Resources for New Faculty

Welcome to Mason and our Resources for New Faculty! We are delighted that you have joined our Mason community. Mason values the level of expertise and passion for learning our faculty show in their courses to give our students a fulfilling academic experience. We have created this Resources for New Faculty page to help orient you to campus life and our most important resources. Still have questions? Email Faculty Affairs and Development!

For information specific to adjunct faculty, please visit the Adjunct Faculty Commons.

Office of the Provost

  • New Faculty Orientations are held every August approximately one week before classes begin. Please work with Faculty Affairs and Development to ensure that you are registered for this event.
  • Your academic unit will work with the Office of the Provost to set up the administrative details of your faculty appointment. Information about  faculty appointments, including faculty salary minimums, submission of transcripts, and offer letters are all available.
  • Once you receive your campus email address you should be automatically enrolled in our Mason Alert Emergency Notification System to receive emergency notifications and timely warnings. You can manage your Mason Alert through this site.
  • There are a number of notable campus-wide initiatives that are supported by the Office of the Provost. We encourage you to learn more and find ways to get connected.

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning provides comprehensive support for teaching and learning for all Mason faculty, instructors, and graduate students as they develop themselves fully as teachers, mentors, and colleagues. Whether you want to design digitally-enhanced, hybrid or face-to-face courses, or you seek to strengthen and refine your approaches to teaching and learning, the team at the Stearns Center can assist you. The Stearns Center sponsors programs and events to cultivate and recognize outstanding teaching, maintains a robust set of online resources, and supports the university’s Students as Scholars program, which increases undergraduate student participation in research and creative activities. To stay current with news and updates, you are encouraged to join the Stearns Center mailing list and follow the Stearns Center on Twitter.

Teaching Resources for Faculty

Our Teaching Resources for Faculty are particularly useful, whether you are teaching for the first time or you are a seasoned educator. Information about designing your course, assignments and exams; working with students and student support resources; engaging students in the classroom; and Mason-specific resources can all be found here.

  • Getting Started: This page includes teaching tips for designing your syllabus, facilitating student learning, identifying your course goals and learning objectives, and obtaining course materials. Strategies for succeeding your first week of class and finishing your course on a high note are also available.
  • Classroom Support: Here you can find classroom descriptions, as well as information about specific technologies in your classroom, university classroom technology standards, classroom support, and event support in classrooms.
  • Blackboard Faculty Support: All faculty are strongly encouraged to use Blackboard for their courses. Whether you are new to Blackboard or if you want to know the specifics about Blackboard at Mason, this page provides assistance with Blackboard and additional course tools. Beyond information for faculty, this is a good resource for your students and you may wish to include it on your syllabus.
  • Registrar’s Information for Faculty & Staff: This page includes faculty tools, such as viewing your class list and emailing your students in Patriot Web, and information pertinent to submitting your midterm evaluations (if required) and final grades. There is also information about scheduling policies, who to contact in your department with scheduling questions, and course catalog descriptions for all Mason courses. The Frequently Asked Questions section on student privacy (FERPA) for faculty is quite helpful. The Office of the Registrar site is also where you can find information about the academic calendar.
  • Goals for the First Day of Class: Merlot Elixr is a free online resource that offers videos of faculty from a variety of disciplines sharing strategies for understanding and addressing students’ needs, course preparation and design, teaching strategies, and more. This link takes you to a short series on creating an effective First Day of Class but you are encouraged to check out all available videos.
  • Student Ratings of Instruction: All Mason instructors must use the university course evaluation form to receive student feedback on your course(s). These ratings are used by your academic unit to make decisions about re-hiring. All quantitative student ratings of courses are available to Mason faculty and students on this site.

Mason recognizes the critical role that our faculty play in educating our students successfully. Our  University Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards, which began in 2014, help us recognize and reward the outstanding teaching contributions of our adjunct faculty.

