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Mentoring and Communication

Theories and Practices

Edited By Diana Trebing and Ahmet Atay

Although mentoring occupies a paramount role in higher education and is part of a faculty’s expected duties, nowadays increasingly so, it is not an area to which graduate schools pay close attention. There is no formalized training and faculty and graduate students alike are expected to know how to mentor effectively once they graduate or start a new teaching or administrative position. This book tackles two interrelated issues: the role and importance of mentoring in the communication discipline as well as critical/cultural studies and using critical communication to illuminate the ways in which students and junior faculty among others are mentored in higher education. The authors of these chapters present a position or an issue in regards to mentoring students and faculty or the lack of it in higher education. Their goal is to generate a scholarly discussion by utilizing qualitative and narrative-based research approaches and critical and cultural perspectives to promote awareness about the importance of mentoring. Additionally, the authors highlight some of the important issues in mentoring as a form of critical communication pedagogy and present some guidelines, ideas, and examples to mentor more effectively. This edited book will be helpful for various audiences. First, it will provide guidance for graduate students, junior and senior faculty members who are asked to mentor others at various stages of their academic careers. Second, it will help students and faculty who are currently trying to identify and work with mentors. And third, it gives ideas on what to do and not to do in successful mentor-mentee relationships.
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chapter 2 Mentoring New Faculty in an Age of Neoliberalism

Extract

David H. Kahl, Jr.

New faculty face numerous challenges because neoliberalism has changed the landscape of higher education. After they complete graduate school and begin their first university appointments, new faculty often experience contrasting emotions. They feel a sense of accomplishment for finishing a rigorous graduate program and securing a position at a university. They also may experience a sense of excitement in moving to a new location, beginning their employment at a new institution of higher education, and general sense of elation about what is to come. These positive emotions, however, are increasingly overshadowed by negative emotions—emotions that evoke unease due to the neoliberal pressures placed upon the professoriate by social, cultural, governmental, and economic forces that are becoming increasingly deleterious for faculty. Neoliberalism has injurious influence on higher education and exacts pressure on all university faculty. However, neoliberalism presents greater challenges for new faculty because they have had little-to-no experience navigating them. They find themselves not only constrained by the persuasiveness of neoliberal practices but also experience feelings of isolation and lack of support regarding the challenges they face.

In this chapter, I will discuss critical communication pedagogy (CCP) as one possible framework to address problems that neoliberalism forces upon faculty. To do so, I will first discuss CCP and its relationship to the process of critical mentoring. Second, I will discuss how neoliberalism has changed university culture in ←35 | 36→ways that have led to the perilous position in which new faculty...

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