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Faculty Mentoring


Image of one male scientist mentoring a slightly younger male scientist by displaying a formula
 

Faculty Mentoring

This is one of several short essays that was prepared as a set of resources during the original NSF ADVANCE grant period. The essay, written by Violet Xu, introduces some of the key issues related to mentoring faculty.
 

What is mentoring?

 

Workplace mentoring has been traditionally defined as a developmental relationship between an older, more experienced mentor and a younger, less experienced protégé for the purpose of helping and developing the protégé’s career (Kram, 1985). Workplace mentoring occurs in an organizational setting. Faculty-to-faculty mentoring in a university is an example of workplace mentoring. There are, however, multiple models of mentoring which includes formal (Ragins & Cotton, 1999) and informal (Ragins & Cotton, 1999) relationships, peer-to-peer (Ensher, Thomas, & Murphy, 2001), group (Dansky, 1996), and e-mentoring (Hamilton & Scandura, 2003). No single model works for everyone and, in fact, multiple mentors are advisable in an academic setting (De Janasz & Sullivan, 2004) to address the various aspects of an academic career (e.g., research, teaching, grantsmanship, work-life balance, etc.).
 

What are the outcomes of mentoring?


Research on workplace mentoring has established that mentoring results in multiple benefits for both the protégé (Eby et al., 2013) and the mentor (e.g., Allen, Poteet, & Burroughs, 1997). As indicated in Eby et al.’s process-oriented model of mentoring, outputs include job performance, motivation, as well as numerous attitudinal, behavioral, career-related (e.g., salary, promotion, job satisfaction, career satisfaction), and health-related outcomes. In addition to these distal criteria, there are a number of more proximal mentorship-specific outcomes including the quality of the mentoring (Allen & Eby, 2003) and satisfaction with the mentoring (Ragins, Cotton, & Miller, 2000).

Mentoring may be especially important for women, as mentors can help women overcome gender-related barriers to advancement (Noe, 1988; Ragins, 1989). However, women may be at a disadvantage when it comes to developing mentoring relationships (Ragins & Scandura, 1997). Men are less willing to mentor women and there is a shortage of women mentors in male-dominated fields; thus women are less likely to develop mentoring relationships (Noe, 1988; Ragins, 1989).

For more information, please consult these selected references. 

The Women's Faculty Network at Texas A&M has a mentoring program for women faculty. Tenured faculty members volunteer to be mentors for junior faculty.

Texas A&M has been working with the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) to improve the way that TAMU faculty think about mentoring.  In the Fall of 2019, several dozen faculty participated in Mentoring Facilitator Training Program with CIMER. The CIMER website provides more information on this program.  


National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD)

Texas A&M University has an Institutional Membership with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD).  This membership is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Office for Diversity, and the Office of the Dean of Faculties.

The NCFDD is an independent faculty development center dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their careers. By becoming an Institutional Member, all faculty, postdocs, and graduate students at Texas A&M University have access to the following member resources at no additional cost:

  • Weekly Monday Motivator

  • Monthly Core Curriculum Webinars

  • Monthly Guest Expert Webinars

  • Access to Multi-Week Courses

  • Access to Dissertation Success Curriculum for graduate students

  • Private Discussion Forum for peer-mentoring, problem-solving, & moderated writing challenges

  • Monthly accountability buddy matches

  • Access to 14-Day Writing Challenges

  • Access to the Member Library that includes past webinar materials, referrals, and readings

To take advantage of this opportunity, you can activate your confidential, personal membership by completing the following steps:

  1. Go to www.FacultyDiversity.org/Join

  2. Choose your institution from the drop-down menu.

  3. Select “Activate my Membership”

  4. Complete the registration form using your institutional email address (i.e. netid@tamu.edu or @tamhsc.edu)

  5. Go to your institution email to find a confirmation email. Click “Activate Account” in the confirmation email.

We encourage you to take advantage of the resources available to you through the NCFDD. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Dr. Heather Wilkinson, Associate Dean of Faculties, at facultydevelopment@tamu.edu. If you have any technical questions, please email NCFDD at Membership@FacultyDiversity.org.

 

NCFDD'S Faculty Success Program

The Faculty Success Program is all about learning the secrets to increasing your research productivity, getting control of your time, and living a full and healthy life beyond your campus.
 
As the NCFDD's signature program, the Faculty Success Program is specifically designed to transform your personal and professional life.

 
The program is for tenure-track and tenured faculty who are looking for the perfect combination of empirically-tested methods to improve research productivity through intense accountability, coaching, and peer support and to propel their work-life balance and personal growth to a whole new level.

Tenure-Track and Tenure Faculty Learn How To:

  • Start the term with an achievable set of personal and professional goals as well as a realistic plan to meet them

  • Develop a consistent, healthy, and sustainable daily writing routine

  • Move forward in developing the publication profile that will exceed your institution's promotion criteria

  • Align your time with your institution's priorities and your personal values

  • Master best practices in academic time management

  • Identify your resistance and develop a set of strategies to move through it

  • Nourish your physical and emotional health

  • Enjoy a full life beyond campus

  • Participate in an intensely supportive community that processes day-to-day challenges, pushes individuals when they need it, and celebrates members' successes as they occur


This 12-week program is offered three times a year for an extra charge.  Texas A&M faculty qualify for a discounted rate due to the Institutional Membership.  In addition, ADVANCE provides a limited number of NCFDD Faculty Success Fellowships to eligible faculty who are interested in participating in this program.