The NSF ADVANCE team and the Morgan Teaching and Learning Center are excited to announce the launch of a mentoring system for all full-time faculty at the Associate rank. By faculty vote in October 2018, we collectively decided that Associate Professors, whether tenured, teaching-track, or research-track, would be encouraged to establish a mentoring team to foster continuing professional development and promotion in academic rank. It may be helpful to think of these three-person mentoring teams as the self-formed, more flexible equivalent of departmental tenure committees. A few notes:

  • This message serves as a heads-up to senior faculty, since you may start to receive requests in the coming months from colleagues at the Associate rank who are forming their mentoring teams. Our strong culture of mentoring for early career faculty seems to be a point of pride, so we are hopeful that will spread to supporting each other at mid-career.
  • More information and guidance on mentoring teams and programming and resources for Associate Professors and their mentors can be found on our ADVANCE Canvas site. Current resources include a sample of successful promotion packages. A more comprehensive set of guidance is in the works.
  • Professional development plans (PDPs) are a powerful tool for professional growth and career advancement and can serve as the focal point for mentorship. We’ve created a PDP template tailored to WPI and our progressive Associate-to-Full promotion policy. We encourage you to check it out on our Canvas site. More than 25 faculty have started using it.
  • Mentoring teams that agree to participate in a modest amount of programming and training and provide feedback to the ADVANCE team will receive $1,000 in professional development funds as a token of appreciation. We want to learn a lot from the early adopters to build a system that works effectively for diverse individuals and benefits the institution.
  • Please register your mentoring team here to receive information about programming for Associate Professor mentoring teams and to sign up for the "paid pilot."