“Change” Features ADVANCE Article
A research study supported by the UNC Charlotte ADVANCE Faculty Affairs Office was recently published in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning. The article, entitled “Removing the Barriers to Full Professor: A Mentoring Program for Associate Professors,” was authored by Dr. Kimberly Buch, Associate Professor in Psychology, and leader of the ADVANCE Mid-Career Mentoring Initiative; Dr. Yvette Huet, Director of the ADVANCE Faculty Affairs Office and Interim Chair of Kinesiology; Dr. Audrey Rorrer, Research Associate in the College of Computing and Informatics and former Lead Evaluator, ADVANCE Faulty Affairs Office; and Lynn Roberson, Director of Communications in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and former Project Director, ADVANCE Faculty Affairs Office.
The article describes the results of a campus-wide assessment at UNC Charlotte that identified career-development needs of associate professors at the Institution, and the response of the Institution to those needs. The results of the survey highlighted the unique career challenges facing associate professors, and mirrored previous findings of gender differences in perceptions about the processes and expectations regarding promotion to full professor. A high percentage of respondents, regardless of gender, indicated that it would be beneficial to their career advancement to have a mentor. The survey findings informed the development and implementation of a mid-career mentoring initiative by the ADVANCE Faculty Affairs Office. The goal of the program was to engage associate professors in proactive, intentional career planning in a supportive environment. A second survey was performed two years after the initial needs assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the mentoring initiative. Results indicated that it was effective in changing previously identified faculty perceptions of the barriers to promotion, and that faculty members benefitted from participating in the program. However, the authors acknowledge that while mentoring is an important component of career development for mid-level faculty, it is not a “cure-all,” but should be part of a comprehensive institutional-wide effort to facilitate the promotion of associate professors to the rank of full professor.
The study described in the article was supported under NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award 0548401 to UNC Charlotte Provost, Joan F. Lorden.
To cite this article: Kimberly Buch, Yvette Huet, Audrey Rorrer & Lynn Roberson (2011): Removing the Barriers to Full Professor: A Mentoring Program for Associate Professors, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 43:6, 38-45