What processes do you use to ensure that all new faculty, especially pre-tenure faculty, are offered a mentor if they want one?
During the interview for a new faculty member, we talk with candidates about mentoring and typically during the first year or so of working here, we hold a new faculty orientation that covers faculty reviews. At that point, we are mainly focusing on annual reviews (how to prepare a good file, what the Personnel Committee does, etc.) but also relate it to the long term process of preparing for P&T. In that setting, we also talk about the importance of mentoring again, and encourage them to identify someone to fulfill that role. In addition to informally nudging new faculty toward finding a mentor outside of their departments, we also have a somewhat structured program. Every few years, we put out a call to ULF members asking them if they would like to participate in our program which has the sole purpose of providing support for achieving promotion and tenure. We match junior (probationary) faculty members with a tenured faculty member, and ask them to touch base in person or on the phone at least every other month to have a conversation about the progress they have made on research or service initiatives. The mentors offer suggestions, support and accountability to the junior faculty members. We have a brief expectations document that we give to each of the participants, which is attached. A couple of these relationships have continued past tenure and/or include other aspects of the faculty member's development, but our expectation is that P&T remains the primary focus. We expect mentors to commit to a two-year program, however the focus is until the junior faculty member reaches tenure.
Do you track how many faculty are mentored, and if so how?
We do not track informal mentoring outside of this program. For the pairs we match, our faculty is small enough that it is relatively easy to track.
Do you evaluate the success of the program, and if so how?
After the pairs have been in place for 2-3 years, we surveyed participants and asked them what had worked or not worked for them. Changes were made to the expectations document accordingly and shared with the subsequent groups.