Mentoring5. The Task Force recommends the development and adoption of a formal mentoring program for junior faculty.
One of the greatest difficulties of junior faculty is organizing their time well in the crucial early years while writing lectures and teaching plans for new courses, initiating research projects as well as getting used to their new place in academia.
While the chair of each department sometimes takes on a mentoring role for new faculty, the evaluative responsibilities of the chair may interfere with the flow of advice.
Too often junior faculty members proceed through the first 6 years before promotion and tenure without an objective, experienced voice to help them budget time and workload.
The availability of an official mentor from either within or from outside their department for each new faculty member to carefully follow progress outside the rubric of official evaluations, would be an invaluable tool for retaining faculty.
Mentors could clarify university expectations and procedures and coach junior faculty in pedagogical matters and help them frame research projects, grants, and find publishing venues.
The faculty survey suggests that there is now a great need for such a program and many individuals would gladly participate in its implementation.
The survey also showed that Pacific faculty see the greatest value in informal and voluntary mentor relationships.