A. "Our Hallways Are Too Quiet" (post) outlines the problem of "faculty avoid[ing] the campus" and "decreased faculty presence in their campus offices."
- "We seem to be losing our sense of the commons, and perhaps our empathy for the trials and tribulations of academic life."
1. Problems: "The notion that no one really needs to work on the campus ... has significant structural consequences for departments."
- "Conversation matters. Personal contact matters."
- "We are losing our ability to work through our differences, learn how to compromise, build new initiatives, and fight our common battles."
- "It is very hard to build relationships with people we do not see in person, and such relationships are the bedrock of so much else that matters on any campus."
- Without this, "[f]or new and junior colleagues, it might seem that there is no there there."
- "[S]enior professors send a powerful message by their invisibility in the department: Face-to-face interactions are just not important."
2. Questions: "[W]hat keeps junior faculty engaged?" -- or "[s]tudents, and especially graduate students"?:
- "How do we communicate values? Or share readings, provocative conversations, and inspiration?"
- "Why should young academics try to build a professional life in a place where there is no one to talk to?"
- "What does it mean these days to be a member of the academic community?"
3. Suggestions: The post offers some suggestions to increase faculty presence, community, and collaboration:
- Having "more campus discussion of these trends and how to counter them to strengthen departmental relationships"
- "[A]sking professors to spend more time in the office"
- "[C]reat[ing] events such as regular colloquia, lunches, teas, and happy hours to give people a chance to interact"
- [Using the Teaching Commons as personal and public social space (see B below)]
B. The Teaching Commons: A Place for Instructors
The Teaching Commons (LI 50014) has a "dedicated space for faculty and instructors to eat lunch, make coffee, etc." (from "Comments" below post).
It is potentially "the setting for a rich shared academic and social life that promote[s] a strong sense of community for faculty and staff" (from "Comments" below post).
- Please, feel free to avail yourself of this beautiful and relaxing space.
- Keurig and Nespresso machines are available.
- It is open from 8:00-4:30 daily.