Loyola University Maryland

Academic Affairs and Diversity

Mentoring

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Introduction

Loyola has a 150-year history of challenging students to "learn, lead, and serve in a diverse and changing world." The University has gained a well-earned reputation for strong teaching and educational leadership in the region, and among religious and secular private colleges of its size. Our goal is that Loyola students continue to receive a stimulating Jesuit education as the University grows and changes with the times

The faculty is the heart of our effort to provide the best education for Loyola students. The office of academic affairs is piloting the faculty-to-faculty mentoring program to support tenure track faculty as they acclimate to the Loyola teaching, research, and service environments. The program supports faculty members as they enhance their teaching proficiency, develop and integrate into their teaching schedules an active scholarly research program, and become involved in campus and community service.

The faculty-to-faculty mentoring program calls on experienced tenured faculty to share their teaching and research expertise with faculty new to college-level teaching, or new to the Loyola community. Additionally, faculty who agree to mentor others will offer constructive and practical advice on how to "live" with the busy tenure process and the demands of campus life. The goal of the program is two-fold. First, it is part of our welcome to the Evergreen campus. Second, the faculty-to-faculty mentoring program helps participating faculty develop important links to Loyola’s larger academic and cultural community.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring has been a mainstay among faculty in colleges and universities for at least two decades. As new faculty enter academic positions, they meet challenges that can make the process of becoming a "colleague" uncomfortable, and even discouraging. Even more seasoned faculty who have joined Loyola after years at another institution will encounter an unfamiliar college culture. Mentors offer guidance: they interpret the environment for newcomers, and serve as an anchor and an information source. They can be the key to a new faculty member’s sense of comfort in the University community.

Tenured faculty members, usually volunteering for a single academic year (unless they wish to volunteer for a longer period), guide untenured, tenure track faculty as they develop professionally and approach important junctures in their professional lives. All parties, mentors and protégés, agree to participate in a formalized program that includes convenient mentor-protégé meetings, organized, professional development seminars as necessary, and social events during the academic year. Participation is voluntary, though strongly encouraged. One's success in the tenure process is not dependent upon participation in the faculty-to-faculty mentoring program.

The faculty-to-faculty mentoring relationship is quite flexible. Untenured faculty consult with mentors about their goals, and may change and re-shape them as the pair deems necessary. The mentoring pair may wish to periodically include department chairs in their discussions. They may focus on teaching, research, service, scholarly production, or any academic and professional development matter that they agree needs attention as the protégé progresses. Moreover, the relationship assumes a commitment through the academic year on the part of both participants. While the mentor and the protégé may not share a departmental home, (e.g., depending on the availability of participants, a sociologist may be paired with a psychologist, or a historian may be paired with a literature scholar) the mentor will be well equipped to assist the protégé throughout the term of the relationship. Mentors' commitments are to see the protégé toward the achievement of stated goal, connect the protégé with extra-campus resources that may be helpful, and to make sure the protégé has access to, and knows how to, take advantage of all of the professional development services available on campus.

How is the office of academic affairs involved in the faculty-to-faculty mentoring program?

The office of academic affairs coordinates the faculty-to-faculty mentoring program. That is, the office:

  • Provides initial mentor-protégé pairings;
  • Plans and offers appropriate training for mentors;
  • Organizes the program’s workshops, seminars, and social events for mentors and protégés;
  • Provides mediation and re-assignment for mentoring pairs, as necessary;
  • Evaluates the program annually for effectiveness; and
  • Maintains only limited records on program participation.

The office will maintain minimal documentation of the mentoring relationships. Academic affairs will maintain a confidential file of participation forms, a list of mentoring pairs for administrative purposes only, information regarding the trainings, workshops, and seminars, and program evaluation materials. No notes will be maintained on the detailed content of mentoring relationships. Department chairs and deans will be consulted to nominate and review the slate of mentors who volunteer to participate in the program. The Faculty Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate will help evaluate and continuously improve the faculty-to-faculty mentoring program.