Mentoring is a process through which a new, untenured faculty member receives guidance and support for successful career enhancement and professional advancement. The mentoring process is all about sharing knowledge and experience. For new faculty members, mentoring is critical to facilitate a smooth transition into the new work environment, culture, and its many demands. A newly-hired faculty member needs a trusted accomplished guide to assist them in achieving their goals. A good mentoring relationship will benefit both the mentor and the mentee. Mentors guide the new faculty on issues related to teaching, research, and organizational culture. In many cases, mentors may also provide guidance of a more personal and social nature.
The New Faculty Mentor Program at Western Illinois University was established with the singular goal of facilitating a smooth transition for new faculty into the WIU and Macomb environments. Through our office, a new faculty member is linked with an established faculty member(s) who can answer the questions that inevitably arise during the first year.
- To assist new faculty in becoming familiar with the entire range of WIU academic services.
- To familiarize new faculty with the many instructional approaches available in the classroom.
- To help new faculty interact effectively with the diverse students who attend WIU.
- To expose new faculty to the multitude of opportunities for career success at WIU.
- To familiarize new faculty with WIU and its culture.
- To introduce new faculty across campus in order to establish a network that will provide collaborative opportunities.
- To facilitate exchanges between new faculty and members of the WIU and Macomb communities.
- To benefit the University by enhancing productivity, encouraging collaboration, facilitating and increasing understanding among faculty, thus developing collegiality and decreasing attrition.
Mentor's General Role
- Advisor: To act as a resource for the new faculty member; offer him/her an avenue for social and emotional support during his/her transition into the WIU environment; familiarize the new faculty with the numerous sources and resources throughout the University community.
- Role model: To provide "a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction" (John Grosby).
- Coach: To advise new faculty on how to accomplish his/her goals, provide feedback, help the new faculty member develop alternatives to work-related problems, or create learning opportunities. The Mentor also helps the new faculty in developing organizational and professional skills and in becoming well-integrated in the WIU culture. The mentor facilitates the creation of an atmosphere where new faculty members can learn from their own and each other's experiences, mistakes, and successes as well as from his/her mentors' experiences.
- Supporter: To engage the mentee in supportive discussions, and to help him/her establish a professional network.
Mentors can choose one or more of these three areas to focus on. New faculty will have the opportunity to sign-up for mentoring in these areas during the orientation registration process.
- Teaching (e.g. e ective teaching in the classroom; teaching to a diverse population; assessment strategies)
- Research (e.g. assisting with research project design and implementation; facilitating access to research and data analysis software)
- Service (e.g. service work related to the discipline; liaison with external organizations to bene t WIU students and/or the community at large)
Responsibilities of New Faculty
The New Faculty Mentor Program at WIU is designed to provide assistance and guidance. The following are the responsibilities of the new faculty:
- Maintain regular contact with their mentors.
- Meet with and engage the mentor to voice concerns and issues.
- Be proactive in understanding and managing the expectation for tenure and promotion within your department.
- Utilize opportunities for professional growth and excellence in teaching, research, and service.
- Take responsibility, be an active agent and judge of appropriate course of action for career advancement.
Support and Administration
The activities of new faculty and their mentors are supported by the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research and the Office of the Provost and Academic Vice President. Immediate coordination and administration is provided by Roger Runquist, Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research.
To become involved in this program, please complete the Orientation Registration Form. For further information about the program, please contact the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research (309-298-2434).
Presentations and Discussions
Since new faculty often share some of the same questions and concerns as they begin their work at WIU, The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research schedules presentations and discussions specifically for new faculty. Among the topics likely to be covered are the contract, classroom management issues, available support services, importance of writing, and balancing teaching, research, and service. New faculty and their mentors will receive notification of all of these programs and are invited to suggest other topics and issues.
Please contact us if you would like to participate in this program.