Dear Faculty Relations: I was beyond excited when I received a job offer for a tenure-track faculty position here at CU last winter. It was my top choice, the culmination of years of work, the entry point to my dream career, and the perfect motivator for completing my dissertation on time! Well, I've moved my family across the country; I'm trying to manage all the logistics of the move, settling in, and starting 1) a new job and 2) my first (and hopefully for the foreseeable future) tenure-track position. I'm so overwhelmed; honestly, I'm not even sure what my questions are! – I'm Here, Now What?
Dear I'm Here, Now What – We are here for you! Your message brings back memories of the stress and excitement of that first year in a tenure-track position. We're going to share some resources to help you get started and offer up a bit of advice.
Our programming for new faculty began with Orientation to welcome you into the CU community and help you find your bearings. Orientation marks the beginning of Thriving at CU, our seminar series for new faculty, where we address key topics and share information on supports available to you for your research, mentoring, teaching, and learning about work and life in the CU Boulder community.
In addition to Thrive, we invite you to join a writing group for the fall as you develop your writing plan and processes to support that essential aspect of your job from the get-go. Depending on your needs and the group's agreement, meeting with other writers can inspire you, motivate you, keep you accountable, and provide a way to share your work, receive feedback, get encouragement, or provide a social network.
One more concrete means for supporting you throughout your career here at CU is through the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). You can join NCFDD at no cost via CU's Institutional membership, providing access to extensive resources to support you holistically as a faculty member.
Another way to engage with your faculty community here at CU is to come to a monthly Faculty SPACE gathering; a faculty-initiated, faculty-led opportunity to get together with no agenda other than to meet and get to know other faculty from around campus. This year it meets on Thursdays, 12:30-1:30.
Finally, a quick bit of advice. Similar to earning your Ph.D. (by the way, congratulations!), this job is a marathon, not a sprint. Some aspects of the work will come naturally, while others might present steep learning curves. This is normal, universal, and not to be trivialized – balancing the demands of research, teaching, and service is something that we work on throughout our careers. Don't be too hard on yourself when you don't have it "all figured out" by Thanksgiving!
Written by Mimi Engel, Faculty Director, New Faculty Development, Office of Faculty Affairs, and Associate Professor & Program Chair of Research & Evaluation Methodology, School of Education, August 2022