Welcome to Saint Louis University! I am delighted that you are considering a faculty position at SLU, a university on an aggressive path of academic excellence.
Let me take this opportunity to tell you what excites me about SLU and hopefully, it will resonate with your values and aspirations.
SLU is grounded in Catholic, Jesuit values, which include inclusion and open dialog across diverse traditions, thoughts and ideas. As a Hindu, I find this environment encouraging, supportive, and inspiring. I know that faculty and students of various faith traditions will find the ethos of Saint Louis University welcoming.
Academically, we value teaching, research, and service. Underlying these three traditional "activities" however, is a deep value-transformation. Through our teaching, research, and service, we aspire to transform ourselves, our students, and our communities. The term "transformation" is very Jesuit! It involves self-reflection and value-level changes. We want to engage in experiences that will make us think and challenge ourselves as well as our students and our colleagues. We view teaching, research, and service as means to contribute toward a higher purpose-to prepare our students for the 21st Century challenges and to make our world a better place. Therefore, it is not enough to simply teach a course; it is essential to keep improving it, keep innovating the pedagogy, keep improving student success, and to keep current in the field. It is not enough to simply conduct research and publish; it is essential to take on research projects that address key societal challenges through our respective disciplines as well as through multi/cross-disciplinary approaches. Similarly, in service, it is not enough to count service in terms of hours; rather, we need to engage in service learning exercises that enable our students to integrate classroom and research activities with service opportunities-thus, measuring service in terms of impact.
Our Center for Teaching Excellence is ready to help you develop an engaging and challenging learning experience for your students as well as for yourself. Feel free to contact Dr. Debra Lohe (977-3944) to join one of their orientation/training sessions. Our Office of Research Administration is ready to help you with a wide range of services-whether you are searching for funding opportunities, in the middle of a proposal writing project, or transferring an existing grant from your current institution-they are ready to help you. Please feel free to contact Dr. Sheila Lischwe (977-7371) to get started. Our Center for Service and Community Engagement is a great place to find out about a plethora of service opportunities and ways in which these opportunities could be tied with your teaching and research interests. Contact Dr. Brian Sokol (977-4449) to learn more about these opportunities.
If you are not from St. Louis, you will be perplexed at the most common St. Louis question: "which high school did you go to?" Clearly, it appears that high school is the all-defining choice; however, there are many of us who did not go to high school in St. Louis, and are accepted just as well! So, don't panic; we are very welcoming and eager to offer our hospitality-just ask us about Ted Drews!
With new people, come new ideas! We are eager to hear your ideas on how to improve our university, how to help you become more successful, how to reduce waste (resources, time, energy, and the list goes on...), and how to improve our processes, etc. Feel free to discuss your ideas with your department chair and dean. Make a point to have your department chair introduce you to your dean and both of you meet with the dean at least once a year to just say hello and inform him/her of your progress.
Get to know Ms. Martha King (977-2225) who serves as the Manager of Faculty Affairs. She is responsible for faculty contracts, sabbaticals, research leaves, interpretation of the Faculty Manual, and above all, Faculty Development. So, feel free to contact her if you have any questions regarding your appointment or would like to know about an upcoming faculty development session.
There are many ways in which you could get involved in shared governance. If you are interested in learning about those opportunities, please contact the Faculty Senate President, Dr. Mark Kneupfer at 977-6462.
I hope that by now, you have a good idea about the values and expectations at SLU as well as an introduction to a couple of key people who might be of assistance to you.
Again, I am delighted that you are considering SLU, and I look forward to meeting you personally and learning about your interests and goals.