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Reminder: Call for Applications for Director of First Year Seminars/Launch; deadline Monday, March 25

Sent: March 21, 2024 9:57 am

The following message is being sent to all faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences on behalf of Meredith Petschauer, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curricula, with informational copies to department chairs and managers.



Call for Applications for the Director of First Year Seminars and First Year Launch



The First Year Seminar and First Year Launch (FYS/L) programs offer an introduction to the intellectual life of the university and are critical to the institution’s consistent ranking among the nation’s best public universities. Every first-year student is required to complete one of these two courses as part of the IDEAs in Action curriculum.

The Director of FYS/L program must be a faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences. The three-year appointment carries a stipend, or one course teaching load reduction.

Please send cover letter indicating interest and a current CV, Michelle Blackwell, Business Officer for Undergraduate Education.

The deadline for applications/ nominations is March 25th.



Position Description: Director of First Year Seminar/First Year Launch

The First Year Seminar Program was initiated in fall 1999 to provide first-year students with small classes taught by the University’s most distinguished researchers and teachers. Since then, the program has grown to offer more than 150 courses per year across more than 40 academic departments in the College and the professional schools. The seminars focus on how scholars pose problems, discover truths, resolve controversies, and evaluate knowledge which invites students to explore new and old ideas, engage with complex issues and become active learners through inquiry, analysis, discovery, and action. First Year Launch courses were added to the curriculum with the addition of IDEAs in Action.  These courses are designed to offer students an opportunity to take a (usually large lecture course) small introductory course to launch them into their major.

The Director has primary responsibility for overseeing and evaluating the First Year Seminar and First Year Launch programs. The Director reports to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Curricula and is assisted by the Curriculum Director and First Year Specialist in the Office of Undergraduate Curricula. Duties include the following:

  • Work with departments, curricula, and the College to maintain a sufficient number of seminars for the entering first-year class each year including summer sessions
  • Foster collaboration with the professional schools to include FYS offerings
  • Provide information and support to participating faculty members, assist individual instructors in developing syllabi appropriate for first-year students, and participate in workshops conducted by the Center for Faculty Excellence
  • Ensure courses proposed as first year seminars receive approval and fulfill appropriate General Education requirements as the director will chair the First-Year Seminar & Launch Course Subcommittee
  • Work with Associate Dean of Advising on the Lookout Scholars program to offer FYS course
  • Work with Study Abroad office to continue and develop new Maymester study abroad FYS
  • Working with the First Year Foundations meeting group
  • Serve as a member of the College’s Curriculum Committee
  • Review and act on all FYS/L course enhancement applications in conjunction with Undergraduate Education’s (UE) Business Officer
  • Communicate scheduling policies to scheduling officers and instructors
  • Review the fall and spring First Year Seminar and Launch Course Listing, prepared by the First Year Specialist
  • Review the assessments of individual seminars and conduct a cycle of program review to foster improvement including presenting on a regular basis to the General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC) and College leadership
  • Work with the Arts and Sciences Foundation in support of raising funds for the First Year Seminar program and UE Business Officer for reporting on use of funds
  • Prepare an annual report for the First Year Seminar Program, provide stewardship reports as needed, and participate in development activities
  • Chair the Sitterson Award for First Year Teaching committee

Minimum Qualifications:

Must be a tenured or teaching track professor at associate or full rank

Terminal Degree


Preferred Qualifications:

Experience teaching a first-year seminar or first year launch course




Meredith Petschauer, PhD, LAT, ATC

Associate Dean Office of Undergraduate Curricula

Teaching Professor/Athletic Trainer

Exercise and Sport Science Department

2202 Stallings Evans Sports Medicine Center

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

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