What Our Peers Doing

Information provided on our peers and aspirational peers in higher education advancing faculty mentorship.

Mentoring at Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Information provided on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign website ranges from the types of mentoring relationships (e.g., initial orientation; career related guidance and advice; and professional sponsors who facilitate access to networks) and varied mentoring programs such (e.g., assigned mentor/mentee; group mentoring by committee). This is a good start for departments that do not have a program and would like quick summaries of the variables that should be considered in developing a program.

Five Approaches to Faculty Mentoring

University of Michigan

The listing below describes five general approaches to faculty mentoring, developed by the University of Michigan. Each of the five summaries include a synopsis of the respective approach; how it may present in practice; and a brief outline of potential benefits and concerns to consider for each mentoring method. These approaches are not exclusive. A unit could choose to implement, for example, “Unit Oversight Mentoring” and “One-to-One Mentoring” options. Together, they offer a layered or scaffolded structure of support for early and/or mid-career faculty members. In addition, these are not one-size-fits-all approaches to mentoring. There exists the capacity to revise each method so that it best fits the needs, dynamics and structure of a college, campus, department or program.

From our view, Michigan’s “Five Approaches” provide an excellent starting point for unit leadership seeking to implement a new structure of support and for those interested in a revision to a current mentoring program. Remember that mentoring is service and should probably not require a heavy lift on the part of mentors or mentees. The goal is to encourage relationship building that will support the productivity and success of those more junior.

The Five Approaches

Columbia University

A comprehensive guide to mentoring intended to support academic unit leadership, guidance for those who serve as mentors, and reference for potential faculty mentees in search of strategies for working with mentors. The guide pays particular attention to mentoring relationships that support women and marginalized faculty members.

Harvard University

This resource offers three brief guides to “the responsibilities of departments, mentors, and mentees…that encapsulate key concepts and practices and are written to be stand-alone documents, for convenient use by departments, mentors, and mentees.”

See Harvard University’s “Mentoring Rings”: small groups of five, two mentors and three mentees who connect and learn from one another.