Mentoring New(er) Faculty at UNG

We’re well into the second semester of the year, and I’d like to encourage you to take a moment to reach out faculty colleagues, especially those who are in their first few years at our institution.  Many departments provide a formal mentor for new faculty, but effective mentoring is a communal enterprise.

Research suggests that mentoring networks are most effective to help new colleagues contribute successfully to our shared enterprise. Newer faculty members, whether new to the profession or new to our institution, look to their immediate colleagues for examples and advice in navigating the hallways and offices of their new environment. This means that they may not always turn to colleagues in their own field, but may, instead, turn to those in officesin proximity to their own.  Take a moment to drop by a younger faculty member’s office to offer an invitation to coffee.  You might talk about balancing your faculty responsibilities, suggest an exchange of classroom observations, or talk about your research agendas. In The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae, Kerry Ann Rockquemore writes about the power of communal mentoring:  “When It Comes to Mentoring, the More the Merrier.” You might also look at the CTLL UNG page on Mentoring for more ideas.

Finally, Mary Dean Sorcinelli and Yun Jung compiled a 2007 literature review of the current (at the time) resources and studies in the changing perspective of the mentoring relationship. In their piece,  “From Mentor To Mentoring Networks: Mentoring In The New Academy,” the authors provide sources, models, and studies for the new concept of “communal” or “constellation” mentorship for the academy.  I encourage you to peruse at least their resources, especially if you’re interested in supporting your colleagues and institution in this fashion.

Further Reading:

Kennedy, Kit. “Mentoring: A network of gratitude.” Serials Review 1993: 5. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. Permalink

Sorcinelli, Mary Deane, and Yun Jung. “From Mentor To Mentoring Networks: Mentoring In The New Academy.” Change 39.6 (2007): 58-61. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. Permalink

Mentoring In the Academy: Harvard University Panel Discussion (video, 55 minutes)