Confidentiality in the Mentoring Program
Effective mentoring relationships typically involve disclosure and sharing of critical incidents. As such, the development of trust through commitment to confidentiality is an essential component of WPI's New Faculty Mentoring Program. Following are principles and guidelines that apply to one-on-one mentoring relationships:
- The overarching purpose of the program is to foster career advancement, not evaluation. Therefore, mentors are asked to use their best judgment in distinguishing between roles and communications that are intended for the constructive development of the mentee, as opposed to those that might result in evaluation of the mentee. Providing information that could be used for the evaluation of the mentee is counter to the goals of the program and should be avoided.
- All conversations between mentor and mentee are to be kept confidential unless both parties agree otherwise for a specific topic of discussion. A caveat would be situations involving sexual harassment, discrimination, or other activity that violates law or policy; confidentiality cannot be guaranteed in these circumstances.
- The mentoring program is widely considered a point of pride at WPI, and there is broad voluntary participation. Thus, there is no need to hide participation in the program. At the same time, the Morgan Center does not disseminate the names of participants, except to the relevant department heads. Each mentoring pair should discuss the extent to which they may talk with others about their mutual participation in the program.
Mentors meet regularly to discuss effective mentoring and share experiences. In order to make these conversations helpful while maintaining confidentiality, mentors agree to the following:
- Mentors can reveal the identities of their mentees to other mentors, with the understanding that information about mentees is to be kept confidential within the program.
- Mentors should not discuss their own mentees with others outside the mentoring program, including department heads, without the permission of their mentees.
- Mentors should not discuss other mentees (not their own) with individuals outside the mentoring program.