor Dale Stevens

Stevens, a neuroscientist specializing in memory, aging and cognition, arrived at York from Harvard University and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Stevens says he found the program to be very helpful and he appreciated having the opportunity to meet and speak with York’s president, senior administrators, faculty and members of the Senate Promotions and Tenure Committee.

“The orientation gave me more confidence in how to start my teaching and research and the information set the direction for me to build my career and courses,” he says. “I found the talks by key people in the University to be really enlightening, and the small table groups and round table discussions to be the best part of the day because I not only met senior administrators but also other new faculty.”

Stevens will pay it forward as a participant in one of the round tables organized for this year’s event.

“Objectively speaking and with no reason to exaggerate, this is an excellent orientation,” he says.

For more information, visit the Teaching Commons website.