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  • E. Mentoring
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1. Mentoring in Departments and Programs: departments and programs create a supportive and constructive atmosphere in which faculty members can develop their teaching, scholarship, and service, as they advance through their careers. In consultation with the division director, each department/program devises its own plan for mentoring new colleagues; these plans necessarily vary with the size and structure of the department/program. Departments/programs submit their current plans to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty where they are available to all faculty. It is the responsibility of the chair/director to ensure that untenured colleagues understand the mentoring policy and know to whom they can turn for mentoring, and to ensure that untenured colleagues know the expectations for third-year review and tenure.

With regard to teaching, good mentoring can take many forms, including regular conversations about syllabi, teaching goals, assignments, grading, and SET forms. Such mentoring is also grounded in classroom observation, and—other than in exceptional circumstances—it is the responsibility of tenured faculty to observe the classroom teaching of untenured colleagues. Such observation may be done through classroom visits or video recording, in accordance with the department’s/program’s mentoring policy. As mentoring and evaluation (see section III.G.3) necessarily run parallel, it is important that departments/programs give serious thought to the timing and manner of their classroom observations. Classroom observations and discussions of pedagogy are intended to create a positive atmosphere in departments and programs that will improve the teaching of junior and senior colleagues alike. Materials outlining good mentoring practices are available from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research. 

With regard to scholarship, departments/programs strive to create an atmosphere in which untenured colleagues can seek advice about scholarship, especially about the timing and publication of research, involvement in learned societies and professional organizations, opportunities for funding at Colgate and beyond, and expectations for third-year review and tenure. During the annual consultation (see III.G.2), the chair/director verifies that the untenured colleague is receiving adequate mentoring about scholarship. Informal discussions of scholarship are helpful for all members of the department/program; these discussions continue after tenure and help faculty towards promotion to full professor, so that mentoring of associates is not limited to the periodic consultations with DDs and chairs (see III.G.9).

With regard to service, the chair/director ensures that untenured colleagues get advice about the time commitments involved in different forms of service and which forms of service may be the most gratifying. New colleagues should be helped to find a balance between service and their other responsibilities.

Note: should any faculty member wish to have informal mentoring from outside his/her department, he/she should approach a division director or an associate dean of the faculty for guidance.

2. Mentoring by Division Directors: division directors play an important role in mentoring of faculty of all ranks, both through formal promotion and tenure processes (see III.G.12) and as needed at other times.

3. The Core Mentoring Program: untenured faculty members are encouraged to take part in the mentoring program included in the Core Junior Faculty Incentive Program as early as possible.  Classroom shadowing can be one of the most helpful ways to reflect on pedagogy, and interdisciplinary contacts are extremely fruitful in promoting the liberal arts model of teaching. Details of the program may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or the University Studies office.

4. The Center for Learning, Teaching and Research (CLTR): the CLTR provides space and resources for confidential consulting for faculty seeking individualized help with teaching, outside the realm of personnel decisions. The center offers advice on effective teaching methods as well as help with new pedagogies and support for innovative classroom experiments.

The CLTR is a resource for junior and senior faculty alike. It is hoped that all faculty will participate in its activities from time to time.

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