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Building a Comprehensive Faculty Mentoring Program: A Case Study

Faculty Development

Building a Comprehensive Faculty Mentoring Program: A Case Study

Our efforts to mentor tenure-track faculty began in conversations about faculty success on campus. In 2018, Ollie Dreon was serving in his fifth year as the director of the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) at Millersville University. The CAE serves as a professional development hub on campus and works to advance student-centered instructional practices across campus. In his role as director, Ollie also facilitated a weeklong orientation for new faculty. While Ollie was working in the CAE, Leslie Gates was serving on the university promotion and tenure committee. These roles provided us with two different viewpoints of our colleagues’ careers. Ollie met faculty as they arrived on campus and sought to establish themselves and their work. Leslie reviewed faculty members’ work in their applications for tenure and promotion at each rank. We both recognized that our colleagues were getting very different levels of support depending on the departments and colleges in which they worked. At the time, the institution did not have an intentional or comprehensive mentoring program to support faculty as they navigated the stages of their careers. While some faculty received informal mentorship from departmental colleagues, others received none. We felt that this inconsistency may be creating inequitable experiences for our colleagues and that a more comprehensive faculty mentoring program could address these issues campus wide.

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