Information for New Tenure-Track Faculty, 2015-16
(updated June 26, 2015)
Welcome to the Clark University community. This site offers basic information that we hope will be helpful for new faculty members as you begin your career at Clark. While not meant to be comprehensive, the following items provide some guidance about dates, policies, and resources here. Please feel free to contact me, Deb Brenner, in the Provost's Office (or x7766) if you have questions or concerns. We look forward to getting to know each of you over the course of the year.
Information to Help Get you Started
- New Faculty Orientation Schedule
- Weekly Class Schedule
- Campus Virtual Tour
- Campus Map
- Worcester Arts and Culture
- Child Care Possibilities
- The Clark ID Card (called the "OneCard")
- Moving expenses
- Guide to Teaching at Clark University, October 2014
- LEEP Center Advising Faculty Guide
Support Once You've Arrived
- Start-up funds
- Computer Hardware and Software Support
- Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR)
- Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)
- Everything you want to know about Advising in Academic Advising's "Blue Book"
- Athletic Facilities and Sports Information
- Academic Integrity (i.e., what to do if you suspect a student is cheating)
- Discounts and Special Services (movie tickets, Worcester Art Museum, et al) and discounts on purchasing (including via the Consortium Purchasing Group)
- Ordering Textbooks (open, then click on "Faculty Resources" in the black bar across the top)
Important Information for All Faculty
- Faculty Handbook (login to Faculty Governance for the updated version of the Faculty Handbook)
- Faculty Benefits (separate from Handbook) - For the most updated information, please contact Human Resources, x7397.
- Faculty travel forms and guidelines (from the OSPR page)
- Faculty Advising
- Academic Catalog
- Courses offered during Academic Year 2015-16
- Teaching Evaluation Process
- Email Distribution Lists (for announcing guest speakers, etc.)
- Clark News Hub
Other Useful Intra-Clark Links
- Dean of Students Office NOTE the following important message to all faculty from the Dean of Students office:
STUDENTS IN DIFFICULTY: As a recognized practice, Clark follows the policy that all concerns about students in difficulty should be channeled through a single location, and for us that is the Dean of Students' Office. If you have concerns about a student - whether you have observed specific behaviors such as a student missing classes, not handing in work or behaving erratically, or if you have more diffuse concerns, please contact the Dean of Students' Office (x7423; Kevin McKenna). Kevin and his staff will evaluate all reports and refer them appropriately.
- Faculty Governance (password protected)
- Accelerated Degree Programs(BA/Fifth Year Master's)
Student Support Services
- Academic Advising
- Writing Center
- Counseling Services
- LEEP Center
- Teaching Resources/Students Struggling with...
New Faculty Orientation Schedule
As you know, on August 19, 2015 we will hold a day-long orientation at Tower Hill Botanic Garden.
In August of 2014 I took a photo of last year's new faculty at Tower Hill, above. They are, from left to right, back row: David Correll, Michael Satz, Steve Ng, Heather Silber Mohamed, Andrew Stewart, Shital Sharma, John Magee, Eric DeBarros; front row: John Gibbons, Nicole Overstreet, Randi Garcia, Florencia Sangermano, Mary Ellen Morris, David Tang. Once I take a photo of the 2015 group, I'll replace this photo with the new one.
Throughout the rest of the academic year, brief orientation meetings on different topics will be held monthly according to your collective availability. Once the dates and topics are set, I will send them by email.
Weekly Class Schedule
Day of Week Key: M = Monday, T = Tuesday, W = Wednesday, R = Thursday and F = Friday
M-W-F 8-8:50 am
M 2:50-5:50 pm
M 6-9 pm
W 1:15-4:15 pm
M-W 12-1:15 pm
T 2:50-5:50 pm
T 6-9 pm
R 11:40-1:25 pm
M-R 1:25-2:40 pm
W 9-11:50 am
W 6-9 pm
T-R 9-10:15 am
R 2:50-5:50 pm
R 6-9 pm
T-F 12:00-1:15 pm
F 9-11:50 am
M-W 7-8:15 pm
T-R 7-8:15 pm
Many new faculty arrive in Worcester with small children, and questions about child care often come up, so I asked some current faculty for their suggestions for childcare recommendations in the local area. These are suggestions only and is not meant as a comprehensive list:
- Worcester Jewish Community Center (JCC)
- First Friends (in Worcester)
- Skribbles (in Northboro, where Shrewsbury, Northboro and Westboro meet)
- Shrewsbury Montessori School
- Guild of St. Agnes (Worcester and other locations)
The Clark OneCard
The Clark OneCard is your multipurpose Clark ID card. You will need it to access Goddard Library, the Kneller Athletic Center, et al. You will need to have a photo taken (151 Woodland Street, 2nd floor) to initiate the process, and for this you should email the ID card office or call x7109 to set up a time. There are regular hours for taking student ID photos and you can always drop in during these times but you risk waiting on line. The OneCard webpage is http://www.clarku.edu/offices/id/.
