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Interdisciplinary Mentoring Program

The Interdisciplinary Mentoring program is for faculty in their first two years at Boise State.  If requested, each new faculty member will be matched with a mentor who is an experienced faculty member from a discipline different from their own.

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This partnering across disciplines and colleges provides a safe place for discussion and mutual exchange of ideas and information, free of any conflicts that might arise when mentors are also part of an evaluation process.  The job of the mentor will be to help you become familiar with our campus dynamics, offerings and opportunities, and provide one-on-one communication to help you be successful in your new position.

ITwo professors discuss the mentoring program.f you are interested in having a mentor from a different discipline, please complete this form. If you are interested in being a mentor, please complete this Mentor Interest Survey. Find more information for mentors, mentees, and the program below. Any questions can be directed to Tasha Souza at tashasouza@boisestate.edu.

 

Mentor

Goals

Mentors can:

  • Share their knowledge and experience with new faculty and gain professional satisfaction.
  • Assist new faculty to quickly adjust to the campus and address their special needs, concerns, or questions, if any.
  • Help shape the careers of new colleagues and enjoy opportunities for self-renewal.
  • Provide a valuable service to the university by promoting collegiality through mentoring.
  • Contribute to the overall improvement in teaching, research, and service at Boise State.

Roles and Responsibilities

Mentors can take on various roles, such as coach, friend, champion, advocate, career guide, role model, instructional resource, research partner, or confidant depending on the needs of their new faculty and the nature of their mentoring relationship.

Mentors are responsible for:

  • Taking the initiative for contacting their mentees and staying in touch with them.
    • Mentor matches are encouraged to meet one time per month over the first two semesters.
  • Devoting time to the relationship and be available when requested.
  • Assisting new faculty with their various questions, needs, or concerns.
    • The mentor can provide informal advice to the new faculty member on aspects of teaching, research and service or be able to direct the new faculty member to appropriate other individuals.
    • Often the greatest assistance a mentor can provide is simply the identification of which staff one should approach for which task.
  • Sharing their knowledge and experience to benefit their new faculty and following up on their progress at Boise State.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of the information shared by their new faculty colleagues.
    • Treat all interactions and discussions in confidence. There is no evaluation or assessment of the new faculty member on the part of the mentor, only supportive guidance and constructive feedback.

Benefits

  • Satisfaction in assisting in the development of a colleague
  • Ideas for and feedback about the mentor’s own teaching/scholarship
  • A network of colleagues who have passed through the program
  • Retention of excellent faculty colleagues
  • Recognition of one’s own professional skills by the mentee
  • Recognition from peers and administrators for service.


Previous Boise State faculty mentors noted the following benefits of participation:

  • Opportunity to look at the University through new eyes
  • Creation of a stronger University community
  • Opportunity to connect with faculty in other disciplines and understand more about how they and their department do their work
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Opportunity to reflect on their own careers
  • Opportunity to give back to the University community
  • Learning better strategies for making work-life choices

 

Mentee

Goals

New faculty can:

  • Learn about Boise State University, its facilities, and support resources.
  • Adjust to the new environment and become active members of the university quickly.
  • Address questions, concerns, and special needs in a confidential manner.
  • Gain insight about teaching and career development from a seasoned veteran.
  • Network with other faculty and develop a personal support system within Boise State.

Roles and Responsibilities

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. The new faculty member should keep his/her mentor informed of any problems or concerns as they arise.

Mentees are responsible for:

  • Devoting the time to the mentoring relationship and interacting with the mentor often.
  • Making use of the opportunities provided by the mentor.
  • Keeping the mentor informed of progress, difficulties, and concerns.
  • Exchanging ideas and experiences with the mentor.
  • Seeking help and support when needed.

Benefits

  • Greater career and job satisfaction
  • Greater sense of efficacy in one’s professional skills
  • More predictable career advancement


Previous Boise State faculty mentees noted the following benefits of participation:

  • Increased connections to faculty across campus
  • Models for skills and attitudes
  • Development of a long-term perspective
  • Normalization of feelings and experiences
  • Opportunity to consider how to define and establish goals
  • Dialogue about pedagogy, grading, and the mundane “nuts and bolts” of faculty work
  • Opportunity to receive feedback from faculty outside home department
  • Increased understanding of the invisible structures of the University
  • Advice and support about the tenure process

 

Additional Information

Suggested Mentoring Activities

Mentors and new faculty are encouraged to meet at least once per month during the first two semesters and keep in touch through phone or email. Suggested mentoring activities are:

  • Discuss short term and long-term career goals and professional interests.
  • Attend the programs/events offered by the CTL and/or other campus units.
  • Share information on academic and student support services on campus.
  • Discuss effective instructional strategies, course development and curricular issues.
  • Explore research and sponsored funding opportunities, and writing publications.
  • Discuss academic policies and guidelines, and university governance structures.
  • Share information on instructional resources useful to new faculty.
  • Discuss student issues such as advising, motivating, and handling academic dishonesty.
  • Share experiences on managing time, handling stress, and balancing workload effectively.
  • Discuss preparing for tenure and promotion and career advancement.
  • Explore professional development opportunities available to new faculty.
  • Address special needs or questions and help in troubleshooting difficult situations.

Matching, Duration, and Feedback

Matching Mentors with New Faculty
Mentors were identified through recommendations of the deans, chairs, and faculty colleagues. New faculty who are lecturers, clinical faculty, and tenure track were invited to participate and voluntarily agreed to participate as a mentee. Matches with mentees were made by CTL staff based on intake forms that identified common areas of interest. 

Duration of the Mentoring Process
The CTL supports the mentor matches for the first two semesters of the mentoring relationship. However, no set duration is required for the mentoring relationship. 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, and if so, if the frequency of meetings should change. The CTL supports the mentor matches for the first two semesters of the mentoring relationship. At any point during the mentoring process, if a mentor or new faculty feels that the relationship is not productive or compatible, the Interdisciplinary Mentor Program Coordinator should be informed so that a change can be made.

Feedback
Mentors and new faculty will be checked in with periodically and requested to provide feedback on the progress of their relationships at the end of the second semester so that the CTL can evaluate the program and use the feedback to improve the program in the future.

A SAFE Mentoring Environment

The mentoring partnership must be established so that the both partners feel safe to express their thoughts and feelings, and to take risks.

Shows genuine interest
Addresses issues openly
Fosters collaboration
Empathizes with perspectives other than one’s own

Showing genuine interest means being committed and invested in the mentoring partnership.

Addressing issues openly means being straightforward and honest about perceived areas of need.

Fostering collaboration includes reinforcing brainstorming, creativity, and learning together.

Empathy means listening to understand the other’s point of view and includes the ability to restate another person’s ideas and concerns accurately.