College of Liberal Arts

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College of Liberal Arts Policy on Faculty Mentorship

The College of Liberal Arts expects all tenure-track faculty be assigned a mentor to provide support and guidance as they navigate the university and their career. Departments hiring into the Assistant rank will be asked to verify their commitment to providing a mentor for any new hire.

While not mandatory, we also strongly encourage newly promoted Associate Professors to be assigned a mentor by their department for at least their first three years in rank, and possibly longer if their path toward promotion to full remains unclear. Mentoring activities and relationships for Associate Professors are often as important as those for Assistant Professors. At the Associate rank, meetings should still occur once a semester, when possible, although the frequency of contact between mentors and mentees may be less than for Assistant Professors.

Our expectation is that every senior faculty member participates in formal mentoring activities for their junior colleagues on a regular basis.


Mentoring Guidelines and Best Practices

Mentors and mentees meet at least once each semester, and should be goal-driven and purposeful (see below). While the mentoring program places primary responsibility on mentors to initiate meetings and ensure they take place, mentees should not hesitate to initiate meetings or to check in with their mentors should a specific need arise. All discussions between the mentor and mentee are confidential. This principle is designed to promote complete freedom of expression within the relationship, allowing the mentor and mentee to express thoughts and concerns, understanding that this information will not be communicated outside of those conversations.

Meeting topics can include but are not limited to:

  • overall career trajectory including 1-, 3-. 5-, and 10-year goals
  • research and publication
  • number and nature of conference presentations
  • leave policy and leave plans
  • applications for external funding (and their timing)
  • grant-writing advice
  • amount of university and professional service (including when and how it is appropriate to decline service requests)
  • teaching undergraduates
  • graduate teaching and advising
  • progress toward promotion
  • annual teaching observation and feedback after attending at least one course
  • preparation for Promotion and Tenure