Induction Program for New Education Professors
Ruth McQuirter Scott
The process of becoming a professor is complicated, and untenured
professors tend to experience significant tensions in their professional
lives (Badali, 2004). The primary areas of stress relate to juggling
work load and time constraints as well as meeting increasingly
high expectations for scholarly output. As seasoned professors
retire in larger numbers and are replaced by new hires, these
need to be addressed by universities.
The pre-service department in our faculty of education hired
seven new tenure-track faculty members at the beginning of the
2005-2006 academic year. I was asked to develop an
induction program that would ease the adjustment of
these young professors to our mid-size,
comprehensive university. Early in the fall, I met individually with
each new hire to determine specific areas of interests
and needs. Based on these findings, I invited staff
and faculty from various departments to make
presentations during an intensive day-long program.
Topics included the following: developing a research
agenda; sources of research funding; expectations for
tenure and promotion; annual performance reports;
committee functions and other service opportunities.
Each new hire was also given a copy of
Advice for New Faculty Members (Boice, 2000).
In November, both new and experienced faculty members were invited
to a workshop where common research interests were shared and
potential collaborative projects explored. The Dean of the Faculty
of Education subsequently provided funding for groups of faculty
that wished to investigate a specific topic or issue.
Throughout the year I worked closely with the Centre for Teaching
and Learning and Educational Technology. The director of the
centre presented a workshop on developing teaching dossiers,
and shared her experiences of mentoring faculty for tenure and
promotion. A three-part series on conducting literature searches
and reviews was provided by a research officer in the faculty
The seven new hires will continue their induction program in
year two, and will be joined by five new tenure-stream faculty
members hired for the coming year. A further level of mentoring
will be added for these new hires. Each person will be matched
with a colleague teaching in his or her subject area. The mentors
will provide advice and support in dealing with specific matters
related to teaching, student-supervision, and the day-to-day
functions of the department.
The experience of working with new faculty has been both gratifying
and rejuvenating. It has helped me to reflect on the departmental
and university culture and to see the institution through new
Badali (2004) calls for more targeted mentorship and orientation
programs for new faculty. We hope that by committing time and
institutional resources to our cadre of young professors, our
faculty of education will be strengthened, and the careers of
these individuals will be enriched.
Badali, S. (2004). Exploring tensions in the lives of professors
of teacher education: A Canadian context. Journal of Teaching
and Learning, 3(1), 1-15.
Boice, R. (200). Advice for new faculty members. New York: Allyn & Bacon.