Theories and Practices
Edited By Diana Trebing and Ahmet Atay
chapter 7 Informal and Formal Mentoring of Faculty at Undergraduate Teaching Institutions
Donna R. Pawlowski
Every year, new faculty members join higher learning institutions. Faculty members include new doctorates starting tenure-track probationary positions (junior faculty), mid-career faculty taking on the challenge of a new environment, and fixed-term or part-time adjunct faculty members filling what is usually a temporary gap for the university. These new faculty members get acclimated into a culture of already existing faculty, who have been at their institution for months, years, or decades.
Regardless of the level of the position or longevity of one’s history at an institution, teaching, research, and service typically make up the annual review criteria and determine the nature of tenure and promotion or continued employment (Kiel, 2019; Stone, 2018). Based on the institution as research- or teaching-based, the demands may differ, but the pressures and concerns for success can be daunting. While research-based institutions add the extra pressure of “publish or perish,” undergraduate teaching institutions may include professional development and student development as additional annual review criteria. The question becomes, how do faculty meet the required criteria to advance their career?
One such strategy is through mentoring. Zellers, Howard, and Barcic (2008) define mentoring as, “a reciprocal learning relationship characterized by trust, respect, and commitment, in which a mentor supports the professional and personal development of another by sharing his or her life experiences, influence, ←127 | 128→and expertise” (p. 555). This definition may appear simplistic, but the success of mentoring lies in the mentor, the mentee, and...
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