President Michael Schill kicked off a daylong program for Northwestern’s new faculty members on Friday by welcoming them to “one of the truly exceptional educational institutions in the world.” Schill’s remarks to about 80 new faculty members came at the end of his first week as Northwestern’s 17th president.
“During that time, I have tried to meet with as many members of our community as possible, and I look forward to meeting many more in the weeks ahead,” said President Schill, who also has an appointment as a professor in the Pritzker School of Law. “I must say, I have been blown away by our faculty members’ passion for academic excellence and institutional pride in Northwestern. It’s been an absolute joy to see how much this community cares about our University.”
The goals of the New Faculty Welcome were twofold: provide an overview of the University and help set the foundation for a successful career at Northwestern.
“As you settle in at Northwestern, please know that we will do everything we can to make this a smooth transition for you,” Provost Kathleen Hagerty said during her welcome remarks. “Your new colleagues, chairs, deans and the entire team in the Office of the Provost are here to support your scholarship and teaching. We want to build a foundation for you to have long, rewarding and successful experience at Northwestern.”
The annual event shares information about the evolving demographics of Northwestern’s student body and introduces faculty to resources from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Faculty Wellness Program and the Office of the Ombudsperson as well as resources for supporting students’ academic success and well-being.
New faculty closed out the day with a Social Justice tour, highlighting a few key stops on the Black Student Experience at Northwestern University Tour, the Indigenous Tour of Northwestern and the Feminist Campus Tour.
Earlier in the week, about 50 new faculty members participated in the kickoff of the Provost’s Small Group Faculty Mentoring Program, which promotes career advancement, scholarly growth and well-being for early career faculty. Designed to complement department and school mentoring programs, this program utilizes the Four Foundational Principles of Mentoring Practice in training both mentees and mentors for the program.
At the mentoring program kickoff, former mentor Jill Wilson, Professor of Instruction of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering, and mentee Danielle Bell, Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications offered their insights and advice to this year’s participants.
“This program provided a dedicated time and psychologically safe space to discuss, unpack and inquire about things important to our journey as faculty at Northwestern,” Bell said. “A lot of those things had to do with our teaching or research, but many of those things were about our lives and experiences outside of Northwestern.”