August 16, 2011 12:00AM
About 25 new faculty are getting to know PSU this week. New faculty orientation is designed not only to teach new faculty the nuts and bolts of campus operations, but also to have them consider some broader topics such as the characteristics of a learning community and the role of higher education in our changing society.
PSU Provost Lynette Olson, whose office sponsors the new faculty events, said the two days spent in orientation at the beginning of the school year is just the beginning. Olson told the new faculty that she wants to engage them in a reading group and over the coming months encourage discussion of topics of importance to higher education.
"I'm making a concerted effort to talk about issues beyond teaching," Olson said Tuesday. "Higher education is facing lots of challenges and we are in a time of great change. As educators, we ought to be the ones who drive that change."
New faculty have a wealth of resources to turn to, Olson said, including faculty mentors. Many of those mentors are on hand during the orientation.
"Because of their experience on campus, the mentors have valuable insights that can be very helpful for the new faculty," Olson said.