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Topics to be covered:. Definitions of mentoringResearch on mentoring:Research-productive departments (Carol Bland et al.) Mentoring of junior faculty at the UM (President\'s Emerging Leadership program project, Douah et al.)Additional research (Girves et al., Johnson et al.)Mentoring in Design,

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Provost’s Department Chairs Leadership ProgramFostering a Productive, Supportive Department Mentoring for Success

Becky L. Yust, Professor and Head

Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel

January 15, 2009

topics to be covered
Topics to be covered:
  • Definitions of mentoring
  • Research on mentoring:
    • Research-productive departments (Carol Bland et al.)
    • Mentoring of junior faculty at the UM (President’s Emerging Leadership program project, Douah et al.)
    • Additional research (Girves et al., Johnson et al.)
  • Mentoring in Design, Housing, and Apparel:
    • Why we mentor
    • How we mentor and why it has changed
    • Impacts of mentoring
origination of mentoring
Origination of mentoring
  • In Homer’s The Odyssey, when Odysseus goes off to the Trojan War, he asks Mentor to serve as the tutor for his son, Telemachus (as described in Bland et al., p. 64).
  • In 1699, François Fénelon used the term in the book, Les Aventures de Telemaque. The lead character is Mentor (consider the source: Roberts as cited in Wikipedia!)
in dha we define mentoring to include two broad functions
In DHA, we define mentoring to include two broad functions:
  • Career functions (coaching, protection, visibility, and resources)
  • Psychosocial functions (role modeling, acceptance, counseling, and friendship) (Kram, 1985; Maack & Passet, 1993)
  • Mentor committees serve the career function, and within that, primarily coaching.
    • Coaching involves suggesting strategies for accomplishing work objectives, receiving recognition, and for achieving career aspirations.
    • The other career functions of protection, visibility, and resources may be served by a formal mentor committee but are not assumed to do so.
  • Psychosocial functions may be served by the mentor committee, but members are not obligated to serve in these aspects.
study of highly research productive um departments bland et al
Study of highly research-productive UM departments (Bland et al.)
  • 37 departments in the study
  • Mentoring models varied, e.g.,
    • Every faculty member establishes their own academic development plan receiving feedback from assigned mentor and P&T committee
    • Two senior faculty mentors assigned by department chair, one within the area of expertise and one not
    • After meeting with each faculty member individually, new faculty member selects mentors in consultation with department chair
  • 9 departments were rated in the top 5% in their field and they all had formal mentoring programs
best practices based on pel review of literature and research at um douah et al
Best practices based on PEL review of literature and research at UM(Douah et al.)
  • Structured mentoring efforts are most effective.
  • Departments should customize mentoring programs to be best suited for departmental culture and field.
  • Inter-disciplinary faculty mentoring should be explored.
  • Work/Life issues should be addressed, but not necessarily within the context of a departmental faculty mentoring program.
  • Department chairs should check-in with the mentoring that probationary faculty receive.
pel survey of um department heads
PEL survey of UM department heads
  • Most common areas in which mentors provided guidance were with:
    • the tenure process
    • publications
    • learning departmental and institutional norms
  • Slightly lower numbers of departments reported that mentors assisted with:
    • grant writing and review
    • preparation of the tenure dossier
  • The least common area of mentoring was regarding work/life balance.
pel interviews with department heads
PEL interviews with department heads

One department head mentioned that

mentoring can be affected by departmental politics. For example, the mentoring relationship may serve to enhance existing conflicts or strife among faculty by creating cliques, loyalties or alliances within the department.

pel recommendations for um departments to enhance mentoring of junior faculty
PEL recommendations for UM departments to enhance mentoring of junior faculty:
  • Department head training should include an overview of strategies and best practices for faculty mentoring.
  • Departments should explicitly define what role mentoring plays in the tenure process.
  • Additional recommendations were directed to central administration.
recommendations from research girves et al
Recommendations from research (Girves et al.)
  • Systematic or structured mentoring works much better than spontaneous or natural mentoring.
  • Structured programs are more likely to involve people who are normally left out of the mentoring process.
importance of formal program girves et al
Importance of formal program (Girves et al.)

. . . since university cultures value competitiveness, independence, and autonomy, junior faculty may be reluctant to participate in a mentoring program fearing that it would be harmful to their careers if they admitted that they needed “extra help.”(p. 472)

perspective of a mentee johnson et al
Perspective of a mentee (Johnson et al.)

I think that higher education, more than other professions, has a lot of hidden rules; many of the cultural things within the institution and the profession are never written down, if you are lucky, you will find a mentor to show you the way. (p.35)

why dha has formal mentoring
Why DHA has formal mentoring
  • 5 disciplines in the department, but only one 7.12 statement
  • Department Head should not be the only conveyer of information
  • Committee members educate one another and the mentee
  • Makes connections for collaborations valuable to research, publishing, and teaching
  • Creates a climate of working for the success of new faculty members
  • Enhances the sense of community of the department
  • Important in recruitment of new faculty
issues that developed ex 1
Issues that developed (ex. 1)
  • Some faculty refused to continue on a committee when mentee was not following their recommendations.
    • Mentors misinterpreted their roles as directive instead of advisory
    • Created awkward relationships among new and senior faculty
    • Faculty members were then not asked to serve on new committees because of risk of future resignation from the committee
issues that developed ex 2
Issues that developed (ex. 2)
  • Not all faculty were effective mentors and, over time, mentoring responsibilities were not equally shared in the department. For example, some faculty mentors:
    • would not familiarize themselves with the mentee’s work before meeting with him/her.
    • emphasized formatting of the vitae over the content.
    • would not be available for meetings.
    • did not draft the departmental statement well which negatively influenced other faculty opinions of candidates during review meetings.
issues that developed ex 3
Issues that developed (ex. 3)
  • Mentors, particularly the committee chairs, were perceived to be prejudiced advocates for mentees
    • mentors would respond defensively to questions posed by other faculty during review meeting discussions
    • mentor committee members would argue among themselves when presenting the case for the rest of the faculty
how we mentor today
How we mentor today

