The new school year has started at California State University Northridge, and with new students come new faculty.
During the summer, 56 new faculty were recruited to teach at the university. Of these new tenure track faculty, 54 started this fall. One new instructor will begin in the spring and another in Fall 2007. Two new department chairs were hired as well. The university looks for tenure track candidates nationally and internationally.
According to Kiren Dosanjh Zucker, director of faculty development, the college that had the most new faculty hires was the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, with 15 new faculty members. Three tenure track faculty members were hired in the physics and astronomy department and the family and consumer sciences department.
Since the university is trying to hire more permanent faculty, there “?will (be) more permanent faculty available to advise,” said Harry Hellenbrand, provost and vice president for faculty affairs.
There are many workshops provided by the university to help recruit new faculty. Professional development opportunities are also available to increase recruitment.
Resources for new faculty hires vary. A number of resources are available at the new faculty Web page, which was updated over the summer. At the site, new faculty can find information on how to prepare a syllabus, personnel issues, getting started in their classes, where to find parking and more.
This year there will be a new faculty book club. Zucker said all new faculty received a copy of the book “What the Best College Teachers Do” by Ken Bain during the new faculty orientation, which took place Aug. 30 and was preceded by a reception the day before. During the reception, new faculty learned about the resources available to them at the Oviatt Library. They were also given a guided tour of the Oviatt and met with the library staff. Using the book, new faculty will be implementing the ideas expressed in the text within their classrooms.
Hellenbrand said the new faculty is diverse. “The past couple of years they have been ? just as diverse or more diverse as the student body,” he said.
New faculty must be able to teach and work with a diverse student body. While talking with some of the new faculty, Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs Penelope Jennings said, “I have been told that they noted the statement on the position description and it is one of the reasons they applied.”
During interviews, the new hires learned about the students at CSUN as well as CSUN’s goals for diversity and equality. Demographics data for new faculty starting in Fall 2006 are still being gathered. However, 44 percent of new tenure track faculty are minority faculty, according to the CSUN Faculty Recruitment Survey. The CSU has 28 percent minority faculty as a whole.
Recruitment this year had an 85 percent success rate. Usually the success rate is between 70 and 75 percent for faculty searches. “I believe this can be attributed to well-planned, thoughtful recruitment strategies used by our departments to effectively reach out to and recruit faculty,” said Jennings.
Jennings said new faculty “bring a wealth of knowledge and a demonstrated commitment to working at a large, urban, diverse, public institution like Cal State Northridge.”