The Department of Medicine hosts its second orientation for new faculty today. It’s a compressed format: just an hour of formal presentations followed by half an hour of small group discussions. When it’s over, the entire faculty will join in a reception to welcome the new members.
When I became an assistant professor my home institution sponsored a semester-long orientation for new faculty. Some of the content was helpful, some of it I could have figured out on my own, and some was a waste of time.
Reflecting on the experience, I realize that the most important resources I took from the sessions were the relationships with colleagues. Once we scattered to our respective departments, it was rare to see faculty from other disciplines. The cohort I spent that fall semester with became mentors, confidants, and friends.