University of Southern Indiana

Faculty Mentoring Program

The College of Liberal Arts Mentoring Program is designed to assist new full-time (tenure-track and contract) as well as second-year tenure-track faculty members with the transition to life at the University of Southern Indiana. The mentor will come from outside the new faculty member’s home department and will not be involved in evaluation of the person she/he mentors. Efforts will be made to pair mentors with new faculty based on experience, background, and interests. This arrangement does not preclude the department also providing an internal mentor. Every mentoring relationship is different, but this document suggests some common issues and opportunities that often arise during the faculty member’s first and second years.

Best practices for mentoring indicate that short, informal meetings are often more valuable than pre-arranged longer ones. While it is up to the mentor to initiate the relationship, the new faculty member will decide how much contact she/he wants to have with the mentor. It is crucial that the mentor maintain the confidentiality of the relationship.

Mentors have found that new faculty members might have questions concerning:

  • Teaching enhancement — Academic Skills, Information Technology, Copy Center, Rice Library, Distance Education
  • USI’s Support services — graduation checkout, Registrar, Provost’s office, Graduate Studies, Office of Planning, Research, and Assessment (OPRA), International Programs and Services, or the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)
  • Funding opportunities —Sponsored Projects and Research Administration (OSPRA), Faculty Research and Creative Work Awards (FRCWA), Liberal Arts Research Awards (LARA), College of Liberal Arts Faculty Development Award (CLAFDA), USI Summer Research Fellowships, Center for Applied Research (CAR)
  • Faculty assessment and review

A mentor might offer support concerning:

  • Issues relating to teaching, scholarship/creative work, and service and how to balance these 
  • USI’s institutional culture, personnel, and governance

The sole obligation of the new faculty member is to meet with her/his mentor once each semester during the first year. Second-year, tenure-track faculty will meet with their mentors once in the first semester of the second year. The number and type of other meetings will be a matter of mutual agreement between the new faculty member and the mentor. The College will provide funds for each pair to have lunch in the University Center each semester. Arrangements should be made with the Dean's office to use the College of Liberal Arts card one week prior to the lunch meeting. The mentor will return the card and printed receipt no longer than the next day to the Dean's office.

The program formally concludes at the end of the first year for contract faculty and at the end of the second year for tenure-track faculty. Upon completion of the program, the link to an online assessment of the program will be made available to the mentors and the new faculty via e-mail. All data from the assessment will be held in strict confidentiality and used exclusively by the Dean’s Office for improvement of the Mentoring Program.

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