The Value of Intergenerational Faculty Mentoring
For the most part, US higher education has not recognized the value of intergenerational workforce practices as a valuable source of expertise and transmission of institutional knowledge. But faculty mentoring programs are the exception: they represent one of the most highly developed intergenerational practices in higher education today. These programs draw upon the reciprocity needed among different generational faculty cohorts and serve as a vehicle that enhances institutional capacity, advances organizational learning, and facilitates faculty career success. Typically, these programs involve the mentoring of junior, pre-tenure faculty by more senior, tenured faculty to facilitate the progress of new faculty toward the attainment of tenure. Yet many of these programs have not kept pace with the changing faculty landscape, in which almost three-quarters of the faculty workforce consists of full- and part-time non-tenure-track faculty. In fact, roughly half of all faculty now serve as part-time adjuncts, and approximately one-fifth hold full-time contingent positions (Yakoboski, 2018).