1) Don’t take anything personally, especially not at first. People will probably treat you as insignificant, not because they think ill of you, but because they are socially inept.
2) Help integrate yourself. Even if you are normally more productive writing at home, work in the office a lot during the first year. Make a point of loitering in the hall when it is near lunch time, so people will notice you and think of asking you along to lunch.
3) Your best friends are likely to be the other assistant professors, but do not avoid the senior people. Treat them with friendly respect.
4) Do NOT attempt to reform ANYTHING for at least a year, preferably two. No matter how stupid the curriculum or other things seem, leave them alone until you have been there long enough to know why they are there and whose interests are at stake. Similarly, try to avoid being drawn into factional disputes.
5) Make sure you understand as soon as possible what kind of institution you are at and what it takes to get tenure. At a research university, remember that it is publishing that will get you tenure.
Monday, February 25, 2008
This may come from a sociology academic blog (Scatterplot), but I think the tips offered by "Olderwoman" are very instructive for new professors of any discipline. I am excerpting the ledes from the first five tips, but do go to the link above for the entire post--and the very good comments: