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Faculty Orientation

Rogan Kersh Dear New Faculty Member, Welcome to Wake Forest!

You are joining a thriving community of outstanding teacher-scholars during an especially promising time at our university.  Even as storms buffet higher education nationally, we continue to build—and win national attention for—our ‘collegiate university’ model, dedicated to deeply engaged teaching and scholarship/creative work designed for significant impact. We welcome this August one of our academically strongest as well as most diverse first-year classes in WFU history.  We are confident that your arrival will help us make this great institution even stronger.

I write to ask you to put our New Faculty Orientation program on your August calendar (August 13-15, 2014).  Orientation is one of the many ways that Wake Forest invests in the professional development and success of our faculty members across their careers.  The orientation series will introduce you (in lively fashion; we keep speechifying to a minimum!) to various sources of support for your vital research/creative work and teaching.  You will also learn more about our close WFU community; meet both new and veteran faculty and administrative colleagues; and, if experience is any guide, begin to develop new friendships.

New Faculty Orientation runs across three days, beginning on Wednesday, August 13, at 8 AM with a light breakfast and welcome followed by a campus tour—be sure to wear comfortable shoes.  A detailed schedule for the rest of the day, and those following, is attached.  Wednesday’s activities will conclude with a Family Cookout on Hearn Plaza, beginning at 6 PM; dinner and drinks will be provided, and various WFU’ers will attend; we hope also to greet any family members joining you in Winston-Salem. On Thursday we’ll gather for breakfast at 8:15 AM, preceding a light-hearted discussion centered on “10 Keys for Success as a WFU Faculty Member.” Following is a session on our Wake Will Campaign: Supporting our Faculty. We will conclude our day with lunch; the rest of the afternoon is yours to do as you wish.  On Friday—our final day of orientation—you will attend a session specific to your school.

A pair of additional scheduling details.  First, please plan to attend a required (and highly useful, given Wake’s signature student laptop program) ThinkPad Orientation session; details are on the attached agenda. We also ask you to attend a “Fostering Faculty Inclusive Excellence” workshop, a road-tested means of enhancing inclusion and engagement across our entire constituency. Your session is scheduled for Wednesday, August 20, from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm, place is TBD. Expect to get more information soon from our Office of Diversity and Inclusion. We recommend that you arrive in Winston-Salem by early August so that you can participate fully in our orientation program.

Our vibrant academic community is distinguished by our collective strength and depth of care for one another.  We’re eager to ensure that, as a new community member, you have the requisite information and familiarity with campus to make a comfortable transition into your WFU faculty role. We are eager to support your success: as a first step, I look forward to seeing you at New Faculty Orientation.

If you have any questions, please contact me at

Warmest regards,

Rogan Kersh

Provost and Professor, Politics & International Affairs