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Senior Faculty Mentor

Dr. Grace HamptonThe senior faculty mentor provides a variety of supportive services to tenure track faculty members belonging to underrepresented racial/ethnic groups to facilitate attainment of tenure and promotion. Services offered include: mentoring; individual consultations regarding progress toward tenure and promotion, including review of dossiers; advice regarding vitae maintenance and development; supplemental travel support to attend conferences; and activities to promote networking and a sense of community including a listserv for disseminating relevant information.

Message from the Senior Faculty Mentor

Role of Senior Faculty Mentor

In my role as senior faculty mentor I provide a variety of services to tenure track faculty members belonging to traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. The position of senior faculty mentor was established as a means of contributing to the long-term diversification of Penn State's faculty by offering professional development support that complements the assistance available through departments and colleges.

The Importance of a Faculty Support Network

By increasing the density of faculty support networks the likelihood of achieving tenure and promotion goals is increased. In addition, the position of senior faculty mentor facilitates new faculty members' acclimation to the Penn State community, serving as a bridge to a wide variety of formal and informal groups and activities. Such connections are important for creating a sense of a welcoming climate in which the professional and social needs of faculty members are accommodated.

As faculty members progress through their early years at Penn State, many find the need for various types of assistance including informal mentoring, consultations regarding progress toward tenure and promotion, advice in the preparation of promotion and tenure dossiers, and supplemental financial support to enable participation in conferences and other professional meetings. These are some of the many services I provide as senior faculty mentor. In addition, important topics that affect many faculty members from underrepresented groups collectively are addressed through periodic workshops. A reception is held in both the fall and spring semesters to give faculty the opportunity to interact informally and develop a sense of community. A listserv has been designed to enhance communication and share important information that might not otherwise be accessible to faculty who are caught up in the rush of day-to-day professional activities.

In creating this Web site we have attempted to facilitate access to various types of information. As an example, you will find several documents and reports examining the status and experiences of faculty members from underrepresented groups that include benchmark information with comparisons to other institutions. Announcements about opportunities to solicit external and internal funding to support research projects will also be made available. You will also find a direct link to the form used to request supplemental travel funds, along with the guidelines. And, we are especially pleased to include a section that formally acknowledges important achievements by faculty members.

As you peruse the Web site, I invite you to offer recommendations for improvement while simultaneously taking advantage of this important resource. The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity is the organizational home of the senior faculty mentor position and staff support is provided by Ms. Eileen Williams who can be reached at 814-865-5906.

Dr. Grace Hampton
Senior Faculty Mentor and Professor of Art, Art Education, and Integrative Arts

The Senior Faculty Mentor Systemwide Network (SFMSN)