If moving expenses are awarded, the maximum amount is specified in the new faculty member's contract letter. These are handled as reimbursements. We don't normally pay moving companies directly, as this means setting up a formal relationship with a company we probably won't need again. Reimbursements are processed as quickly as possible so that you are paying out-of-pocket for the shortest time possible.
If paying out-of-pocket is onerous, it is possible to receive an advance so that you may pay the moving company yourself. Here's the form to fill out, called Moving-Relocation Advance. Be aware that according to IRS guidelines, advances must be cleared within 60 days, and moving expenses in particular must be substantiated/reimbursed during the same calendar year in which they are incurred. If not, we will reimburse you, but these funds will be considered by the IRS as taxable income.
Should you choose to handle the move yourself, we will reimburse you for packing supplies, etc. but please note that for purchases you make on your own, we can not reimburse the sales tax portion.
Choosing (and dealing with) a moving company can be stressful. Here is a website that others have found to be helpful (though it is not endorsed formally by Clark): http://www.movingscam.com
The process for handling moving expenses has become more complicated in recent years. First of all, there are two types of guidelines you need to be aware of:
- Guidelines for what Clark considers to be reimbursable moving expenses. To date these are unwritten so if you have a question, just email me or call me at x7766. Generally speaking, we choose to define "moving expenses" broadly. For examples, reimbursable expenses might include moving company payments, packing costs, storage costs, pet moving expenses, office moving expenses (boxes of books, etc.) and trips to Worcester to look for housing. Expenses we would not consider reimbursable are meal costs while traveling, lawyers or realtor fees, points paid for purchasing a house, and penalties incurred due to breaking a lease in order to move to Worcester.
- IRS Guidelines on taxability. The IRS labels expenses that are not taxable as "qualified," and expenses that are taxable as "nonqualified." IRS guidelines are not related to the Clark guidelines above. For example, while Clark will reimburse the cost of traveling to Worcester to look for housing, only the actual move to Clark is considered "qualified" by the IRS. House/apartment hunting expenses are "nonqualified," i.e. taxable.
The form you need to fill out to request reimbursement is the Moving Expense Reimbursement Request. Please note that the IRS guidelines for taxability are found as a second tab on the bottom of this form.You will need to attach proof of payment such as an invoice clearly marked PAID or an original credit card statement. If you have not yet gone through the I9 process with Human Resources, then you will need also to complete and submit a W4 form. Please fill out the form on line, print it, sign it, and submit it with the reimbursement request form.
Note that everyone with moving expenses must fill out the Moving Expense Reimbursement Form noted above, whether or not you need the Moving Relocation Advance Request.
I know this can be confusing! It's still fairly new new to us, too. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. Please send all completed paperwork to me. For interoffice mail, "Deb- Provost's Office" will work. From outside, please send to:
950 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01610
Some faculty, especially those in the sciences, are awarded start-up funds as designated in your appointment letter. Please contact me to discuss how to access these funds. In the unlikely event of non-reappointment, continued use of unexpended start-up funds must be cleared by the Provost.
Computer Hardware and Software Support
The majority of your contact with ITS will probably be with one of two groups in ITS: Academic Technology Services or Desktop Support Services. Academic Technology Services is responsible for exploration, development and dissemination of technology-based solutions in support of the teaching, learning, presentation and communication needs of faculty and students. This includes support of Clark's course management system, Moodle. The ATS team actively partners with faculty, staff and students in imagining ways that we might use technology to meet academic goals. Examples of our partnerships include:
- consulting with faculty regarding existing technologies and their implementation to solve pedagogical challenges;
- developing applications, learning modules, videos and web sites to support curricular needs;
- exploring current and emerging technology tools and considering how they might be used at Clark;
- communicating with faculty, staff and students about technology tools and/or teaching/learning trends;
- conducting training sessions with students and/or faculty.
More information about what we do is available at http://www.clarku.edu/offices/its/academictechnology/
You will also have contact with the Desktop Support Services team. The Desktop Support Services team is responsible for computer support (via the ITS Help Desk), installation and maintenance of desktop software and hardware, operation of public computer labs, and break-fix support for University-owned computer equipment.
So when you need it, how do you get support?
The short answer is that no matter who you contact, we should be able to get you connected with the "right" person. That said, your best starting points are as follows:
- When you have an issue with your username/password, your Clark computing equipment, or have software questions, you should call, email or visit the Help Desk and work with the Desktop Support Services group. (Academic Commons at Goddard Library, email@example.com, 508-793-7745).
- If you need AV equipment delivered to your classroom, or would like to borrow equipment to take to a presentation on or off campus, contact Media Services by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 508-793-7724, or by stopping by their office on the ground floor of Jonas Clark Hall.
