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Mentoring Initiatives

The UH Center for ADVANCING Faculty Success provides mentoring support through a multi-pronged mentoring system. This system is based on the recognition that dyadic mentoring relationships may not provide all types of support a junior faculty member needs. We thus utilize a variety of programs that provide tools for knowledge sharing and advice seeking, recognizing that mentoring systems geared towards technical development share few of the characteristics of mentoring systems geared towards providing critical psychosocial support or political advice at critical career points. Although a number of mentoring models exist, current research indicates that faculty benefit from varied mentoring experiences that support different needs (Thomas, Bystydzienski & Desai, 2015; Yip & Kram, 2016).

The Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success used the literature base and an in-depth analysis of UH faculty needs (i.e. needs assessment, focus groups, surveys) to situate mentoring experiences within select ADVANCE activities to support faculty development outcomes.

  • Promotion and Tenure: The annual Mid-Career Women Faculty Workshop offers a half-day session that includes keynote talks, expert panel discussions, resources, and networking opportunities for associate professor women faculty going up for promotion. The Center has also developed two departmental mentoring resource aids (UH Mentoring Guides) focused on mentoring women faculty toward promotion and tenure. The UH Mentoring Guides were developed by a working group of ADVANCE department chairs, Advocates, and committee members to use in developing their own mentoring support mechanisms for women assistant and associate professors.
  • Leadership: The Center supports leadership mentoring in two distinct ways. To date, the Center has supported six mid-career and senior women faculty as Administrator Fellows to work with administrative leaders on specific research projects that align with an institutional need. These projects increase the Fellow’s leadership knowledge and exposure, and allow for one-to-one mentoring with a senior leader. Fellows are selected from a competitive call for proposals and provided a stipend and a one-course release during the project.

The Center also developed leadership development materials to prepare women faculty members interested in pursuing department chair positions. The Chair Leadership Competency materials include a list of department chair leadership competency areas, a list of UH and external leadership development activities aligned to each competency and instructions for department chairs or other college-level leaders to use when discussing future leadership trajectories with faculty.

  • Scholarly productivity and research grants: UH ADVANCE recognizes the importance of research mentoring aimed at increasing publication and external funding outcomes. With the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Engineering, we developed a mock-panel based system for mentoring women in the grant writing process. Along with the Administrator Fellow’s project, the Center also supports women faculty of color (WoC) in developing research networks through the Distinguished Scholars Program for Women of Color. This program funds a WOC faculty member to bring a mentor to campus for a two-day visit, networking, and one-to-one mentoring with the UH faculty.
  • Networks & Connection: Recognizing that developing networks among WoC can be especially difficult, the Center supports a WoC Faculty Resource and Support Group that works directly with the Assistant Provost for Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Equity and Diversity to develop programs and events. The ADVANCE Advocate program also brings together women and men faculty advocates to learn, explore and advocate for ADVANCE programming and resources in their respective colleges. The Center supports multiple networking opportunities for women through the ADVANCE office and our campus partners (e.g. Women and Gender Studies, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, LGBT Resource Center, Center for Mexican American Studies, Faculty Engagement and Development-FED). We further co-host a panel mentoring event, where faculty members can submit anonymous questions that senior faculty members across campus answer.

References

Thomas, N., Bystydzienski, J., & Desai, A. (2015). Changing institutional culture through peer mentoring of women STEM faculty. Innovative Higher Education, 40(2), 143-157.