Basic Principles & Training

Building an Effective Mentoring Culture: Basic Principles

  1. It is the responsibility of departments and schools to mentor faculty in ways that help them to reach their full potential in teaching, research and service.  Mentoring is important for faculty at all stages of their careers, pre-tenure and post-tenure.
  2. Mentoring of faculty is a responsibility of all tenured faculty members.
  3. Although all tenured faculty members have a service obligation to mentor faculty, department chairs (or, where appropriate, associate deans) are responsible for implementing, overseeing, and assessing the effectiveness of the mentoring program.  Chairs should provide the unit dean with an annual review of the mentoring program including information on mentoring activity, successes, and challenges.
  4. Mentoring is both a formal and an informal activity.  Mentoring concerns internal expectations for teaching, research and service as well as external measures of success such as awards.
  5. While there are several best practices associated with faculty mentoring, mentoring protocols need to be flexible within and across academic units.  While departments and units should strive to incorporate best practices into their mentoring, a “one size fits all” approach is not recommended.  Each department and unit should tailor its mentoring policy to fit the local culture.
  6. Each dean should provide an overview of the unit’s mentoring along with reports from department chairs to the Provost.
  7. In order to build a culture of mentoring at UB with accountability, a Mentoring Advisory Committee should work to institutionalize assessment of the program. The Mentoring Advisory Committee will be a standing university committee of faculty members appointed by the Provost for a three-year term. 
  8. On-going opportunities for mentor training should be provided at the provostal and decanal levels.


Mentor training initiatives

Mentor training initiatives should include face-to-face workshops, presentations on best practices, and online resources to guide mentoring activities.  Mentor training will be provided annually through:

  • Department chair workshops conducted by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
  • Annual university-sponsored workshops
  • Ad hoc decanal workshops
  • On-line self-help


Getting Started: