Effective Mentoring for a Strong Department
The chair plays a vital role in managing departmental culture, the setting in which faculty work and live. Awareness of each non-tenured faculty member’s career path is key to creating a productive and collegial environment. The chair's guidance, together with his or her focus on achieving positive career outcomes for each faculty member, is a crucial factor in successful faculty development. Strategies and best practices for building strong mentoring within the department are outlined below.
Mentoring Guidelines for Department Chairs
- From the outset, discuss expectations for scholarship and teaching with prospective new faculty members. Expectations for publication, teaching, service, and professional productivity should be clearly articulated, and the schedule for progress in these respects specified, consistent with Yale policy.
- In consultation with the faculty and the non-tenured faculty member, assign two tenured mentors for each new non-tenured faculty member prior to the start of the academic year. At least one of these mentors should represent the subfield most relevant in terms of external reviews for tenure.
- Assign each non-tenured faculty member to a new mentor each year; this facilitates networking within the department. Identify opportunities to put new faculty in touch with other colleagues who can provide additional guidance.
- Find opportunities to emphasize to colleagues the ways in which mentoring reinforces the values and functions of the department.
Resources and Guidance
- Make a point of sitting down with each non-tenured faculty member at the beginning of each academic year to revisit mutual goals and expectations.
- Arrange periodic meetings, at least one per semester, with non-tenured faculty members to discuss their work. It may be helpful to use the annual Faculty Activity Report to discuss research, teaching, and service, as well as research proposals and upcoming reviews.
- Encourage new faculty members to make full use of the teaching resources available at Yale, including feedback from the DUS, DGS, and other colleagues, as well as one-on-one sessions in the Graduate School Teaching Center.
- Include a review of teaching evaluations and a discussion of teaching in regularly scheduled meetings with each non-tenured faculty member.
- Encourage all faculty, but especially new faculty, to visit colleagues’ classrooms and to invite colleagues to visit theirs.
- Use the occasion of the Faculty Activity Report each year to discuss non-tenured faculty members’ plans for the following year.
- Meet with assistant professors no later than the end of the second year to discuss appointment review.
- Meet with second-term assistant professors at the end of the fourth or fifth year to discuss their review for promotion to associate professor on term.
- Meet with associate professors on term no later than the end of the seventh year to discuss tenure review.
- Provide a checklist of materials needed for each of these reviews.
- Arrange a meeting with each non-tenured faculty member together with his/her faculty mentors to discuss review outcomes and their implications for the next phase of the faculty member’s career. Please note that it is the role of the chair to ensure that the stipulations of this policy are carried out in a timely fashion.
- Become familiar with Yale’s Faculty Timeline and Mentoring Plan, and ensure that mentors and new non-tenured faculty members are aware of and adhering to this resource.
Faculty Timeline and Mentoring Plan | Guidelines for: Mentors | Non-tenured Faculty Members