Mentoring Junior Faculty at NC State

All paths lead to the Belltower

Fall surrounds the Memorial Belltower. PHOTO BY ROGER WINSTEAD

Two faculty members in a lab
Melinda Box, lab tech in organic chemistry, and student assistant. Melinda is also a member of the Staff Diversity Advisory Board.

The Office for Institutional Equity (OIED) and the Office of Faculty Development are pleased to announce the formation of a new Full Professors’ Community. The first meeting of the group featured Katharine Stewart, NC State’s new vice provost for faculty affairs, facilitating a discussion of various models for mentoring junior faculty. Faculty mentoring can provide invaluable assistance and support to faculty in three domains: (1) tasks required to attain career goals; (2) navigating interpersonal aspects of faculty life, and (3) handling “intrapersonal” issues within yourself, such as reacting productively to a savage review of a manuscript.

Mentors do not necessarily have or need to have all the answers, but they can be very effective in asking questions to guide thinking about career steps. One such set of questions is “What’s the gap between where you are now and the credentials and skills to get to your next desired step in your career? What action will you need to take to fill in the gap? What new learning experience do you need?” This is called a gap analysis in a worksheet developed by Dr. Stewart to facilitate career planning for faculty.

This fall, OIED and the Office of Faculty Development will be offering several more programs on mentoring faculty and graduate students. Mentoring is the theme of several sessions of the 2015-16 Faculty Communities. The faculty communities provide an informal setting to meet other faculty and discuss issues of common interest. The intent is to enhance faculty experience in a way that fits easily into faculty schedules.

Register for meetings of the Assistant, Associate, Full Professors or Non-Tenure Track Faculty Communities at  Meetings are open to all faculty. Some will be of more interest to faculty at one rank or another. In the listing below, the hosting community is shown in parentheses. Upcoming topics are:

  • October 9 (NTT): Using Learning Analytics to Make Informed Choices about your Teaching
  • October 13 (Associate): Creating and Sustaining Effective Mentoring Relationships with Graduate Students
  • October 23 (Assistant and the Proposal Development Unit): Writing a Research Grant Application: Tips for Success (Webinar)
  • October 23 (NTT): Non-Tenure Track Faculty Members at NC State: A Conversation with Dr. Katharine Stewart
  • November 11 (Full): Entrepreneurship; Commercialization of Research
  • November 17 (Associate): Scholarly Reassignment (Sabbaticals)
  • November 18 (Assistant): Importance of Having your own Mentors; Establishing Efficient Mentoring Relationships

The Assistant, Associate, Full, and Non-Tenure Track Faculty Communities’ websites contain full information about dates, times, locations and speakers for these events.

Dr. Marcia Gumpertz is assistant vice provost for faculty diversity in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.