Our Purpose

The program will assist the launchee from the beginning of their first year as faculty at UB by regularly meeting with them every month for one year. This program was adapted from an existing program at the University of Michigan, which in turn was based on one created at Carnegie Mellon University.

Areas Addressed by the Launch Program

The program includes committees. Each committee focuses on areas essential to the new faculty member’s success. These differ somewhat by field. The discussion and topics should be tailored not only to the field, but also to the new faculty member’s needs. For example, hiring lab personnel may be a central topic over several meetings for one new faculty member while another may not need more than a few minutes on this topic. Launch Committees should always consider and prioritize equity and inclusion concerns. Committees should have an explicit conversation about confidentiality of information shared in the meeting and agree to treat all personal information disclosed (whether by the launchee or by others) as confidential.

Launch Committee

Committee Makeup

Committee members are identified and invited in consultation with the launchee’s department. Each committee has the following members:

  • New faculty member (the “Launchee”)
  • Department Chair or designee (in the case of joint appointments, two chairs)
  • Senior faculty member from the launchee’s department, with related research interests
  • Senior faculty member from outside the launchee’s department, with related research interests (in the case of joint appointments, from the second department)
  • Convener—senior faculty member from outside the department, who has been oriented and assigned to the role by the Offices of International Education and Faculty Affairs.  Those who had pertinent experiences as an international faculty during their pre-tenure years will primarily be considered for this role.

This team approach means that no committee member is expected to have all the answers, and multiple perspectives are welcomed.

Time Commitment of Launch Committee Members

Each committee convenes for one hour once every month. If you have someone that supports your calendar, it is expected that you provide that information to aid in the scheduling of meetings. In addition to the monthly committee meetings, members may meet informally with the launchee, as needed.

Role of the Convener

The Launch committee convener plays important roles: creating and maintaining a positive and supportive environment for the launchee, managing the discussion so that important topics are covered and that multiple perspectives are shared, noting discussion topics and areas to return to at the next meeting, and ensuring that meetings are held monthly. The convener is also responsible for organizing meeting times, taking notes and following up on action items. The convener is required to submit a brief summary of each meeting note to the Office of International Education. Because of this special role, the Office of International Education holds a convener orientation meeting that conveners must attend prior to their first launch committee meeting. As a token of appreciation, conveners receive a small (discretionary fund) stipend at the conclusion of the Launch year.