With the goal of getting new faculty on the right path toward a successful career at UMass Medical School, the Office of Faculty Affairs introduced a comprehensive orientation program for new faculty at all levels. The program ran from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, and concluded with a networking reception from 5 to 6 p.m. that was open to all members of the faculty.
“The Office of Faculty Affairs is here to help the faculty be successful in their work in alignment with the strategic goals of the medical center,” said Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Luanne Thorndyke, MD. “The heart and soul of UMMS is the faculty, and the OFA’s objective is to help faculty navigate the complex academic environment to pursue mission-related academic excellence while maintaining a degree of work-life balance.”
The dynamic program, which is intended to supplement, not replace, the essential Human Resources orientation, serves as an introduction of new faculty members to the institution as well as an introduction of the institution to new faculty. Through the program, they will meet senior leaders and learn about career advancement and ways to become involved in institutional programs.
Morning sessions included a presentation by Chancellor Michael Collins and UMass Memorial Medical Center President Walter Ettinger about the past, present and future of the academic health sciences center; an overview of the three schools by deans Anthony Carruthers, PhD; Paulette Seymour-Route, PhD; and Terence R. Flotte, MD; and a session by Dr. Thorndyke that offered advice to new faculty. Rounding out the morning were sessions on the promotion and tenure process and the annual performance review.
At the center of the daylong program was Lunch and Learn: Resources for Getting Connected at UMMS, which provided networking opportunities and resource tables set up by special interest groups, programs and departments. Susan Pasquale; PhD, director of curriculum and faculty development and a key leader in the development of the new faculty orientation, provided an introduction.
The afternoon was opened by newly appointed Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development Robert Milner, PhD, who provided an overview of opportunities for professional development, followed by skill sessions that informed new faculty about the “who, what and where” of getting things done at UMMS. Sessions included Getting Started in Research; Getting Started in Education; Getting Started in Clinical Practice. These were led by leaders in the corresponding mission areas.
The day was capped by a networking reception open to all faculty. For additional information about OFA resources and services, visit www.umassmed.edu/ofa.