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Faculty Mentoring Initiative

This program is no longer active. This website serves as a representation of the Faculty Mentoring Initiative website as it appeared during the life of the program.


What is the goal of the Faculty Mentoring Initiative?
Strong and effective mentoring networks are among the most important markers of successful academic careers. The Faculty Mentoring Initiative (FMI), sponsored by the Institute for Faculty Advancement and the Teaching Resource Center, expands existing mentoring opportunities for junior faculty. The goal of this pilot initiative is to support the professional development of early career faculty by connecting them with mentors outside of their home departments.

How does the Faculty Mentoring Initiative work?
Both interested mentors and potential mentees complete a questionnaire detailing their specific interests, concerns, and experiences. From this information, we identify suitable matches. Once we find a good match, we contact the faculty mentor to confirm her or his availability and interest in working with a specific mentee. Next, we provide the mentee with the mentor’s contact information. It is then the mentee’s responsibility to contact the mentor and set up a meeting time. At the first meeting or soon thereafter, the mentoring pair establishes a mentoring agreement which details the mentees’ goals, the meeting frequency, and duration of the mentoring period.

Who are the faculty mentors?
Faculty mentors are colleagues with significant professional experience and who are willing to support colleagues in navigating their early careers. Topics may include teaching, research, service, life/work balance, dual career issues etc. depending on the mentor’s expertise. Please note that faculty mentoring is limited to professional mentoring. Faculty mentors are not trained as coaches or counselors. If you would like to be supported by a counselor, life coach or therapist, please contact the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program for a referral.

How successful are the matches?
The Teaching Resource Center has managed successful mentoring programs for two decades and has an excellent track record of matching faculty. Despite our best efforts, however, some matches simply don’t work. If you should find yourself unable to connect with one another or if your interests and expertise are not well aligned, please feel free to politely end the relationship and contact us for a new match.

What kind of mentoring relationships are possible?
Mentoring comes in many forms. Although the term traditionally refers to a one-on-one relationship between a senior and a junior colleague, peer or near-peer mentoring as well as group mentoring can be equally effective. In fact, many junior faculty form cross-disciplinary peer groups to discuss early-career concerns, to celebrate successes and to offer each other psychosocial support. If you are interested in finding out more about forming peer mentoring groups, please let us know.

What else should I consider?
At times, mentees will receive conflicting advice from different people. For example, a mentor’s point of view on a particular issue may differ from that of the mentee’s department chair. Mentees should carefully weigh any advice they get and then responsibly follow their own judgment.

How can I sign up?
This program is no longer active. This website serves as a representation of the Faculty Mentoring Initiative website as it appeared during the life of the program.
Junior faculty who are seeking a mentor must submit the Information Form for Mentees together with their curriculum vita. Interested experienced faculty can join the pool of mentors at any time by completing the Information Form for Mentors.

How long does it take to find a match?
The time for finding available mentors depends on the many factors. We hope to match early career faculty within two month of receiving their information form.

Questions? For more information and for support during the mentoring process, please contact:

Dorothe Bach
Associate Professor & Assistant Director
Teaching Resource Center
bach@virginia.edu
434-982-2800
Maggie Harden
Director
Institute for Faculty Advancement
mph4d@virginia.edu
434-924-0778