Central to our goal of developing our faculty, we instituted a Mentoring-by-Rank program designed to prepare our faculty to succeed at their current rank and understand the path to promotion. Cohorts of faculty have several opportunities a year to focus on their issues and questions in meetings dedicated to helping them advance their careers. Faculty meet with the Dean, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and the Divisional deans. We view this as an opportunity to advance our values for a culture of excellence in research, teaching and service.
For faculty at each rank, such mentoring provides the following benefits:
- An opportunity for faculty members to get to know the deans and vice versa, and to build trust and relationships in support of career enhancement;
- An opportunity for faculty to get to know each other across departments and divisions, which helps advance a shared culture of research, teaching & service;
- An opportunity to ask any question of the deans or their colleagues in a safe and confidential space.
The goal of mentoring associate professors who are one to three years past earning tenure is to frame their new responsibilities and opportunities with respect to research, teaching and service. Associate professors are expected to take on more service to the department, school and the university. They are also expected to be inspiring teachers and to advance their teaching skill set. And finally, associate professors should continue their research and to actively pursue promotion to full professor. In essence, this mentoring aims to prepare associate professors to “inherit” the school and advance Trinity in terms of research and the educational experience we provide our students.
Our goal for mentoring assistant professors is to demystify the process of emphasizes earning tenure, to outline appropriate service as related to the faculty members’ research, and to ensure faculty are actively learning how to teach. The confidentiality of the assistant professor mentoring programs allows our junior faculty to get clear facts on what they need to do to earn tenure. It also helps them to better understand the culture of the school and university, and to develop colleague relationships with other faculty at the same rank.
Professors of the Practice
Mentoring meetings with professors of the practice also focus on achieving excellence in teaching and career advancement at Duke.