Top "Ten" Lists for Faculty and Academic Administrators

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During Spring 2004, in an effort to ensure that new members of the MSU community know essential and helpful information about our University, the Office of Academic Human Resources asked a cross-section of 40 academic administrators and faculty what they considered to be the top 10 things all new faculty and new chairs and directors need to know about MSU early in their careers at Michigan State. These are applicable to those who are new to MSU, as well as those who are in a new administrative role.

This survey was not based on a systematic or scientific sampling, but it does represent the wisdom of practice of many experienced campus leaders and successful scholar/teachers at MSU. We had dozens of suggested items, many of which were cited repeatedly. To organize and prioritize the input, we have clustered the suggestions into six broad areas for New Faculty and five broad areas for New Department Chairs and Directors. In general, the suggestions identify key documents, policies/regulations, and support programs and their related websites, with the highest priority on both lists going to the Faculty Handbook with regard to issues of “Tenure/Promotion/Evaluation and Expectations for Performance.” The lists also underscore the importance of conferring with department and college colleagues for advice and information pertinent to practices and expectations in individual units.

The “Top 10” lists are road maps to direct your attention amid the torrent of information that newcomers receive upon their arrival. We anticipate that these documents will undergo continuous revision, but they offer a point of entry to help newcomers learn more about life at MSU. Please contact the Office of Faculty and Organizational Development at with suggestions, questions or comments.