Student Support Resources on Campus

Mason is fortunate to have a strong community of professionals to help our students successfully meet their goals. Our students may need support with learning and/or mental health challenges. You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with these offices in the event that you need to make a referral.

You might find yourself having to deal with student behaviors of concern or that are disruptive to the learning environment. This page includes a Faculty Guide for addressing student behaviors of concern, Frequently Asked Questions for faculty, and a Disruptive Behavior Continuum that indicates whether the issue is best addressed by talking with the student, consulting with others, or calling the Mason Police or 911.

Professional Development Resources for Faculty

Mason has a number of activities and events that provide support for teaching and learning (e.g., Mason’s annual Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference), as well as activities that offer spaces and a community for faculty writing. These professional development opportunities are intended for new and experienced faculty alike, as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. You can also take advantage of Mason’s subscription to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, an organization devoted to professional development, training, and mentoring. Finally, Mason has partnered with to provide free and unlimited online training to Mason students, faculty, and staff.

Support for Faculty Research

Key offices and their role in supporting faculty research at Mason are highlighted here, including the Offices of Sponsored Programs; Research Development, Integrity, and Assurance; Environmental Health and Safety; and Graduate Fellowships. Additional research resources, such as databases that assist faculty in identifying and locating funding sources, and seminars and workshops on a variety of topics related to procuring external funding and grants management, can be found here.

Human Resources and Payroll

  • The NEW Center: The New Employee Welcome (NEW) Center provides faculty with a variety of resources – all centrally located – to ensure a smooth transition to Mason.
  • Required Training: All new faculty are required to take the Title IX Overview and Sexual Harassment Prevention training (formerly called Sexual Harassment Prevention and Equal Opportunity training), offered by the Office of Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics. This page has information about how to register for online training sessions on active shooters, terrorism and security, and workplace violence and prevention.
  • Faculty Benefits: Information about discounted parking options and individual retirement counseling. Mason has also collaborated with businesses to provide a number of discounts available to employees. You may also be eligible for a tuition waiver to take a class that interests you.
  • Well-Being: Becoming a Well-Being University is part of Mason’s strategic plan. HR and Payroll support this goal through a number of well-being initiatives and resources for your career, financial, and physical well-being.

Information Technology Services

Mason’s ITS prides itself on providing user-friendly technology solutions and responsive customer service. While their homepage provides an overview of the scope of ITS, you are most likely to have questions about specific services for you as a faculty member. A comprehensive list is on the IT Services by Category page, while links to the most frequently used services are provided below.

  • Blackboard Courses: Mason’s web-based Learning Management System (LMS) for all courses, whether face-to-face, hybrid, or online.
  • Classroom Support: Information about support offered by Classroom and Lab Technologies (CaLT)
  • ITS Support Center: Serves as central point of contact for requesting IT support or information.
  • Mason Email and Calendar Systems: Provides information about accessing your email and calendar.
  • Microsoft Campus Agreement: Licenses certain Microsoft products for use on university-owned equipment.
  • MyMason Portal: Resources used by the Mason community all in one location.
  • Network Access: Offers information about accessing wired and wireless networks in campus facilities.
  • Patriot Web: Provides information about managing your administrative records with HR and Payroll (e.g., tax forms, pay stubs, etc.) and course records (e.g., viewing class lists, submitting grades, etc.)
  • Symantec Endpoint Protection: Available to all faculty, staff, and students for their personal computers as well as for all university-owned resources.

Additional University Resources
The following resources will be useful to you as a professional working in our Mason community. Whether visiting the university libraries to meet a student or conduct research, learning more about the services and resources that University Life provides to faculty and staff as we work together in support of student success, or finding out where you can grab a bite to eat or drink before or after your class, our goal is to support you.

Wellness and Work-Life Balance
The following resources are available to you in support of Mason’s strategic goal of becoming a Well-Being University.

Mason News and Information
Mason has a number of online resources and digital tools for keeping up with campus events; being informed of critical incidents, and celebrating the accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and students.

Faculty Resources by College