The New Faculty Seminar can be best described as one of the Serie Center’s two “flagship programs,” the other being the Academic Leadership Seminar. The New Seminar was first established in 2001 and was initially funded from the Hewlett and Mellon Foundation grants. Since then, the college has assumed the costs for the seminar, which provides a course release for all tenure-track assistant professors in their first year of service.
Faculty members at Macalester teach five courses per year, but since 2001, new assistant professors have taught four courses in their first year. In exchange for this course release, they are required to attend the New Faculty Seminar, a weekly meeting during lunch on Wednesdays where we talk about a variety of issues related to our work as teacher/scholars. Typically, participants read and discuss short articles, chapters from books on teaching pedagogy, and do one or two course observations. We also meet with other faculty, staff, and administrators in order to learn about how things work at Macalester.