A Collaboration between the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the SDSU Faculty Development and Leadership Committee
The SDSU CETL, with support from the SDSU Faculty Development and Leadership Committee, has developed this page to provide resources to assist members of the campus community in enhancing their faculty mentoring efforts. We will use this space to highlight resources that can help inform the process of mentoring on our campus. We hope you find this information beneficial.
The process of mentoring in its broadest sense involves the development of relationships between persons with experience and persons with less experience. In the foreword to “Transformative Conversations: A Guide to Mentoring Communities Among Colleagues in Higher Education,” Remen and Arrien (2013) state “It is through learning from those both older and younger than ourselves and reflecting our deepest values back to one another that we begin to live up to our full human potential” (p. xv-xvi).
In academic, mentoring programs have been initiated at all organizational levels. These programs may be formal or informal, may involve multiple mentors for a single junior faculty, or may be specifically designed to address cultural issues like gender and race. In short, there is no universally accepted model of mentoring that works effectively for every type of academic institution. In “Empowering the Faculty: Mentoring Redirected and Renewed,” Luna, Gaye and Cullen (1995) conclude “Mentoring is useful and powerful in understanding and advancing organizational culture, providing access to informal and formal networks of communication, and offering professional stimulation to both junior and senior faculty” (p. iii).
South Dakota State University endorses the following definition of mentoring in an academic sense—a flexible method by which new faculty are integrated into the campus community in all aspects (e.g., policy, culture, expectations, etc.), with the intended outcome of increasing faculty success, measured not only in terms of tenure and promotion, but also in terms of job satisfaction, retention and esprit de corps.
Goals of Mentoring Program
The long-term goal of the South Dakota State University faculty mentoring program is the development of a university community in which all faculty members are integrated and informed, engaged and productive, collegial and cohesive. To achieve this outcome, South Dakota State University programs must:
- Establish purposeful, positive, constructive relationships to facilitate learning, enhance productivity and promote faculty retention;
- Familiarize and assist with navigation of institutional and departmental procedures and protocol for junior and new faculty;
- Provide an opportunity for protégé and mentors to secure collaborative professional relationships to strengthen professional standings and promote productivity;
- Assist junior faculty in identifying institutional resources that develop and build their skills in teaching, scholarship and service;
- Retain and facilitate the promotion of talented new faculty by explaining and assisting them through the university’s tenure and promotion process;
- Familiarize new faculty with community and cultural practices and assist with social networking; and
- Heighten the overall outcomes of an academic unit