UITL Welcomes New Faculty

This year, a full day of activities associated with the Office of Academic Affairs New Faculty Orientation focused specifically on the important role of participants in supporting student success, focusing on faculty as teachers.

Kay Wolf, vice provost for Academic Policy and Faculty Resources, and Kay Halasek, Unviersity Institute of Teaching and Learning director, welcomed about 130 new faculty members who gathered in the newly remodeled Pomerene Hall on the second day of NFO.

Halasek outlined the Institute’s purpose: to integrate, enhance and lead initiatives in teaching and learning; to improve students’ learning experiences; to elevate the visibility and importance of teaching at the University; and to position the University for national leadership in teaching and learning.

Critical to this work, she said, is infusing all teaching at Ohio State with evidence-based practices, and the concurrent workshops offered that day were designed to highlight those practices.

New faculty identified goals for the day, which included everything from how to effectively engage students in face-to-face classes and build community in online courses to meeting new colleagues outside of their colleges and identifying potential mentors.

Over 30 Ohio State faculty mentors representing various colleges and disciplines were also present to engage new faculty in conversation and participate in workshops with them. New faculty were also encouraged to participate in the Foundation, Impact, Transformation (FIT) program, and a UITL teaching endorsement is offered specifically to new faculty who attend NFO teaching and learning activities, take advantage of and document further professional learning opportunities during their first year, and fully engage with a faculty mentor.

Mary Jo Fresch, UITL faculty fellow who leads the Mentor Program, said the benefits of include networking opportunities, immersion in a teaching community, and immediate access to a highly experienced faculty member with a wealth of knowledge.

“It gives them their first friend in teaching at Ohio State,” explained Maria Pruchnicki, UITL faculty fellow who works closely with new faculty.

Bart Elmore, assistant professor of history and winner of the 2018 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, gave the keynote address, “Top Five Things I Needed to Know as a New Faculty Member.”

Concurrent sessions included Active Learning, Inclusive Teaching, Navigating Bias in the Classroom, an Evidence-Based Instructional Approaches, Refining Your Syllabus for Day 1 and Beyond, and From Mentee to Mentor.

The complete two-day agenda for New Faculty Orientation offered a comprehensive introduction to the university.