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New Faculty Orientation Welcomes ‘Class of ’09’ Professors

By Mike Unger

(Photo: Jeff Watts)

Forty-one new tenured and tenure-track professors officially began their AU careers Aug. 17 at the annual welcome and orientation for new faculty.

“You join a group that expects of itself accomplishment and achievement,” President Neil Kerwin told them. “Our students are expected to do the same things that their faculty mentors do. They come to us bright and motivated, and they’re transformed by you into serious scholars with the ability to change the world around them.”

In his opening remarks, Provost Scott Bass urged the new faculty to work closely with their colleagues.

“We’re at a point in the world where no single focus can address the [many] issues we’re dealing with,” he said. “It takes a community to address these, and particularly here at AU, we’re at a point where we want to build bridges to move forward on the great issues and topics of our time. We are interested in supporting these kinds of connections.”

The day began with traditional introductions by the new faculty, each of whom spoke briefly about their previous academic homes, fields of study, and a bit about their personal interests, which included everything from savoring gourmet food and fine wine to following Formula 1 car racing. After Kerwin’s remarks, they watched a video, Conversations About Teaching, then heard from two panels.

“Teaching and Learning Resources at American University” featured University Librarian William Mayer, Bill DeLone, director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning, and Marla Boren, senior academic counselor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Outside the Classroom—Campus Life at American University” featured Gail Hanson, vice president of campus life, and Chris Moody, executive director of housing and dining services.

The program concluded with anthropology professor Dan Sayers offering his reflections on a year of teaching at AU.