The University Record, September 4, 2001

New Faculty Orientation provides sense of University community

By Joel Seguine
News and Information Services

President Lee C. Bollinger and Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs, welcomed new faculty Aug. 29 to U-M at the annual new faculty orientation. The event aimed to introduce new faculty to the departments, units and programs of the University. Faculty members were able to meet with department representatives, receive their Mcards and apply for parking permits. Speeches and performances also were given to introduce faculty members to issues facing the university.

After lunch, Bollinger reviewed the University’s major initiatives in the life sciences, the arts and its defense of the two lawsuits challenging the University’s admissions processes.

Later, the Michigan League Ballroom was transformed into a classroom, where the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) Players presented a skit on issues of diversity and inclusion. The performance came in the midst of their day-long presentation. The program consisted of a variety of sessions ranging from teaching with graduate student instructors (GSIs) to presentations from the schools and colleges.

Jeffrey Steiger, one of the actors in the Aug. 29 presentation, directs the Players as a full time CRLT staff member.

Steiger joined four other local actors and facilitator Diana Kardia, CRLT staff member, for the new faculty presentation. The skit began with a compressed 10-minute class made up of three men and one woman taught by an inexperienced GSI. The script highlighted issues of women in a class dominated by male behavior. Kardin then led a discussion between the actors and audience members. Following the discussion the actors replayed the class so the audience could see how their input transformed both the instructor’s approach and the students’ behavior.

The CRLT Players began as a multicultural learning and teaching initiative within the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program and the Graduate Experience Project, funded by a Sloan Foundation grant. The Players work to develop partnerships with U-M faculty and GSIs to enhance student learning. The troupe is unique in that it performs primarily for instructors.

New Faculty Orientation is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and CRLT.