"A mentor is a wise and trusted teacher. In Greek mythology, Mentor was Odysseus' counselor"
This is a voluntary program through which experienced faculty at Northern Illinois University (NIU) knowledgeable about the campus and academic life are matched with new faculty to orient them to NIU, inform them about campus support services, and assist them in the early stages of their academic careers at NIU. This program is not meant to be a substitute for existing mentoring programs at the department or college levels but can be a supplement to those programs. For more information about the New Faculty Mentoring Program, contact the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.
Help new faculty members to:
Encourage experienced faculty to:
Mentors and new faculty are encouraged to meet face-to-face frequently during the first two semesters and keep in touch frequently through phone or email. Suggested mentoring activities are:
The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center will match new faculty at their request with senior faculty mentors from the same department, college, or outside the college. If a new faculty's department or college has assigned a mentor from within the department or college, the new faculty can still request mentors from outside the department or college. Mentors are usually identified through personal contacts, recommendations of the deans, chairs, and colleagues.
As the research on successful mentoring has suggested, mentors assigned are generally of the same gender as the new faculty. However, mentors of particular gender, race, ethnicity, or background can be requested for multicultural development or other professional development reasons.
No set duration is required for the mentoring relationship between a mentor and a new faculty. It is recommended that mentors and new faculty interact frequently during the first two semesters. At the end of the second semester they can decide if it is necessary to continue the mentoring relationship at the same pace, or on an as needed basis, or conclude it if individual goals have been met.
At any point during the mentoring process, if a mentor or new faculty feels that the relationship is not productive, the Center should be informed so that a different mentor or new faculty can be assigned. Due to the voluntary nature of the program, the Center cannot monitor the mentoring relationship closely or guarantee the outcomes of individual mentor-new faculty relationships.
Mentors and new faculty will be requested to provide feedback on the progress of their relationships at the end of the second semester so that the Center can evaluate the program and use the feedback to improve the program in the future.
Mentors can take on various roles, such as coach, friend, champion, advocate, career guide, role model, instructional resource, or confidant depending on the needs of their new faculty and the nature of their mentoring relationship.
Mentors are responsible for:
New Faculty can take on various roles such as friend, protégé, new colleague, or junior faculty depending on their needs, academic experience, and the nature of their mentoring relationship.
Mentees are responsible for:
Both the mentors and new faculty colleagues have the responsibility for gaining each other's trust and confidence, interacting in a collegial manner so as to value each other's time, and professional and personal commitments, and engaging in activities that support the mission of NIU.
Acknowledgments and additional information
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the POD members and the institutions listed above for sharing information about mentoring programs at their institutions.
For more information about the New Faculty Mentoring Program at Northern Illinois University, please contact the Center.
Last Updated: 7/30/2014