UConn Welcomes Talented New Faculty Members

Na-Ree Kim, center, assistant professor in residence of Asian and Asian-American studies, Rupal Parekh, left, assistant professor of social work,and John Volin, vice provost for academic affairs speak at a reception following new faculty orientation on the patio of the William Benton Museum of Art. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
Na-Ree Kim, center, assistant professor in residence of Asian and Asian-American studies, Rupal Parekh, left, assistant professor of social work,and John Volin, vice provost for academic affairs speak at a reception following new faculty orientation on the patio of the William Benton Museum of Art. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The new faces on campus this fall aren’t all freshmen: About 80 new faculty members have joined UConn’s ranks, bringing their talents and aspirations to departments across the disciplines and across campuses.

Scores of those new faculty were welcomed Thursday at an all-day orientation event that featured presentations on university policies, advice on successful instruction techniques, human resources, student engagement, the promotion and tenure review process, and many other topics.

It also gave them an opportunity to meet others from the University in a social setting, and to have their questions answered on the logistics of transitioning to their new positions.

The approximately 80 incoming professors are new faces to UConn, filling teaching and research positions at Storrs and the regional campuses, not including others who are joining UConn Health.

About a dozen other people are also joining the ranks of the regular faculty at Storrs and the regional campuses after having already been affiliated with UConn as instructors or in another capacity.

Craig H. Kennedy, UConn’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, welcomed the new faculty at the start of Thursday’s orientation with an overview of the University, and thanked them for choosing UConn.

“When you encounter our undergraduates here, you’re going to meet bright, motivated people who will blow you away with their abilities and their potential,” he said, adding that the graduate students are equally impressive in their dedication to scholarship and the talent they bring to their post-baccalaureate programs.

Kennedy, who joined UConn last spring, also said he will be visiting all of the University’s 80-plus academic departments to learn more about their work and goals, and looks forward to seeing the new faculty members at those gatherings and around campus.

“There’s an old adage that is very true: A great university is based on a great faculty,” he said.

“What a university gives is the faculty that are its foundation. It’s your ideas, your information, your teaching, your mentorship, your creativity and thought, and your leadership that make a great university what it is,” Kennedy said. “We are proud to have you as faculty members, and it’s going to be a great year for all of us.”