WHY AN EMAIL LIST? Being a new Cal Poly faculty member can be an isolating experience. We have moved here from all parts of the country, leaving behind established networks of family and friends. We are faced with the challenges of learning a lot of things all at once: how to find our ways within a new town, a new university, and a new department. Heavy teaching loads can leave limited time for socializing, and the lack of a Faculty Club or equivalent facility makes it difficult to meet people outside our own departments and colleges. The New(ish) Faculty List was created to serve as an informal social, information and support network for relative newcomers, creating a greater sense of a Cal Poly community.
HOW DOES THE LIST WORK? It is an e-mail distribution list of "new(ish)" faculty (whether tenure-track, lecturers or recently tenured). It is a moderated list: you will not receive random "spam," since all messages must be forwarded by me. As a rule, I post only messages that are of potential interest to a cross-section of newer faculty (i.e. opportunities open to faculty in all disciplines, general-interest public lectures and cultural events, interdisciplinary activities, events or initiatives) and/or which provide a direct service to a list member (i.e. I will post a query for a list member looking for a referral to a local professional, needing a baby-sitter, or seeking an exercise partner, but I won't forward random "classified ad" type messages for non-list-members looking for a way of expanding their client base). Posting a message to the list is easy: simply e-mail it to me, and if it falls within these parameters, I will forward it to the list. Be sure to include an e-mail address and/or phone number where others can answer your query. (Contact information is important since all forwarded emails originate in my account, so using the "reply" key will only reach me, not the original sender of the message or the rest of the list.)
NETWORKING AND SOCIALIZING: The list can be a great way for newcomers to expand their social circle beyond their immediate departments. Any list member can use the list to organize a social event open to other new(ish) faculty. Thus far, happy hours, potlucks, parties, hikes, bike rides, week-end excursions, restaurant meals, theatre outings, movies, concerts, and musical salons have all been organized through the list. Or use it to network with other people in the same "life stage." If you are single, use the list to gather a congenial group to see that new movie or check out a local restaurant. A runner can find a jogging partner. Parents (or potential parents): organize a toddler's play-group, ask about pediatricians, solicit daycare recommendations or organize a baby-sitting co-op.
OPEN INVITATION: Please consider organizing and publicizing a gathering or event through the list. Your posting should include a brief description of the event -- which can be just about anything you'd enjoy doing with company. Specify the date, time, location, and cost if applicable. (If tickets are involved, the organizer should specify if participants are to obtain them individually or if s/he plans to purchase a block of seats; for block tickets, the organizer should give a contact number and specify whether advance payment is required or whether people can reimburse him/her at the event.) People wishing to participate in an event will contact the organizer OFF LIST (by direct e-mail or phone), so please include contact information -- your preferred e-mail address and a phone number -- so that interested parties can reach you. DON'T BE PUT OFF BY THE SIZE OF THE LIST: you will not get an overwhelming response to an invitation. But you ARE likely to meet a few congenial souls whom you may not have met otherwise.
WHAT I DO: Post your announcements and queries to the list; add persons who request to be added; remove persons who request to be removed. (A simple email to me will suffice.) Organize and/or publicize New(ish) Faculty happy hours and other social events (e.g. the annual Halloween Party). Forward information of potential interest to newcomers and to "new(ish)" faculty.
EVERYONE is encouraged to use the list to create a greater sense of community at Cal Poly. Please send me your announcements of events and activities, as well as your questions and queries, to post to the list. Tap into our collective wisdom; it is considerable! And if you know other newcomers who would like to be added to the list, please send me their names, departments, and e-mail addresses.