Faculty handbooks: ugh. Probably the most important thing are the tenure guidelines. But I do recommend reading the fine print when you get the handbook and also reading the university's fine print, often called operating policies, operating procedures, or O.P.s. It's not only good to know the "rules" and expectations, but sometimes these things can help you out. For example, there might be an OP that says "new faculty have to receive a teaching reduction their first year". Sometimes your dept might not know about the OPs, or might simply try to work around them, so it helps to know them. I don't recommend you become an "OP nazi" or anything, but it's good to know what's there in print. Take it as a good sign that your dept is fixing the handbook, but make sure it gets done. Sometimes tenured faculty have a tendency to feel that the handbook rules apply to untenured faculty and not to them, so watch out. Some department handbooks also have rules that "they no longer follow any more." I have found this somewhat frustrating, as it is not only confusing to new people, but it sets up the appearance that the handbook rules/guidelines are malleable. I feel that if a rule isn't to be followed any more, TAKE IT OUT OF THE HANDBOOK. If a rule is to be followed, PUT IT IN WRITING. The truth is that depts get lazy about updating, and that's understandable, but it really devalues the handbook and its rules. I recommend getting a senior person or two to be your mentor/advisor whatever. Take them out to lunch or something (they'll probably pay anyway given that they're senior) a few times a semester just so you have someone to bounce your decisions off of. They can probably better guide you in the department's workings than will any handbook. Just make sure you pick someone who is productive and respected in the department. You don't want to be guided by someone who doesn't quite know what they're doing.