At the U. of Minnesota, One Big Happy Orientation

The 3-day event helps professors network and gives them a sense of the institution's scope

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Steve Woit for The Chronicle

Arlene Carney (left), vice provost for academic affairs at the U. of Minnesota-Twin Cities, with Amy Kristin Sanders,a junior faculty member. In the orientation program, says Ms. Carney, "once in everybody's career they can see where everybody else works."

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Steve Woit for The Chronicle

Arlene Carney (left), vice provost for academic affairs at the U. of Minnesota-Twin Cities, with Amy Kristin Sanders,a junior faculty member. In the orientation program, says Ms. Carney, "once in everybody's career they can see where everybody else works."

Until recently, orientation for new faculty members at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities consisted of various departments' rolling out the welcome mat in their own way.

At gatherings that typically took place the week before classes started, newly hired scholars congregated in individual departments or colleges. They formed early bonds with colleagues in their disciplines, but the meetings didn't do much to help them feel connected to the sprawling university as a whole. A