The ADVANCE Faculty Mentoring Program provides professional support for tenure-track faculty, as they advance towards promotion and tenure. In particular, the program assists untenured faculty members to become socialized to the college and university and to become aware of opportunities and resources. It integrates untenured faculty into the existing structure through socialization to its norms and expectations. Finally, through the expanded interconnections of faculty, the intellectual community is enhanced.
Traditionally, the initiative has been open only to junior faculty members on the tenure track. However, considering ways to expand this effort, lecturers may now participate if they wish. We also invite lecturers to join the peer-to-peer sessions for lecturers and for other programming that is geared to all faculty.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please let us know by emailing Dr. Yvette Huet at the ADVANCE Faculty Affairs Office, at email@example.com.
Junior faculty members complete the New Faculty Mentor Request Form as their formal applications to the program; senior faculty members who have expressed interest also provide relevant information, so matches may be made in a way that will benefit both.
A mentee is responsible for guiding the conversation. The mentee clearly identifies his or her goals for and expectations of the relationship. The mentee listens carefully and accesses the mentor as a “sounding board” when appropriate. The mentee understands that relationships take an investment in time. More information about the role will be detailed in the Mentee workshops that are held.
The mentor provides guidance and direction in the areas identified by the mentee. The mentor recognizes and encourages accomplishments, provides informal feedback, discusses specific difficult situations and suggests actions, and provides assistance with time management issues. The mentor also commits to the investment of time. More information about the role will be detailed in the Mentor workshops that are held.
The mentoring program is not intended to replace the disciplinary mentoring that occurs in departments and programs. Rather, this mentoring program is in addition to unit mentoring. It is simply another aid for the junior faculty member.
The expectation is that mentees meet with their mentors face-to-face about once a month for an hour or two. Email and telephone contact also are encouraged. While this is the minimum expectation, often the meetings occur more frequently when a mentee is working through a particular issue.
The mentoring is a professional relationship. Mentors and mentees are not expected to be available all day and every day.
The mentor provides an additional perspective, external to the mentee’s unit, on college and university policies and procedures.
Because the mentor is from a unit other then the mentee’s unit, the mentor will not be placed in an evaluative position over the mentee at some future date. The mentor is a “safe” person with whom to consult about concerns that might arise from unit activities.
The mentor is able to provide an institutional perspective for the mentee. In addition, the mentor is aware of policies, procedures, resources, opportunities and other issues of which the mentee may need to be aware. The mentor helps the mentee become socialized into the broader culture of UNC Charlotte.
The commitment is for the academic year. Mentors and mentees may continue the relationship for as long as they mutually agree to do so.
- The mentee is socialized more quickly into the UNC Charlotte culture. He or she also gains an understanding that the institution is supportive of and invested in his or her success.
- The mentee has the opportunity to discuss with a supportive colleague who will respect confidentiality departmental matters that he or she is concerned might impinge on his or her progress towards tenure and promotion.
- Communication of institutional expectations in research, teaching, and service, especially subtle aspects, is enhanced through interaction with the mentor.
- The mentee has a willing and impartial colleague with whom to discuss sensitive issues and situations and how to handle them.
- The mentee has a willing source of advice and input on issues of career advancement and time management
- The mentee gains a fuller understanding of college and university resources that are available and how to use them.
- The mentor exercises a professional responsibility and is rewarded by the successes of his or her mentee. In many cases, the mentor feels more connected to the university because of the interaction with the mentee.
- The mentor, through interaction with the mentee, is in a direct way shaping the future of the university.
- Mentees and mentors may find that they share similar scholarly interests and may each benefit from the conversations concerning the mentee’s research. The exchange of ideas and of work issues is satisfying on both parts.
The mentoring relationship is professional and no-blame.. If the assigned match does not seem to be working out, for whatever reason, the mentee or the mentor should simply let the other party know, in a professional manner, and the agreement will be dissolved.
The ADVANCE Faculty Affairs and Diversity Office is coordinating this initiative. The contact number is 704‑687‑3759 or you may email to firstname.lastname@example.org.