As a Christian R1 university, Baylor seeks to attract and retain faculty of the highest caliber, and faculty mentoring is an invaluable investment in our future academic excellence. At Baylor, we go beyond the traditional one-to-one guidance for assistant professors seeking tenure and encourage faculty of all categories and ranks to share in this practice to nurture success.
Please explore the sections below to access resources for the mentoring process. Should you have suggestions for additional resources for this page, please contact the vice provost for faculty affairs.
Mentors should be helping mentees to be successful in meeting all their expectations of employment at Baylor, including teaching, research and/or creative activities, and service, as well as in becoming fully and fruitfully integrated into their academic units and other colleague groups at Baylor and into the Baylor community in general.
Expectations of mentors:
- In consultation with the department chair and in conversation with other department faculty, be familiar with the specific expectations for the role that the mentee is filling at Baylor.
- Take the initiative to discuss the ways the mentee is addressing these expectations, questions the mentee has about them, strategies and challenges that apply to them, and ways the mentee can become well-integrated into the community at various levels for the mutual benefit of the mentee and her or his colleagues. In order to do this, the mentor and mentee should meet regularly throughout the course of the process.
- Communicate clearly and frankly about these expectations, with the goal of constructively facilitating the mentee’s efforts to meet and exceed them.
- Be aware of ways that the mentee’s prior experience has best prepared her or him to meet the expectations of the role, as well as experiences, situations, cultural assumptions, etc., that the mentee may be lacking in this regard, and should think about ways to take advantage of the former and cultivate the latter.
Mentors are not expected to be the mentee’s only mentoring resource but rather should make sure that the mentee has access to such resources. For example, the mentor should, as appropriate, guide the mentee to colleagues within and outside of the academic unit who might be in a position to assist the mentee in ways the mentor might not be able to do. This might include potential collaborators, colleagues who use similar research methods, colleagues who teach similar classes, etc. A departmental undergraduate program director might provide valuable guidance with regard to teaching, and the graduate program director might provide a helpful perspective on the department’s research network.
Expectations of department chairs:
- Appoint mentors thoughtfully, with the goal of assigning the mentor who would be best positioned to help each mentee.
- Check-in with both mentor and mentee to monitor the effectiveness of the mentoring process.
- Make clear to the faculty that all are to be thinking in terms of assisting with the mentoring process (especially within the department but also with colleagues outside the department).
- Remember that mentoring is a component of the mentor's annual performance review, as it is an example of service to the academic unit and to the University.
- Communicate with the mentee about annual faculty performance reviews (process, expectations, etc.); this is NOT the role of the mentor.
- Ensure the mentee understands technical processes, such as travel procedures, requisitions, participation in department projects such as guest lecture series, etc.
Expectations of mentees:
Each mentee should be aware of the expectations listed above for the mentor and the chair and participate actively in the process of pursuing professional development as appropriate.
These are practices that some departments employ in order to enhance the mentoring process; there is no standard model for faculty mentoring across the campus. Our goal is to promote the development of faculty mentoring programs that are tailored to each department and individual's needs. Several standard practices to consider are:
- Scheduling regular social gatherings and/or semi-social gatherings, such as those designed for sharing scholarly interests and projects.
- Encouraging habitual collaboration on curricular development and/or regular departmental meetings to discuss goals (these seem most pertinent to departments with highly integrated curricula and/or programs that are establishing a presence in specific clinical or other professional arenas).
- Involving retired faculty with special expertise in the process.
- Creating a committee within the department to supervise the mentoring program—recommending mentors, providing discipline-specific advice and resources for mentors and mentees, etc.
- Requiring mentors to submit brief plans for mentoring to department chairs—including, for example, matters that will be addressed, timelines, resources, and other individuals upon which the mentor might be drawing in order to do this work.
- Assigning more than one mentor to a mentee (but not at the expense of making sure that mentoring is systematically taking place—and likely with a distinct role assigned to each mentor).
- Using a mentoring map (provided in the Resources section) to identify what perspectives might be useful for the mentee and who might provide those perspectives.
- Considering the possibility of changing mentors during the mentoring period in disciplines in which mentees would ordinarily progress through distinct stages of development that would suggest different mentors (this would probably not apply to most disciplines).
- Making clear to the mentee that department chairs' and others' "doors are always open” for conversations and questions (while this would not replace the mentor’s proactive establishment of regular opportunities to address all facets of the mentee’s work).
- Inviting mentees to opportunities on campus such as writing groups, workshops, etc.
- Developing a departmental document that informs mentees about how to accomplish specific tasks, which faculty and staff can provide various kinds of support, etc. within the department (this and other such resources don’t have to be comprehensive at first; they might just include three or four different elements, with others added as their suitability for the document becomes evident).
- Offering opportunities for mentees to do practice runs of paper presentations.
- Reviewing materials that will be submitted for pre-tenure reviews.
- Ensuring that mentees are aware of resources and opportunities within the discipline.
Baylor University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) has a two-fold mission: to support and inspire a flourishing community of learning and to promote the integration of teaching, scholarship, collegiality, and service in a Christian environment. Various programs, such as the Summer Faculty Institute, Faculty Interest Groups, Seminars for Excellence in Teaching, and personalized teaching observations and consultations, are available.
The Institute for Faith and Learning was founded in 1997 to assist Baylor in achieving its mission of integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment and its goal of becoming a university of the first rank committed to its Baptist and Christian heritage. The Communio retreat, the Missio faculty conversation groups, and additional projects and events can all be excellent resources for faculty mentoring.
The University Libraries unit has provided the following list of mentoring-related topics as a resource; most are adaptable to any school, college, or department.
- Understanding the library and institutional culture.
- Understanding what it takes to succeed in this environment.
- Understanding academic politics.
- Understanding what are the written and unwritten rules.
- Understanding what one needs to know and do for job success.
- Finding relevant listservs.
- Knowing appropriate resources for career counseling.
- Setting long-term goals.
- Networking or cultivating relationships.
- Advocating for one's best interests.
- Navigating first-year transition.
- Professional development opportunities.
- Professional organizations, online communities, and writing groups.
- Research collaborations: co-present or co-author.
- Journals to read.
- Resources for research help.
- Resources for external funding and grant writing help.
- Research, writing, and publication goals accountability.
- Developing a research agenda and ideas for research projects.
Mentorship Programs should:
- Assist with connecting a mentee with a mentor that has the same professional standing.
- Assist with connecting a mentee with a mentor that is one step ahead in the promotion process.
- Allow the mentee to be part of the selection of their mentor.
- Provide a published list of the librarians and when they were promoted; identify those who could be helpful at different career stages.
- Provide a list of mentors and mentees.
- Include all faculty ranks.
- Provide opportunities for intentional collaboration and pitch ideas for article writing.
- Provide positive opportunities for empowering librarians, especially those who may be new or nervous.
The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) Mentor Map- provides a faculty member with a way to identify people who are in a position to provide various kinds of support.
"Effective Faculty Mentoring" by Cathy Ann Trower.
The New Faculty Mentoring Program is led by the vice provost for faculty affairs. Approximately every other month, new tenured and tenure-track faculty and their mentors are invited to a buffet dinner, presentation, and discussion from 5-7 p.m.
Looking to get involved? Please contact Amber Kivlighn, assistant to the vice provosts.