Faculty Mentoring Program

The Faculty Mentoring Program at the University of Michigan-Flint assists tenure-track faculty in their academic career development through the guidance and support of tenured faculty who serve as role models, advisors, and mentors. Organized in a two-tier structure, the program includes one-on-one teams of tenured and pre-tenure faculty in addition to group programs for all participants.

One-on-one pairings: Mentees (pre-tenured first, second and third-year faculty) will be paired with Mentors (tenured faculty)  and will meet regularly to establish a supportive and successful professional relationship that is tailored to each mentee's needs and to their mentor's expertise and experience. Mentees will not be paired with mentors from their own academic department, to encourage safe, nonjudgmental feedback among faculty who will not be involved in one another’s promotion and tenure review process.

Group programs: Interactive group mentoring sessions and workshops provide opportunities for program participants to dialogue with peers, exchange ideas, pose questions, and address concerns on career goals and personal and professional development. In addition, the Faculty Mentoring Program offers these two related activities for participants:

The Mentor Network: Mentees will be provided with information on mentors’ particular interests so that mentees and tenured faculty with shared interests can connect. This reservoir of mentors’ expertise enables mentees to seek out the information they most need, supplementing one-on-one mentoring and group programs.

Mentor orientation and development: Mentors receive training[AS1]  and resources that emphasize establishing mentor-mentee relationship parameters and mentoring best practices, and have the opportunity to reflect on their own mentoring experiences and share successes and challenges with other mentors.

 

Mission and Focus

Mission of the Faculty Mentoring Program

The mission of the Faculty Mentoring Program is to provide support and serve as a resource for intentional, sustained, intensive, and effective mentoring of faculty by faculty throughout the University of Michigan-Flint. It coordinates an inter-departmental and inter-unit formalized mentoring program for pre-tenure faculty that complements department and unit level mentoring and campus career development opportunities.

Program Focus

At its core the Faculty Mentoring Program is a proactive initiative to help retain promising new faculty and to further develop a vibrant, productive, collegial environment that fosters career success for faculty. The Faculty Mentoring Program is focused less on the specific tenure process at UM-Flint or in the four units, and it is not intended to provide a recipe for how to get tenure or replace the important role of department-level mentoring. Rather the Program focuses on helping pre-tenure faculty in navigating the tenure and promotion system and successfully balancing teaching, scholarly activity and service while also becoming a meaningful colleague at UM-Flint. It seeks to enable tenure-track faculty to become part of the UM-Flint community, with a long-term goal of helping to retain faculty.

Specific goals of the Faculty Mentoring Program include:
  • actively assist pre-tenure faculty in understanding and becoming a part of academia, balancing their professional and personal lives, and succeeding in their research and teaching;
  • help pre-tenure faculty set realistic goals for their professional, scholarly, and creative development, and balancing their time and energy among teaching, research and service;
  • assist pre-tenure faculty with their pedagogical skills and assessing their effectiveness in teaching and learning;
  • create a support system for pre-tenure faculty through networking and encourage collegiality by sharing knowledge and expertise; and,
  • inform pre-tenure faculty of campus-wide resources to support their career goals and to facilitate the development of their professional networks.

Network

One mentor cannot provide all the guidance an individual faculty member needs. The core philosophy of the Faculty Mentoring Program asserts that faculty at all stages can benefit rom the guidance of a variety of mentors who offer their diverse experience and advice to help mentees achieve their professional goals. The Mentor Network supplements one-on-one mentoring by enabling mentees to seek the information they want from a tenured faculty across disciplines at UM-Flint.

Past and present mentors, listed below, are available to answer your questions. We encourage you to contact these mentors for further discussion.

Workgroup

Under the Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the Faculty Mentoring Program is organized by a coalition of faculty and representatives UM-Flint. The Faculty Mentoring Coordinator, a tenured UM-Flint faculty member, is appointed by the Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies to serve in a part-time capacity for a one-year term. The Mentoring Program Work Group provides assistance to the Faculty Mentoring Coordinator in organizing and running the program.

The 2013-2014 workgroup is composed of:

Sandy Alberto, Coordinator of Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching, salberto@umflint.edu

Clement Chen, Ph.D., Professor of Accounting, clementc@umflint.edu

Mary Jo Finney, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, clementc@umflint.edu

Alicia Kent, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, akent@umflint.edu

Rushika Patel, Ph.D., Director of Women's Educational Center, rushika@umflint.edu

Jie Song, Ph.D., Faculty Coordinator and Associate Professor of Chemistry, jiesong@umflint.edu

Terry VanAllen, Ph.D., Director of Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, terryva@umflint.edu

Chris Waters, Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, cwaters@umflint.edu

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, Associate Professor of Nursing, hiba@umflint.edu

Jan Worth-Nelson, Director of Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching, janworth@umflint.edu

For Mentees

While participation in the Program cannot guarantee tenure and promotion, it can be beneficial in navigating the tenure process and enhancing chances of career success. Pre-tenure faculty who participate in a mentoring program report that they experience higher levels of job satisfaction, greater academic productivity, and better student evaluations than non-participants. In short, the Faculty Mentoring Program is an opportunity for pre-tenure faculty to learn and find answers to the questions they may not even know to ask.

The Program can help mentees ease the transition previous institutions and graduate school to becoming a UM-Flint faculty member. Tenure-track positions can be disorienting to those accustomed to the formal advising structure and community environment of graduate programs. The Faculty Mentoring Program addresses this by helping new faculty to build a network of contacts, increase their connectedness to campus resources and opportunities, raise their visibility on campus, and integrate into the larger UM-Flint community. It also provides the opportunity to share strategies and build relationships with a cohort of pre-tenure faculty, as well as faculty tenured faculty who serve as mentors and advisors. Mentees gain nonjudgmental advice from tenured faculty outside of their departments who will not be evaluating them for promotion and tenure.

The application deadline for 2013--2014 has passed.

For Mentors

Research indicates that tenured faculty members play a critical role in developing a campus community that promotes the success of tenure-track faculty. Likewise, tenured faculty benefit from the relationships they develop with new faculty, who bring new energy and ideas to UM-Flint. Faculty who serve as mentors experience satisfaction in retaining talented faculty colleagues and in helping these colleagues with their professional development.  We hope that today's mentees will become tomorrow's tenured faculty and mentors.

The Faculty Mentoring Program also creates opportunities for mentors to share ideas and receive feedback about their own teaching and scholarship. By meeting faculty in different disciplines throughout campus, mentors further their own professional growth, and perhaps form partnerships leading to collaborative teaching and research. The Faculty Mentoring Program sets the stage for mentors to work beyond their departments to develop shared goals of the larger UM-Flint community.

Mentors will receive a University Dining Services meal card to help subsidize lunch meetings with their mentees.

The application deadline for 2013-2014 has passed.