Designing and implementing effective faculty mentoring programs may 11 2011
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Designing and Implementing Effective Faculty Mentoring Programs May 11, 2011. Deborah DeZure, Ph.D. Assistant Provost for Faculty and Organizational Development Michigan State University. Goals. Review the research on effective practices in faculty mentoring

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Designing and Implementing Effective Faculty Mentoring Programs May 11, 2011

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Designing and implementing effective faculty mentoring programs may 11 2011

Designing and Implementing Effective Faculty Mentoring ProgramsMay 11, 2011

Deborah DeZure, Ph.D.

Assistant Provost for

Faculty and Organizational Development

Michigan State University



  • Review the research on effective practices in faculty mentoring

  • Identify key decisions when designing an effective faculty mentoring program within a college, school or department

  • Share resources on faculty mentoring

  • Respond to questions about faculty mentoring

Designing an effective program of faculty mentoring what does the research tell us

Designing An Effective Program of Faculty Mentoring: What does the Research Tell Us?

  • Origin of Term MENTOR (Homer)

  • Chair is a key mentor in life of early career faculty, but not the only mentor

  • Mentoring is a task best shared by the community of scholars:

    • Initiation and validation process

  • Traditional Approach: Informal Mentoring, Single Mentor, Long-Term Relationship

  • Newer Approach: Formal (and Informal) Mentoring Relationships, Multiple Mentors (Differentiated Roles), Shorter Duration

What research tells us

What Research Tells Us

  • Mentoring can be powerful and productive IF WELL IMPLEMENTED

    • Particularly important for women, minorities

    • Increases recruitment, retention, tenure and promotion, job satisfaction, perception of supportive climate, reduces frustration and wasted time/energy, increases productivity

    • Evidence is not consistent, but points to many productive practices

Poor mentoring can be damaging

Poor Mentoring can be Damaging

  • Mentors who try to mold their mentees in their own image

  • Inability of mentees to change mentors without fear of reprisal

  • Insufficient levels of mentoring, waiting for the mentee to take the initiative

Coaching with compassion lights up mentee brains

Coaching with Compassion ‘Lights Up’ Mentee Brains

Website –

What research tells us1

What Research Tells Us

  • Mentoring is highly campus-specific, college-specific and contextual.

    • Effective programs reflect the culture of the organizations in which they exist

  • There are no generic best practices, but best practices for what purpose, for whom, by whom, under what constraints?

Key elements of effective mentoring programs

Key Elements of Effective Mentoring Programs

  • Clearly articulated program goals

    • Ex. To increase tenure and promotion rates of early career tenure system faculty

    • Ex. To increase recruitment and retention of under-represented groups, e.g., women and minorities.

    • Ex. To increase levels of satisfaction of early career faculty with their professional lives.

    • Ex. To increase communication among early career faculty and their senior colleagues.

Assessment of program effectiveness

Assessment of Program Effectiveness

  • How will you know that the program is accomplishing its goals?

    • What metrics can be used to assess whether the program is and/ or has attained its goals?

      • What formative measures can be used?

      • What summative measures can be used?

    • Do these measures align with the goals?

    • Do these measures align with the program elements used to attain the goals?

Common design elements of effective faculty mentoring programs

Common Design Elements of Effective Faculty Mentoring Programs

  • Formal vs. Informal/ Level of Structure

    • Formal Mentoring in a structured program of faculty mentoring offered to all early career faculty (Productive Practice)

    • Informal mentoring CAN and DOES work for many people, but often fails and too often is not provided to those who could most benefit from it, creating inequities in support.

  • Designated Program Oversight

    • It should be someone’s job to :

      • Insure that all is going well for mentors and mentees.

      • Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the program.

      • Be authorized to make changes as needed for continuous improvement and to meet changing needs.

  • Common design elements of effective faculty mentoring programs cont

    Common Design Elements of Effective Faculty Mentoring Programs Cont.

