Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a mentor?
A: A mentor is a trusted counselor or guide. In an academic setting, a mentor is generally a  senior faculty colleague who advises or guides a junior faculty member in matters relating to the achievement of professional success in an academic career. University of Louisville Faculty Mentors welcome new colleagues and assist them as they develop their careers in research, teaching, and service.

Q: Why is faculty mentoring beneficial?
A: Faculty mentoring often leads to higher job satisfaction, improved teaching, research skills and productivity, informed choices concerning service to the university, and increased collegiality. Additionally, University Faculty Mentors provide ideas about teaching and conducting research that complements and enhances discipline-specific advice of department chairs and colleagues; mentors can also offer faculty insights on establishing priorities and balancing roles as a faculty member.

Q: Are new faculty assigned a faculty mentor?
A: Identification of a faculty mentor for all new faculty member is strongly encouraged in each academic unit. Senior faculty are available to serve as mentors in each academic unit and their participation is voluntary. New faculty are not "assigned" a specific mentor but are encouraged to contact one or more of the available mentors within their unit to determine if there are parallel interests. A mentoring relationship is formalized by the unit based on this general process. See the mentoring program for your discipline to determine each units process.

Q: How is the University of Louisville's Faculty Mentoring Program structured?
A:  Each academic unit has developed a specific format and process for faculty mentoring. In addition, there are university wide resources that support faculty mentoring. Many of these resources are included in the faculty mentoring website.

Q: Whom should I contact for more information about the University Faculty Mentoring Program?
A: For more information, there are three options. Begin by reviewing the information on the U of L Faculty Mentoring website at For discipline specific inquiries, contact that academic unit.

Q: How do I contact a university mentor?
A. Begin the process within your assigned unit according to the guidelines established for that unit. If additional mentor needs are identified, please contact Dr. T. Eells .

Q: What topics should I consider discussing with my University Faculty Mentor?
A: Examples of topics include:

  • A discussion of your goals and interests in teaching, scholarship and service
  • The resources, monetary and non-monetary, that are available to assist with research and teaching
  • Suggestions on strategies for fulfilling of internal and external service
  • Work/life balance issues, including activities and resources at University of Louisville for partners/spouses and children
  • The social and intellectual activities offered by the college and university that would aid in meeting faculty members with similar research or teaching interests

Q: Who else should junior faculty consult with besides the University Faculty Mentors?
A: Junior faculty members should consult with their Unit Head or Department Chair and other senior faculty in their department who can best answer discipline-specific questions about tenure and promotion, and strategies for professional success as they relate to your faculty role.

Q: Whom should I contact if I have questions about university policies on tenure, reappointment, the Family and Medical Leave Act, etc.?
A: For such questions, please contact your Department Chair or Dean’s office.

Q: What options do I have if there is not a beneficial match between the selected mentor and the junior faculty member ?
A: The mentoring process is guided by the premise that successful mentoring assists both partners in reaching and attaining  goals identified as part of the mentoring process. Built into this process are expected periodic evaluations of incremental movement toward those goals and the option for obtaining a different mentor based upon the junior faculty need and stage of development. The faculty mentoring website identifies some options  for addressing this issue which include addressing concerns and possible solutions with the current mentor, revising established goals, or incorporating an additional mentor. It is also acceptable to discuss terminating the current mentoring relationship employing the process identified within your unit.