New faculty will spend the next two days getting to know York University

A professor teaching a classrooom of students

Now that the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are over, faculty and staff at York University are turning their attention to orientation. A big part of the University, orientation events are not just for students. Over the next two days, new faculty starting at York University will experience their own welcome to the York U Lions Pride during new faculty orientation days Aug. 25 and 26.

On Aug. 25, The Welcome to York Day kicks off with the President’s Breakfast in the Underground Restaurant on the Keele campus. New faculty will receive an official welcome from York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.

Will Gage and Alice Pitt
Will Gage and Alice Pitt

The new faculty will be greeted by the event’s hosts Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning Will Gage and Vice-Provost Academic Alice Pitt before hearing from Professor Richard Wellen, president of the York University Faculty Association.

Participants will hear about University’s mandate and core priorities from Pitt and Gage before getting an insider’s view from their colleagues about work/life balance, research, teaching and service. After a break, two facilitated roundtables will provide participants with information on how to create an inclusive classroom, the University’s tenure and promotion process and requirements, the wide variety of research supports that are available for faculty, and how to work with graduate students. The Welcome to York Day is organized by the Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost.


Here’s a summary of what will be covered in the roundtables:

Creating the Inclusive Classroom
Diversity among York students challenges faculty to think more deeply about teaching and how they can support learners. Practical suggestions that can be put into place almost immediately and reflections on further innovations will be shared in this roundtable discussion.

Tenure and Promotion: The Process and Requirements
The discussion will help new faculty at York U prepare for the processes and procedures of Senate regulations on initial review and then tenure and promotion. Special attention is given over to questions or anxieties that new faculty may have regarding tenure and promotion.

Research Supports and Networks
York University has a tremendous amount of support to assist new faculty with furthering their research program. This roundtable will inform new faculty about various research support services, what they provide and how to access them.

Working with Graduate Students
In this session, new faculty will be introduced to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Participants will provide a brief orientation to the priorities of the Faculty, which will be followed by a discussion about working with graduate students in courses and on committees. Participants will learn who they can ask about graduate education at York U, how to participate in the governance of graduate education, and finally, how to best engage and enhance the graduate student academic experience.

On Aug. 26, the orientation of new faculty at York University continues at the Underground with a day devoted to focusing on teaching, learning and student success.

Following greetings from Gage and Popovic. University Registrar Carol Atillia will speak about facilitating student success.

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

The University Registrar’s talk will be followed by a session that will survey new faculty about what they already know about teaching at York University and how to get started with their teaching. They’ll learn about the wealth of supports and courses offered through the Teaching Commons, how to enhance their own teaching practice and the different communities of practice at the University.

It’s a lot of information, but well worth the time, says Celia Popovic, director of the Teaching Commons. “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. 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.”

There will also be an afternoon resource fair devoted to identifying individual teaching and learning support needs.

“The Teaching Commons will be providing a series of events and activities throughout the year in collaboration with your Faculty,” says Popovic.

For more information, visit the Teaching Commons website