    • Orientation for Mentors

      • Clarity of expectations, policies, practices

      • Training in how to mentor, e.g., providing constructive feedback (handout provided)

    • Orientation/Formal Meeting of Pairs

      • Mutual understanding of expectations by mentor/mentee

      • Clear policies and practices re: mentoring

    • A Case in Point: MSU College of Music Orientation for Mentors/Mentees (salmon)

    Common design elements of effective faculty mentoring programs cont1

    Common Design Elements of Effective Faculty Mentoring Programs Cont.

    • Regularly scheduled meetings of mentor and mentee

      • Initiated by the Mentor, but also by Mentee as needed

    • Cohort meetings of pairs /Planned events

      • Enables dyads to hear what others have done to get additional ideas & network

    • Rewards/Celebrations (Speakers)

      • Honor the activity: books, honoraria

    What research tells us2

    What Research Tells Us

    How many mentors?

    • Multiple Mentors, CHANGE over time

      • One coordinating mentor (chair? Other?)

      • One: inside college but outside dept.

      • Three - U Virginia: Orientation Guide, Research Counsel, Teaching Coach

      • Women/Minorities: One Majority, One Minority (Networking Important)

      • Mentor selection based on mentee needs, may change over time

      • Not so many mentors that process is too time-consuming or burdensome

    What research tells us3

    What Research Tells Us

    • Basis of Pairs

      • Interest-Based Pairing

    • How to determine mentee needs, interests and priorities: ASK

      • Ask what mentees want/need

      • Ask what mentors are willing to offer

    Adapting a prompt sheet to clarify needs interests of mentors mentees

    Adapting a Prompt Sheet to Clarify Needs/Interests of Mentors/Mentees

    • Take the next 5 minutes to review and adapt the green prompt sheet to fit the profile of faculty roles in your department, school or college.

    • Adapt the “Topics for Mentees (blue)/Mentors (green) sheets to Discuss” and the “Possible Activities”.

    • When we reconvene in 5 minutes, we’ll share some of your adaptations.



    • Networking/Social Function of Mentors

      • Theme of loneliness/isolation pervasive among early career faculty after rush of attention subsides

      • Promotes access to possible collaborators

      • Complements pool of formal mentors

      • A Survey of mentees identified loneliness as key issue of first year as a faculty member.

      • Ex. Early Career Social Gatherings



    • Institutional Policy about Faculty Mentoring

      • MSU Mentoring Policy (see policy)

    • Participation

      • Voluntary/Invitational vs. Required

    • Duration

      • Year-Long Arrangement, Renewable

      • Low risk to change mentors as career evolves

    • Confidentiality

    • Role of Mentor in P/T Decisions

      • A Case in Point

    Evaluating success

    Evaluating Success

    • Define Program Outcomes

    • Formative Assessments

      • Survey mentors/mentees to see how mentoring is going? Are they meeting? Is it helpful? What else is needed? Is the program well organized?

    • Summative Assessments

      • Level of participation (Do people participate?)

      • Satisfaction (Do mentors/mentees like the program and indicate it is worthwhile?)

      • Impact on mentors, mentees, institution

    Assessing mentor mentee relationships and their impact

    Assessing Mentor/Mentee Relationships and Their Impact

    • Examples:

      • Mentorship Profile Questionnaire (Ron Berk et al., Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, 2002 )

      • Mentorship Effectiveness Scale (gray) (Ron Berk et al., Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, 2002)

        • What do you find useful?

        • How might you adapt these forms for use in your unit?

        • Would you also use the forms for orientation?

    Variations cohort mentoring

    Variations: Cohort Mentoring

    • Group Mentoring

      • One mentor meets with a small group of mentees, ongoing, range of topics

      • One mentor oversees small group, inviting guest speakers to meet with group re: research, proposal writing, etc.

    • Mentoring Committee

      • Meets periodically with individuals or small groups of mentees to provide guidance

    New directions in faculty mentoring

    New Directions in Faculty Mentoring

    • Mutual Mentoring

      • University of Massachusetts-Amherst

        (Mellon Grant)

        • Early career faculty or units can apply for small grants of $1200-$5000 to provide support for mentoring activities.