We established explicit guidelines for:

  • Role and responsibilities of mentor committees
  • Membership on mentor committees
  • Roles and responsibilities of tenured faculty members
  • Review meetings procedures
purpose of the mentor committee
Purpose of the Mentor Committee
  • To advise candidate on choices that will reflect positive tenure and/or promotion decisions
  • To understand and clarify how candidate’s work meets tenure and/or promotion criteria
  • To provide encouragement and nurturing per UM 7.11 statement
  • To focus on mentoring, not assumed to be unconditionally supportive of the final tenure/promotion decision
  • To serve in an assistive role for probationary faculty, not advocacy
responsibilities of the mentor committee
Responsibilities of the Mentor Committee
  • Assist with and review development of candidate’s academic vitae and philosophy statements
  • Meet at least annually with candidate to review performance, assist with communicating performance via academic vitae and statements, and advise candidate on choices of information to include
  • Understand candidate’s outcomes/accomplishments, i.e., the importance or work to teaching and scholarship, the reputation of venues (publications, exhibitions)
  • Communicate opinions and standards from others’ perspectives
  • Mentor committee deals with content; Department Head deals with collegiality
  • The mentor committee does not lead the discussion nor draft the department’s summary review statement
membership of the mentor committee
Membership of the Mentor Committee
  • Three faculty members constitute the committee
  • Maximum of one member from DHA undergraduate program (discipline) area
  • One member could be from outside of DHA
  • No close collaborator of the candidate on the committee for at least the first two years of probationary period
  • Membership changes during the probationary period:
    • to minimize the personal investment of the mentors,
    • for the candidate to hear diverse, but reinforcing comments, and
    • for mentor committee members and the candidate to learn from one another.
  • Term of two years
establishing the mentor committee
Establishing the Mentor Committee
  • Names are discussed between the new faculty member and the department head
  • Department Head asks the individual faculty if he/she is willing to serve on the mentor committee
  • Department Head meets with committee at first meeting
  • Mentee required to meet annually with committee
scribe of the mentor committee
Scribe of the Mentor Committee
  • Compiles a summary of the mentor committee meetings; these become part of the candidate’s permanent file.
  • One member of the committee volunteers to be the Scribe but the Scribe should not be:
    • the member within the discipline area, nor
    • a collaborator on scholarship
  • The summary must be signed by the probationary faculty member that he/she received and understands the information in the summary
tenured faculty members general responsibilities
Tenured Faculty Members’ General Responsibilities
  • Review UM 7.11 statement, DHA 7.12 criteria, and procedures relevant to decision to be made
  • Understand performance outcomes addressed by DHA 7.12 criteria and information that is and is not appropriate for consideration
  • Be prepared to ask questions for clarification of standards and procedures before discussion of candidates
tenured faculty members responsibilities specific to a candidate s review
Tenured Faculty Members’ Responsibilities Specific to a Candidate’s Review
  • Responsible for thorough review of the candidate’s dossier with respect to the DHA 7.12 criteria
  • Review actual work—articles, artistic work, syllabi, etc.
  • By the 3rd year of the probationary review (of a normal 6 year review period), assess candidate’s dossier to determine if candidate is getting up to speed, i.e., is he/she developing a dossier that will eventually meet the expected outcomes of our post-tenure review standards
dha revised review process covers
DHA Revised Review Process Covers:
  • Candidate responsibilities
  • Department administration responsibilities
  • Responsibilities of the Presenter
  • Tenured faculty members’ responsibilities
  • Tenured faculty meeting to review candidates
    • Basic premises
    • Chairperson
    • Sequence of meetings
    • Discussion protocol
    • Recording information during discussion
dha revised process con t
DHA Revised Process (con’t)
  • Voting process
  • The faculty summary statement
  • Meeting outcome dissemination
  • Process for applying for promotion to full professor
  • Additional issues to ensure a climate of cooperation
impacts of mentoring in dha
Impacts of mentoring in DHA
  • New process requires a broader array of faculty to take part in the review process
  • Greater responsibility for learning about new faculty
  • Distribution of roles among faculty (mentors, presenters, chairperson)
  • Positive tenure and promotion decisions
  • Bland, C., Weber-Main, A., Lund, S. & Finstad, D. (2005). The research-productive department: Strategies from departments that excel. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Douah, R., Letawsky Shultz, N., Nackerud, S., Radcliffe, P., & Reubold, T. (2007). Faculty mentoring at the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN: President’s Emerging Leaders Program, University of Minnesota.
  • Girves, J., Zepeda, Y., & Gwathmey, J. (2005). Mentoring in a post-affirmative action world. Journal of Social Issues, 61(3), 449-479.
  • Johnson, K., Yust, B., & Fritchie, L. (2001). Views on mentoring by clothing and textiles faculty. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 19(1), 31-40.
  • Kram, K. (1985). Mentoring at work: Developmental relationships in organizational life. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman & Company.
  • Maack, M., & Passet, J. (1993). Unwritten rules: Mentoring women faculty. Library and Information Science Research, 15(2), 117-142.
  • Roberts, A. (1999, November). The origins of the term mentor. History of Education Society Bulletin, 64, 313-329 (as cited in Wikipedia, retrieved on December 31, 2008 at