- As you consider the integration of technology and the teaching/learning/research environments you create, you need support with Moodle, or have questions about curriculum-oriented software, you should contact the Academic Technologist assigned to your department. As of summer 2014, the departmental assignments are:
Cheryl Turner Elwell, Director of Academic Technology Services
phone: (508) 421-3714 | email: email@example.com | office: Goddard 407
Contact for any faculty member
Michael Krikonis, Academic Technologist
phone: (508) 793-8807 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | office: Goddard 407
Primary contact for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Math/Computer Science; GSOM; Psychology, COPACE
Christopher Markman, Academic Technologist
phone: (508) 793-7214 | email: email@example.com | office: Goddard 407
Primary contact for faculty in Education, English, Language, Literature and Culture, Geography, History, IDCE, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, V&PA
Faculty Assembly Meetings
Faculty assembly meetings are held monthly on Wednesday afternoons at 2 pm in Johnson Auditorium, which is in the Sackler Science Center, in the front door, first room on your right. Faculty assembly dates for 2015-16 are as follows:
September 16, 2015
January 27, 2016
April 13 or 20 (TBA)
Email announcements and agenda are distributed to faculty in advance of each meeting.
Several years ago, the Provost (who is now the President) initiated a series of First Friday receptions. These are held the first Friday of each month of the academic year (more or less) and are meant as a time to unwind from the workweek, socialize with your colleagues, enjoy some snacks and, if you choose, have a glass of wine or beer. All faculty and staff (but not students) are invited.
Recently we tried something new. We asked those faculty promoted to the rank of professor the year prior to give a talk about their research to the campus community on a First Friday date, with the First Friday event serving as the reception following that talk. Usually the talk and the First Friday take place in the faculty member's home department. The talks run 4:15-5, with First Fridays 5-6. Faculty and staff are welcome to attend either or both events. This pairing of events was successful, and we are continuing the pairing for 2015-16 for some First Fridays.
Only a few First Friday speakers and dates for 2015-16 are known so far are, but I will update this list as more are scheduled:
September Alumni and Friends Engagement
October Counseling and Wellness Center
December Mosakowski Institute
Faculty in their first year at Clark typically do not take on formal advising duties. However, after the first year all regular faculty are expected to advise undergraduate students (and graduate students where appropriate). Faculty who teach a First Year Intensive (FYI) course typically serve as pre-major advisors to the students who are enrolled in that class. An online adviser's handbook, The 3 Rs, may be accessed at the Academic Advising website. If you have any questions, please contact Jen Plante, Interim Director, at x7468.
Teaching Evaluation Process
The teaching evaluation process uses paper evaluations completed by students during the penultimate week of each semester, during the first 20 minutes of each class. Evaluations are completed every semester for every class taught. We are hoping to move to an on-line evaluation process in the not-too-distant future. Hoping hoping hoping.
Email Distribution Lists
There are two email distribution lists to which faculty can post, neither of which are moderated in any way. Individual faculty can opt out of these lists if they choose. They are as follows:
1) firstname.lastname@example.org - This list is comprised of all full-time faculty, and, because we're trying to be inclusive here, a smattering of other folks within the Clark community who've asked to join. This list is meant for announcements of any kind, e.g. upcoming lectures or concerts, apartments for rent, whatever. Faculty can opt out of this list, but very few have. When you hit REPLY to an email from this list, your email goes to the sender only.
Alternatively, or in conjunction with the announcements listserv, you may post an announcement to the on-line ClarkYOU, which is accessed by the Clark community only.
2) email@example.com - Although the address is "faculty-general," messages sent to this listserv show up in your mailbox as "Faculty Discussion." As the name suggests, this listserv is meant for discussion among faculty, on whatever topics interest you.
In addition to the above there are listservs to which only the administration can post, and from which faculty cannot opt out. The one you will notice is faculty-tenuretrack, which we reserve for important university business only. If you hit REPLY to one of those messages it will be sent only to me, because I'm the list moderator. In other words, if the Provost or President sends out to this list and you want to write back to the sender, you'll need to type in that person's email address.
The Writing Center
The Writing Center offers free one-to-one writing assistance to all members of the Clark University community. Writing consultants will work with student writers on any piece of writing -- short papers, research papers, lab reports, presentations, senior honors theses, graduate school applications or resumes. Students may bring writing at any stage of the writing process, whether they are brainstorming, outlining, revising or editing.
Jessica Bane Robert, Interim Director of the Writing Center and Writing Program, consults with faculty across the disciplines. If you would like to talk about your students' writing, your writing assignments (formal or informal, in-class or take home), or your responses to student writing, or if you would like to know more about how you can encourage your students to work with the Clark Writing Center, please contact Jessica by email or at 508-793-7469.