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"Knowing that newcomers experience significant challenges and dramatic change within the first year of their tenure-earning lives and that stress levels tend to escalate thereafter (Rice, Sorcinelli, & Austin, 2000; Sorcinelli, 1994), we are invested in the belief it takes a village to raise new faculty. In order to help new professors feel a sense of community in their workplaces and to learn how to maneuver the ambiguities of tenure systems, we heed the lessons of salient studies that underscore this dual problem in the academy (e.g., Boice, 1991; Rice, et al., 2000; Sorcinelli, 1994). Toward this end, mentoring and collegiality can go a long way to support tenure-earning faculty in understanding their complex environments and in adjusting and experiencing success more quickly (Bode; 1999; Ostroff & Kozlowski, 1993)" (Excerpt from "It Takes a Village to Raise New Faculty, by Carol Mullen and Colleen Kennedy).

First year faculty members are encouraged to enter into a mentoring relationship with a more experienced faculty member. This relationship is intended to allow the new faculty member insight into the structure of Fontbonne University as well as provide a resource for information on teaching methods, classroom management, time management, tenure considerations, and other areas of concern for new faculty members. The Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs is responsible for identifying possible mentors and facilitating introductions between the new faculty member and the mentor.

For faculty members who are not new to campus but who would like to establish a mentoring relationship with a more experienced faculty member, please contact the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the staff will be happy to help identify your needs and find a mentor with matching skills. If you are interested in entering into a mentoring relationship as a mentor or a mentee, please contact the staff at the Center.

Here are a few links to more information about mentoring in higher education.

  • For the complete article It Takes a Village to Raise New Faculty by Carol Mullen and Colleen Kennedy, click here .
  • This newsletter from the University of Calgary summarizes many of the strengths of entering into a mentoring relationship.
  • This site from the Office of Professional and Organizational Developmen t at Michigan State University offers multiple links to sites about mentoring, as well as special considerations for minority and female faculty members.

Recommended Book from the Center

Zachary, Lois J. (2000). The Mentor's Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. The Mentor's Guide combines discussion and literature review with workbook-like elements and is designed to assist those who are mentoring others, whether in formal or informal mentoring relationships. Zachary includes chapters on understanding the learning process, types of mentoring relationships, phases of mentoring, and strategies for making the relationship successful.