Information for New Tenure-Track Faculty, 2012-13
Updated January 29, 2013 (First Fridays updated)
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.
Here's a photo I took of you all at Tower Hill on Monday, August 20, 2012. Thanks for posing.
Information to Help Get you Started
- New Faculty Orientation Schedule
- Worcester: 38th out of 100 Best Places to Live and Launch
- Campus Virtual Tour
- Campus Map
- Worcester Arts and Culture
- Child Care Possibilities
- The Clark ID Card (called the "OneCard")
- Moving expenses
Support Once You've Arrived
- Start-up funds
- Computer Hardware and Software Support
- Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR)
- Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)
- Athletic Facilities and Sports Information
- Academic Integrity (i.e., what to do if you suspect a student is cheating)
- Discounts and Special Services through Human Resources (movie tickets, Worcester Art Museum, et al) and discounts on purchasing (including via the Consortium Purchasing Group) through the Business Office
- Ordering Textbooks (open, then click on "Faculty" in the black bar across the top)
Important Information for All Faculty
- Deferred Compensation Election Form 13 months
- Deferred Compensation Election Form 12 months
- Faculty Handbook (most recent)
- 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
- 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 Denise Darrigrand, Dean of Students:
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; Denise Darrigrand). Denise and her staff will evaluate all reports and refer them appropriately.
- Faculty Governance (password protected)
- Accelerated Degree Programs(BA/Fifth Year Master's)
Student Support Services
New Faculty Orientation Schedule
As you know, on August 20, 2012 we are planning a day-long orientation at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. President David Angel will be there to greet you; you will meet the Chair of the Faculty (Deb Robertson), all members of the Academic Administration, and others. Check out the link above, as Tower Hill is a beautiful place and there will be time on Aug 20 for exploring the grounds.
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.
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 (22 Downing St., 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 possible time.
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, 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.
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, CICADA. 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 academictechnology.
You will also have contact with the Desktop Support Services team. The Desktop Support Services team is responsible for support services (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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com, 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 CICADA, or have questions about curriculum-oriented software, you should contact the Academic Technologist assigned to your department. The departmental assignments are:
Gregory Geiger (508.793.7214), firstname.lastname@example.org
Education, English, Foreign Languages, History, Political Science, V&PA
Michael Krikonis (508.793.8807), email@example.com :
Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Math/Computer Science; GSOM; Psychology, COPACE
Cheryl Turner Elwell (508.421.3714), firstname.lastname@example.org :
Philosophy, Sociology, Geography, IDCE
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 2012-13 are as follows:
September 19, 2012
January 30, 2013
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, 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.
Last year 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 pairing them again for 2012-13.
First Friday speakers and dates for 2012-13 are as follows::
- September 7, 2012 - Elli Crocker, Visual and Performing Arts Department (Studio Art)
- October 12 - The Graduate School's new space, 138 Woodland St. (No talk, just a First Friday reception at 4:30)
- November 2 - Wim Klooster, History Department
- December 7 - Kristen Williams, Political Science Department
- January - None scheduled
- February 1, 2013 - Debbie Merrill, Sociology Department
- March 15 - Gil Pontius, Graduate School of Geography
- April 5 - AlphaGraphics (no talk, just a First Friday reception at 4:30)
- May 3 - The LEEP Center (no talk, same as April)
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 Kevin McKenna,Senior Associate Dean, 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.
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) email@example.com - 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 to the on-line ClarkYOU, which is accessed by the Clark community only.
2) firstname.lastname@example.org - Although the address is "faculty-general," messages sent to this listserv come through 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 his 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.
Jennifer Plante, 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 Jennifer by email or at 508-793-7469.