Getting Ready for the Start of a New Academic Year

As we do each year, there are a number of important activities scheduled in the so-called “pre-week.”  The calendar is available here.  A few of the events deserve special mention and there are also some changes from how the pre-week activities worked in the past.  Please take note of the several important events on the calendar as highlighted on the next page.

Monday, August 19 is once again “College Day.”  The idea is to provide an opportunity for each college to focus activities designed to get the year off to a good start.  Additional details will likely be forthcoming from each College Dean.

On Wednesday morning, August 21, the University Faculty Council and all university level committees will meet to organize themselves for the coming year, elect committee chairs and secretaries, and carry out other business as required in order to get the governance year off to a good start.  This is a bit different from the past, when the UFC organizing session was held on a Tuesday.  A calendar of meeting dates for the coming year, worked out in conjunction with the UFC and the leadership of each of the colleges, is available here.

Wednesday used to be move-in day for new students but, as you’ll see on the pre-semester calendar, new students won’t be arriving this year until Friday, August 23.  This change is the consequence of having a two-day summer orientation session for new students.  Orientation events took place in June and July.  One final orientation session is scheduled for August 22 (on the eve of move-in) for students who were unable to come to one of the earlier sessions.

For everyone’s convenience, we have once again organized a calendar of important dates for instructional faculty.  This is a handy reference for all of the various deadlines on the teaching schedule (last day to drop classes, midterm deficiency report due date, and so forth).  Please note that this calendar is a brief reminder of a few key dates; please also consult the Academic Calendar for more detailed information.

The annual opening general faculty meeting occurs on Thursday, August 22 at 10:00 a.m. in Dodd Auditorium.  Several presentations are on the agenda.  President Rick Hurley will offer remarks about the state of the university and plans for the current year.  I will be expanding on my comments presented in the lead story in this newsletter, with particular emphasis on the importance of sharpening and affirming our academic priorities.

We will do the usual brief introductions of new full-time faculty members, and the winner of the Topher Bill Service Award will be announced.  Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy will also have a few remarks and announcements as well.  This meeting is followed by the traditional faculty luncheon with seating available in the Faculty Staff Dining Room and the Bistro in Seacobeck Hall.

In a change from last year, the opening Honor Convocation will take place on Sunday, August 25 at 7 p.m.  Prior to that, teaching faculty and administrative/professional faculty are invited to a Honor Convocation dinner to be held in the Faculty Staff Dining Room at Seacobeck Hall.  If you haven’t already done so, contact Judy Singleton (x1062; jsinglet@umw.edu) to indicate if you’re going to be attending.

The faculty will again convene in academic regalia for the Honor Convocation  – a reminder and specific instructions for where to assemble will be sent a few days before the event, which will again take place in the Anderson Center.

Finally, faculty are invited to join in the Eagle Gathering Ceremony at 8:30 p.m. in Ball Circle.  This event welcomes new students to UMW and demonstrates community support for the incoming class.  Please arrive on Ball Circle between 8 and 8:15 p.m. if you are planning on attending.

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