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CSD Faculty Mentoring Program

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Introduction and Purpose

Mentorship is an important ingredient of faculty success, and promotes a collegial environment of scholars.  At RFU, faculty are supported in their research and teaching efforts through a community of mentors centered not only within CMS, but extending across the university.      

Every new junior faculty member (Assistant Professor or Instructor with at least 0.5 FTE in CMS) who is hired with a primary appointment in CSD will be placed into the CSD Faculty Mentoring Program. The Program consists of, at minimum, a designated faculty mentor and formalized mentoring plan for every new junior faculty member. In addition, CSD faculty who do not meet this definition can also participate in the CSD Faculty Mentoring Program upon arrangement with the Department Executive Chair.

Every junior faculty member (“Mentee”) is expected to receive formalized mentoring under the direction of one or more Primary Mentors. The choice of Primary Mentor will be individualized, based on the junior faculty member’s intended workload balance. For most new Clinical Science faculty, the Primary Mentor will be the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Department. However, it is recognized that another senior faculty member may be a more suitable mentor based on experience or expertise. It is also possible for more than one senior faculty member to act as co-Primary Mentors. Once the Primary Mentor has been identified, they are expected to meet with the Mentee to establish a mentoring plan based on the needs of the Mentee.  

The establishment and implementation of a mentoring plan is highly flexible and should be tailored to the needs of the junior faculty member. There are three primary areas of mentorship for CMS faculty: teaching, service, and scholarship. It is understood that the mentorship needs of each faculty member can differ among these areas, and additional areas may also be identified.

Procedure for Mentoring of Junior Faculty

  1. The Department Executive Chair or Vice-Chair meets with a new junior faculty member within one month of appointment start date to initiate the mentoring plan.
  2. The Primary Mentor(s) is selected, based on the specific needs of the Mentee. 
  3. The Primary Mentor and Mentee will then meet to formulate a written Mentorship Plan to address those needs. 
  4. The Primary Mentor and Mentee meet at fixed intervals defined in the mentoring plan, in addition to communicating on an as-needed basis.
  5. The mentoring plan is re-evaluated annually by the Primary Mentor and Mentee. The mentoring plan can be revised at any time by agreement of the Primary Mentor and Mentee, based on evolving needs of the Mentee.
  6. The mentorship program is expected to conclude after five years unless the Mentor and Mentee agree to continue it for a longer time period. The frequency of meetings depends on the plan with more frequent meetings in the first several months of junior faculty employment.  Workload model reviews take place twice a year with end of academic year reviews serving as annual performance reviews. The relationship between Primary Mentor and Mentee may change over time and discontinue “no-fault” by either Mentor or Mentee.

Components of the Mentoring Plan

Every Mentee will have different areas of strength and weakness, as well as different roles within their Department and Discipline.  The mentoring plan is an agreement between the Primary Mentor and Mentee that should include, at minimum:

  1. Schedule of meetings 
    Regular contact is encouraged with informal/brief meetings about 1-2 times a month and more substantial/in-depth meetings about 2-3 times a year.
  2. Areas of mentorship
    Common areas include Teaching, Service, Scholarship, Publishing, Grant-Writing, Academic & Professional Ethics, Work-Life Balance.
  3. Role of the Mentor
    The Primary Mentor provides guidance in each of the above areas through one-on-one discussions, referral to resources, or advocating on behalf of the Mentee. Depending on their expertise, the Mentor may: provide feedback on teaching and publication; advise about the management of support staff and students; assist with networking; provide guidance on how to contribute to the missions of the Department, CMS, and University; provide awareness of policies, procedures, and mechanisms relevant to faculty advancement.
  4. Responsibilities of each party:
    1. Department Executive Chair or Vice-Chair
      The Department Executive Chair (or Vice-Chair) is responsible for meeting with the new faculty member shortly upon hiring and determining which faculty member will serve as the Primary Mentor. The Department Chair (or Vice-Chair) is also responsible for monitoring how well the mentoring needs of the junior faculty member are being met through the annual Workload Evaluation process.
    2. Mentee
      The Mentee is expected to work with the Primary Mentor to develop a mentoring plan that best suits the Mentee’s needs. The Mentee is also expected to follow this tailored mentoring plan, respect the advice of the Primary Mentor, and pursue resources identified as valuable for their development.
    3. Primary Mentor
      The Primary Mentor is expected to work with the Mentee to create a mentoring plan and to carry out the responsibilities designated in the plan. For activities outside the role or expertise of the Primary Mentor, the Primary Mentor is expected to help the Mentee identify available resources or others that may serve as additional mentors.

Evaluation of the CSD Faculty Mentoring Program

As the overall goal of this program is to facilitate success and retention of faculty, the primary measure of its success is the percent retention and promotion of junior faculty.  In addition, faculty mentoring is assessed as part of the annual evaluation of the Department Executive Chair and/or Vice Chair by the CMS Dean.