Basic Principles & Training

3 people standing around a man with a 3D heart diagram.

Building an Effective Mentoring Culture: Basic Principles

1.     Effective mentoring. 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.     Responsibility of tenured faculty. Mentoring of faculty is a responsibility of all tenured faculty members.

3.     Responsibility of department chairs. 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.     Informal and formal activity. Mentoring concerns internal expectations for teaching, research, and service as well as external measures of success such as awards.

5.     Flexible protocols. 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.     Responsibility of deans to provide overview. Each dean should provide an overview of the unit’s mentoring along with reports from department chairs to the Provost.

7.     A Mentoring Advisory Committee builds a mentoring culture. The committee should work to institutionalize assessment of the program. The committee will be a standing university committee of faculty members appointed by the Provost for a three-year term. 

8.    On-going opportunities. 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