        • Early career faculty are encouraged to:

          • 1) map their responsibilities (see “Assessing My Network of Support “ exercise – white sheet) and

          • 2) identify and contact mentors in areas as needed.

        • Impact: Offers just in time support that often helps mentors and mentees (mutual mentoring)

    Designing and implementing effective faculty mentoring programs may 11 2011

    Resources on Faculty Mentoring

    Identify, develop and/or disseminate materials on faculty mentoring to assist the coordinator of faculty mentoring, mentors, and mentees.


    MSU ADAPP ADVANCE Grant Mentoring Toolkit


    Programs to assist faculty and mentors provided by f od www fod msu edu

    Programs to Assist Faculty and Mentors provided by F&OD (

    • New Faculty Orientation and Website, Info Fair

    • “Top 10 Things New Faculty Need to Know” (Read MSU Faculty Handbook)

    • Consultations on Teaching, learning and assessment (confidential and voluntary)

      • Individual and small group consultations

      • Midterm student feedback sessions

      • Videotaping of teaching

    • Online Instructional Resources (OIR) Website

    • Lilly Seminars on Teaching/Learning

    • Spring Institute on Active Teaching/Learning

    • Lilly Fellows Program (for pre-tenure faculty)

    • Faculty Learning Communities

    • Workshops for Faculty Leaders (WFLs)

    • Parliamentary Procedures (

    Other msu resources to assist new faculty

    Other MSU Resources to Assist New Faculty

    • Libraries, Computing and Technologies

    • Office of VP for Research and Graduate Studies

    • Office of Outreach and Engagement

      • Supports for design and evaluation of outreach projects

    • Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives

    • Graduate School

    • MSU Writing Center has writing groups for faculty

    Other msu resources to assist new faculty continued

    Other MSU Resources to Assist New Faculty (continued)

    • MSU C-Stat provides support for statistical analysis

    • International Studies and Programs (ISP)

    • Women’s Resource Center

    • Family Resource Center

    • MSU ADAPP ADVANCE Grant Website and Toolkit

    • College-Based Orientations and Resources

    To begin your planning

    To Begin Your Planning

    Using the Design/Planning Phase Worksheet (Versions by D. DeZure or M. Wunsch)

    • Your preliminary priorities and/or preferences

    • Questions for clarification and/or discussion

    Appendix characteristics of constructive feedback yellow

    Appendix: Characteristics of Constructive Feedback (yellow)

    • Descriptive rather than evaluative

    • Specific rather than general

    • Behavioral – about which receiver can do something

    • Takes into account the needs of both the receiver and giver

    • Provides opportunity for receiver to clarify/respond/check for accuracy

    • Integrates error analysis – endeavors to understand why the person chose that course of action – to check for reasoning, possible misconceptions, or inaccurate information

    Characteristics of constructive feedback continued

    Characteristics of Constructive Feedback Continued

    • Check to see if agreement

    • Solicited rather than imposed

    • Well timed

    • Sharing of info rather than advice

    • Amount of info the receiver can use

    • Does not focus on why or inferences but behaviors

    • Attention to the consequences

    • Builds the relationship of trust, caring and respect

    Questions comments


    Please let me know how i can assist you or your unit colleagues

    Please let me know how I can assist you or your unit colleagues.

    Deborah DeZure, Ph.D.

    Assistant Provost for Faculty and Organizational Development

    Michigan State University

    [email protected]


    Mentoring matters

    Mentoring Matters

    Thank you for joining us today.

    Adapp advance grant mentoring materials

    ADAPP ADVANCE Grant Mentoring Materials

    • Introducing – Clare Luz,Ph.D., Co-PI, ADAPP ADVANCE Grant, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, College of Human Medicine, and Geriatric Education Center of Michigan

    • ADAPP ADVANCE Grant resources include:

      • Faculty Mentoring Policy

      • Frequently asked questions about the MSU Mentor Policy

      • Formal Mentor Models

      • Best Mentor Program Practices for Unit Leaders

      • Best Practices for Mentors in Academic Settings

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