Colgate Launches Additional Support for Pre-Tenure Faculty

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Colgate University is known for the intellectual, professional, and personal bonds that develop between its faculty members and students. The Third-Century Plan, unveiled last May, underscores the University’s intention to build upon that fundamental point of distinction by recruiting scholars of the first order for new tenure-track teaching positions.

In keeping with its ambitious plan, Colgate is announcing a series of enhancements to faculty hiring packages — developed by Provost and Dean of the Faculty Tracey E. Hucks, four division directors, three associate deans, and the vice president for athletics.

In the year following successful passage of third-year review, faculty will now receive two semesters of leave at full pay. Formerly, full pay was available for only one semester, and those wishing to take a year of leave received just 50 percent of their salary. Meanwhile, startup packages will be enhanced for new faculty hires, providing more resources for items and activities that are crucial for a successful launch of a scholarly career at Colgate, such as research travel, lab equipment, library resources, and other supplies.

“The hiring of a tenured faculty member is a decades-long commitment, both for the University and for the professor,” Hucks said. “With these new benefits, we acknowledge the importance of the relationship that we seek to establish as well as recognize the significance of the demands that are placed on scholars who teach at the highest tier.” 

These enhancements augment the existing perquisites offered to new faculty — which include access to twice the amount of discretionary funding for teaching and research available to senior faculty as well as a reduced course load and mentorship opportunities for pre-tenure faculty preparing to teach in the University’s signature Liberal Arts Core Curriculum

The pre-tenure faculty mentorship program is a highly successful way of bringing new faculty into the Colgate tradition of deep faculty, student, and alumni engagement with the core. Course offerings and readings within the five-course core are updated regularly to keep pace with the development of human understanding, but its underlying structure dates back nearly a century, uniting alumni across generations. Pre-tenure professors in the mentorship program partner with a veteran core professor and attend their mentor’s class, preparing for each session by completing readings, just as students do. They meet regularly with their mentors to discuss both class content and pedagogy. When they, in turn, teach their first core course, they are observed in the classroom by their mentor.

“The core mentoring program has helped our faculty have better outcomes in the classroom from the very first time they teach in the core,” said Padma Kaimal, Batza Professor of art and art history; chair, Department of Art and Art History. “Colgate’s version of the core is so ambitious and so particular to this institution, there is no reason to think anyone would comprehend it until they had a chance to watch it in operation.”

“We are in the business of talent, and we are only as good as the people we attract,” President Brian W. Casey said when introducing the Third-Century Plan, the inspiration behind these enhancements. “We have to be able to say to new faculty, ‘Come here and you will have a wonderful, lengthy, well-supported scholarly life,’ because the greatest scholars here teach well.”