Fostering Collegiality and Success
Faculty mentors initiate at least two meetings each year with their assigned non-tenured faculty member to discuss scholarship, teaching, departmental and University culture, and any other topics or questions that arise. To cultivate a more collegial atmosphere, mentors and non-tenured faculty may prefer to meet over coffee, or for lunch in a residential college dining hall.
Mentors make themselves available to respond to the new faculty member’s work as a part of, or in addition to, these conversations, and to put them in touch with additional colleagues who may provide further guidance. Additional meetings may be arranged based on the needs of the non-tenured faculty member. Strategies and best practices for a successful mentoring partnership are outlined below.
Mentoring Guidelines for Faculty Mentors
Hallmarks of an Effective Mentor
- Availability: It is important to be easily accessible, and to make the effort to establish a strong relationship with the new faculty member. The mentor should identify opportunities to stay in touch with the non-tenured faculty member, whether via email, by phone, in regular meetings, or through occasional impromptu office visits.
- Trustworthiness: The new faculty member should feel able to confide in his or her mentor and to bring up a range of questions or concerns. It should be made clear that matters discussed will be treated with discretion.
- Outreach: A good mentor seeks occasions to help create and expand the non-tenured faculty member’s professional networks.
Resources and Guidance
- Provide guidance to new non-tenured faculty members on service to the department (including committee work and participation in professional events). Service provides a contribution to the department, as well as an opportunity for new faculty members to learn about the University and the profession. It is worth noting that discussion of service is a part of faculty reviews.
- Help orient and guide the new faculty member with respect to his or her teaching. This may include advice from the chair, DUS, DGS, and other colleagues, as well as one-on-one sessions in the Graduate School Teaching Center. Encourage the non-tenured faculty member to visit colleagues’ classrooms, and to invite colleagues to visit his or her classroom.
- Become familiar with Yale's Faculty Timeline and Mentoring Plan, and employ it in discussions with the non-tenured faculty member as an opportunity for clarifying practices and mutual expectations.
Culture and Climate
- Give appropriate credit to the non-tenured faculty member’s ideas in departmental meetings to increase his or her participation and recognition.
- Keep in mind that women and minority faculty members may feel isolated, particularly in fields in which they are underrepresented.
- Be sensitive to gender and ethnic stereotypes, and to the effect they may have on new faculty members and their performance. Unintended gender bias and group bias can result in the shortchanging of underrepresented groups in all disciplines.
- Be conscious of culture. National and regional upbringing can have a profound impact on the pace of individuals’ conversation with others, willingness to interrupt in order to be heard, and comfort with pauses and silences. If a mentor and non-tenured faculty member differ in their pace, each party should consciously strive for conversational flexibility.
Faculty Timeline and Mentoring Plan | Guidelines for: Chairs and Deans | Non-tenured Faculty Members