Mentoring makes use of someone experienced in teaching and/or research who is willing to help a colleague to do the best job possible. The assistance provided by the mentor depends upon the request of the person seeking it. The tasks of the mentor vary from simply answering questions about procedures or policies (for example, attendance, grading, make-up exams) to discussing issues directly related to teaching or research (for example, what is an effective way to present certain material, or how to organize a specific teaching exercise, or what should be included in a covering letter for an article submission to a journal) to giving the benefit of experience in dealing with more difficult problems (for example, instances of plagiarism or cheating). A mentor might also be helpful in addressing the complexities of balancing one's commitments to teaching, research, and service. Such mentoring can be valuable even to an experienced teacher and scholar. The mentoring process will be completely confidential and will remain entirely outside the evaluation processes of the University.
Since 1992, a total of 427 new faculty have been provided with mentors; 157 faculty have served as mentors, with many of them serving more than once. The CTSE coordinates the assignment of mentors from the volunteer pool. Attempts are made to assign mentors with similar interests and/or from allied disciplines, if possible. Faculty members are intentionally not assigned to serve as mentors for new faculty within their own department.
Mentoring pairs are provided with a complimentary lunch at the University Club. In addition to the various CTSE activities that are open to all faculty, a special reception is held at the beginning of the academic year for new faculty and their mentors. Several “Learn & Lunch” sessions are held for new faculty throughout the academic year to discuss teaching, publication, service, preparing a tenure file, and other topics of interest.