Ensuring that excellent faculty join and thrive in your department
What are the most important things I should know now about hiring and supporting our nTT and TT faculty?
Suggestions to get you started:
1. Conducting Searches and Hiring Faculty:
- Find out the status of any searches and department priorities.
- Check in with your personnel and search committees regarding their plans and priorities. Make sure your search committee members participate in the STRIDE trainings.
- Learn about the process for making salary and start-up funding offers with your Dean and College HR administrators.
- Familiarize yourself with the Pathways Program
- Make sure you are set up appropriately as a hiring authority in the APWS system.
- Add hiring and personnel related dates to your master calendar. Find out who will be going on leave that will need a teaching replacement (see Actions and Deadlines). Keep in mind that nTT faculty have a different hiring and promotion timeline.
2. Supporting and Mentoring:
- Here are many resources and events for new and early career faculty to refer your faculty.
- Learn about any unique professional development challenges your faculty may be experiencing as a result of the pandemic (with special attention to your early career faculty).
- Make sure that mentoring plans are in place for all early career nTT and TT faculty.
- Review the status of mentoring for your mid-career and senior faculty. Set meetings for discussions of promotion, AFRs, PMYR, etc.
3. Personnel Actions:
- Make sure to put any personnel related approvals and reviews on your master calendar (see Actions and Deadlines).
- Each year, you will be writing brief comments on each of your faculty member's AFRs. The comments typically include advice and praise, but their emphasis can vary across units, so it is recommended to seek direction from your Dean. This is also an opportunity to have a discussion with your faculty member regarding their progress.
- Consult with your Dean and/or Academic Personnel with questions regarding a range of faculty issues that would benefit from advice.
4. Recognition and Awards:
- List the departmental and university faculty awards on your master calendar with a detailed plan for the nomination process.
- Decide which international/national and/or discipline-related awards to nominate your faculty for and make a plan for the nomination process.
- You will be asked to write many nomination and recommendation letters for your faculty in support of these awards, so block time in anticipation of these dates for this purpose.
- Focus on creating a community in which each member feels included, respected and heard. (tall order but....)
- Each school/college has a unique process for identifying and working individually with faculty who are at risk of leaving. As department Head/Chair, you will first hear from your faculty member regarding a retention concern (e.g. another offer, spousal hire, etc.) and have responsibility for a feasible counter response.
- Be accessible and listen to your faculty members' plans and concerns. Some issues are within your control but many are not. Work with your Dean to address challenges and understand the possibilities with a response and next steps.
Faculty Policies and Procedures:
- The UMass Amherst Provost's page for Faculty is a centralized resource you should bookmark. This is the information you will need on administration and finance, personnel, collective bargaining agreements, faculty diversity, curricular planning, and more.
- The UMass Amherst Provost's page on Faculty Hiring includes information on the Pathways Program, Partner Hiring and a Faculty Search Activities Guide, plus information for Prospective Faculty.
- The Faculty Page on Policy and Labor Contracts
- Sabbatical and Professional Improvement Leave
- Contact Academic Personnel with questions regarding GEO, APWS and faculty union contract and negotiation issues.
- Contact the Ombuds Office to confidentially discuss concerns and conflicts.
Support and Mentoring:
- The LEAD + landing page has a schedule of topics and resources regarding faculty support and mentoring.
- The Provost's page on Faculty Recognition includes the list of awards to recognize your faculty at UMass Amherst
- New Faculty Orientation and Quick Start Guide has information for your new faculty
- OFD Mentoring Faculty Resources
- OFD Mid-Career Faculty Resources
- ADVANCE Faculty Mentoring Best Practices
- ADVANCE - evidence-based practices and tools for shared decision making, inclusive departments, equitable collaborations and equitable evaluation of faculty.
- National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity is a resource for you as well as your faculty. (UMass is a member institution so workshops are free.)