November

Quick Overview

  • Identify students to interview for evaluation of non-tenured colleagues, as appropriate
  • Begin Bolin application review
  • Receive annual “Budget Memo” from provost’s office. Requests are due mid-December

Evaluation

Solicit names of students to be interviewed who are currently in the classes of non-tenured faculty members. See Faculty Handbook, Section II-L for details of the student interview process. Typically, half of the students interviewed come from those recommended by the non-tenured faculty member; the other half may be chosen by the department, at the discretion of the chair. Some departments opt to have these students randomly selected by the Registrar’s Office.

Remind new and visiting faculty that they are required to use course evaluations at the end of the term. Advise them as to how the evaluation forms are to be administered.

Staffing/Hiring

In late November, you will be notified about Bolin Fellowship applications from the dean of the faculty office. The Gaius Charles Bolin Fellowship was established in 1985 to underline the importance of encouraging able minority students to pursue careers in college teaching, and now members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. Applications are submitted and reviewed online by each department or program, with evaluation methods at the discretion of individual units. Chairs should submit a shortlist of top candidates (if any, and no more than 3) to the associate dean of faculty by December 8. By December 12, the Bolin Fellow selection committee will review the nominations from all departments and programs and approve candidates for Skype interviews. Units will conduct Skype interviews in December and early January. Names of candidates who have the enthusiasm of the unit should be forwarded to the associate dean of faculty by January 23. We aim to appoint two Bolin Fellows each year, for two year stints.

On the Office of Strategic Planning & Institutional Diversity website, please see Questions Not to Ask: Avoiding Bias and Discrimination. It outlines acceptable and unacceptable questions during the interview process, as established by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

To safeguard against fraud or identity theft, as unlikely as it may be in faculty hiring, the College makes employment ultimately contingent upon a successful background check. This mandate certainly does not require that recruitment, interviews, and offers be played out in an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust. To the contrary, we will continue to assume that applications are submitted in good faith and that they are entirely accurate and truthful in their representation of a candidate’s credentials. We must nevertheless ask all individuals to whom we are offering a position that they provide us with transcripts or other certifiable evidence of their academic degrees.

Refer to the Hiring Guidelines for guidelines on recruiting, conducting interviews, writing offer letters, and other faculty search procedures.

Curriculum

Winter Study registration is usually resolved by mid-November. The registrar’s office or the dean of the faculty office will contact you if courses offered by your department are under enrolled and therefore must be cancelled.

Monitor course enrollment figures for the spring semester. The Registrar’s office will send you an update toward the middle of the month.

Budget

You will receive the annual “Budget Memo” from the Provost’s Office. This memo requests that you outline and justify any desired changes to the departmental budget for the following academic year. It also covers requests for Repair and Maintenance and for changes to Support Staff FTE. It is important to note that this budget submission cycle is also the opportunity to ask for new equipment (e.g., copiers), technology hardware, and software beyond that covered in the regular replacement cycle. Chairs are expected to work closely with the dean of the faculty office, especially if they are asking for notable increases.

The budget requests are due mid-December. Chairs should therefore begin preparing these requests as the holidays, combined with other end of the semester responsibilities, seem to shorten this month considerably. Please contact the Budget Director with any questions.