The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae blog offered advice to faculty about who they should talk to on campus for optimal student success.
The author notes how graduate students are expected to jump into the classroom autonomously once they are hired as faculty. But this autonomy does not mean that faculty should not confer with other professionals on campus to provide a comprehensive educational experience.
The first set of professional listed are the librarians:
If you haven’t spent a good few hours going over your syllabi with a librarian trained in your subject area, you’re shortchanging your course and your students (and yourself). Librarians keep up with the technology in your field. They know the campus holdings and can order better texts for you if they know what you’re teaching.
Librarians can offer even more help if you give them a heads-up about what your assignments are going to be. They can pull relevant texts from the stacks and hold them on reserve for your course. They can come to your classroom and talk about which sources are available and how to judge their quality. They can suggest assignments and let you know about resources you may not have seen yet. And they can be a great help if you have to miss a class–they can work with your students in the library that day or in your classroom to keep them on track with whatever assignment you’ve given while you’re away at that conference.
Librarians live to help. And they’ll be able to help your class do much better work if you’ve taken the time to share your syllabus, your assignments, and your ideas with them.
The author goes on to list academic advisors, student affairs staff, registrar, financial aid, and veterans’ affairs professionals as others for faculty to confer with. As noted, “get out there and talk to people across your campus, in all kinds of jobs. Who knows? You might make a friend. And you’ll definitely make yourself a more effective faculty member.”