Being a new faculty member (or faculty member in a new place) can be a bit of a roller coaster ride.  First, the elation and excitement—sharing and celebrating with family and friends—imagining new opportunities!  This exhilaration may be followed by anxiety, nervousness about new responsibilities and colleagues, and managing your work/life balance. This important transition does not have to be full of tension and anxiety.  With the right strategies and support, stepping into your new role can be energizing and enjoyable. These checklists have been designed to help you get your career off to a great start!

Prior to Arrival

Recommended Reading:

  • How to Talk to Your Department Chair
  • Bain, Ken. (2004). What the best college teachers doCambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Print copy available in RIT Library.
  • Brookfield, Stephen. (2006). The Skillful Teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco,CA: Jossey-Bass. Print copy available in RIT Library.
  • How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School 
  • Lang, James. (2008). On Course: A week-by-week guide to your first semester of college teaching.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Print copy available in RIT Library.
  • “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” PDF
  • Svinicki, M. and McKeachie, W. (2011). McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, 13th Ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Print copy available in RIT Library.
Upon Arrival
  • Attend New Faculty Orientation (NFO) (
  • Have your professional photo taken at NFO. This is a service provided by The Wallace Center (view NFO schedule for times).
  • If not already done so:
    • Complete your I-9 Form 
    • Obtain your RIT Identification card
    • Register your vehicle for on-campus parking
    • Obtain your RIT user ID and password to access email and campus networks
    • Register your computers/phones with ITS (iPad, laptop, etc. for accessing wireless) (Visit: Getting Started for Faculty & Staff)
  • Meet with your department chair 
  • Register for and attend RIT's New Employee Orientation (this is not the same as New Faculty Orientation).  Fall semester dates are available here:  Contact the Center for Professional Development Office at 5-6200 to register. 
    • This orientation for all RIT faculty and staff will consist of a discussion on RIT's core values and some of RIT's exciting history!  CPD Staff will navigate the university's colleges and divisions, review and show you where to find essential information regarding RIT's institute policies and procedures, and answer any questions you may have.  At this orientation you will also complete the mandatory training on  RIT's Policy on Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination Training and the Early Intervention Program.
    • The RIT Compliance and Confilict of Interest Training is offered online and is also required for all RIT employees.  See Compliance and Ethics.
  • Remember to start a "kudos" file for yourself to keep positive notes from students, colleagues, peers, and department heads.
Within Six Months
Within the First Year
  • Evaluate annual milestones for goals established for your  Plan of Work
  • Set goals for the next academic year for your Plan of Work
  • Participate in at least one professional development activity (workshops/guest speakers)
  • Evaluate mentoring roles and benefits of relationship
  • There's a lot going on at the end of the semester – remember that work/life balance is key to your success!
Conclusion of Your First Year
  • Congratulate yourself on a job well done!
  • Reflect on your first year and see your department chair if concerns around your roles in:
    • Teaching - Take a look at your teaching evaluations. Not what you expected? Don't beat yourself up over them—it’s your first year and there are many resources here at RIT to help!  Consider what you might do next year to improve – and seek support and guidance from all across Campus.
    • Scholarship
    • Service
  • Consider how you have balanced your work and life responsibilities this year. Does something need to be adjusted?  If so, consider the many resources RIT provides to you as a faculty member.
  • Revisit your "kudos file" for positive reinforcement.
  • Plan your summer vacation!