New Faculty Mentoring Program
About The New Faculty Mentoring Program
The New Faculty Mentoring Program seeks to connect new tenure-track faculty with tenured faculty members outside of their department. In addition to facilitating one-on-one mentoring, the New Faculty Mentoring Program provides quarterly group events and forums that address topics that are common to new faculty (work/life balance, getting research started, etc.). To date, the New Faculty Mentoring Program has provided mentor support to more than 50 new faculty at Western.
In fall of 2018, the New Faculty Mentoring Initiative began as a pilot program modeled on the mentoring program described in “High Retention of Minority and International Faculty Through a Formal Mentoring Program” (Phillips, Dennison and Davenport, 2016). This program successfully increased rates of retention for new faculty—with particularly positive results for faculty from underrepresented groups. We have tried to emulate this program by providing second-year tenure-track faculty individual mentoring by more senior faculty from outside of their home department. Our goal is to connect each mentee with a senior faculty mentor from a different department but with overlapping disciplines or interests, research expertise and/or experience.
Mentees connect with their mentors at least once a month in an informal setting; for instance, meeting for lunch or coffee or take a walk. Since COVID, mentee-mentors have also connected via Teams/Zoom or a phone call. While we do not stipulate the form of mentoring, mentees have reported discussions about work/life balance, making time for research and writing, developing grant proposals and publications, and the general challenges of working toward tenure. Some mentees also mentioned that mentors helped them with getting settled in Bellingham and adjusting to ‘Life at Western’.
For more information about the New Faculty Mentoring Program, to sign up to be a mentor, or for questions about being a mentee, please contact the Program Director, Jacqueline Rose.
Information for Mentees
All incoming tenure-track faculty will receive an email at the end of their first academic year with a link to the mentee survey. On the survey, mentees are encouraged to stipulate the areas for which they are particularly interested in receiving support (innovations in teaching, developing a research program with undergraduates, road to tenure, life as a faculty parent, and so on). Mentees can expect to be connected to mentors in fall quarter of their second year.
If you are tenure-track faculty in your second year and have not received an email, please contact the Program Director, Jacqueline Rose.
Information for Mentors
As a mentor, faculty are expected to reach out to their mentees and connect with them at least once per month for one year. Mentors allow their mentees to direct the topic of conversation and support, and commit to confidentiality with regards to the topics discussed. Participating as a faculty mentor is notable service and mentors receive a formal letter acknowledging their effort and time commitment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! If you and your mentor are interested in continuing to meet after the one-year period, please do so! Many mentee-mentors have opted to continue connecting after the formal one-year commitment, and so do at their own discretion. However, letters of service acknowledgement from the New Faculty Mentoring Program will speak to only the first year.
Currently, faculty mentors do not receive a stipend for participating as a mentor. Rather, participation as a mentor is viewed as a notable service commitment and mentors will receive a letter from the New Faculty Mentoring Program acknowledging a faculty mentor’s time and effort dedicated to this mentoring program.
Currently, the New Faculty Mentoring Program targets new tenure-track faculty for one-on-one mentoring. However, non-tenure track faculty are welcome to attend forums and events organized by the New Faculty Mentoring Program.
No. It is expected that new faculty will continue to receive mentoring support from their home departments. The mentoring provided by the New Faculty Mentoring Program is intended to provide a formal support connection from a senior faculty member outside of a person’s department, who is therefore not directly involved in department proceedings and tenure decisions.
Currently, the New Faculty Mentoring Program does not offer formal training for mentors. Faculty are approached to be mentors for specific mentees based on information from their public information (tenure status, research interests, publications, grants, teaching awards, etc.) as well as their participation in accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion workshops/programs and faculty development activities that faculty make public. In addition, the Director may approach members of the Program Advisory Board for mentor suggestions. If you are interested in participating as a mentor, please email the Program Director.
Nov 19, 2021
FORUM: Campus resources that can help mitigate the ‘invisible work’ for faculty
This forum included panelists Michael Sledge (Executive Director, Office of Student Life), Kathleen DeNicola (Accommodations Counsellor, Disability Access Center) and Chris Edwards (Assistant Director and Coordinator of Outreach & Health Promotion, Counseling and Wellness Center). Valuable information was given about new and expanded programs and initiatives being offered by these offices.
When faculty are approached by students with issues that are beyond the scope of the course material and advising, knowing about these programs and how to connect students with them can be helpful in reducing the additional workload these requests can place on faculty.