Dean of the Faculty

Welcome to Reed's Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Faculty Mentoring Program

Here you will find an overview of the Reed College Junior Faculty Mentoring Program, including guidelines and advice for mentors and mentees. For a full account of the history, evolution, and goals of faculty mentoring at the college, see the Committee on Mentoring AY2020–2021 Report.

Structure of the Program

  • Normally, new tenure-track (TT) faculty are paired with one senior colleague outside of their department and one or more inside their department.

  • Formal mentoring lasts through the first self-evaluation period in early fall of the second year. We recommend at least two mentor-mentee meetings per semester.

  • The Associate Dean of the Faculty and Mentoring Committee provide support to mentors and mentees, including connecting with additional mentors on and off-campus.

  • Each mentor pair has $250 at their disposal to use for meals off campus, etc.

  • Neither mentor, nor mentee will provide formal letters of evaluation to the Committee on Advancement and Tenure for the other during the formal mentoring period. Without express permission, mentoring conversations should be treated as confidential.

Tips for Mentees

Start here

  • Mentees can expect mentors to reach out soon after you have both been notified of your match.
  • Try to meet in person two times a semester. 
  • Mentors can serve many roles. We recommend that for your very first meeting, you use this list to help identify and convey what you need and want from your mentor.
  • For following meetings, consider choosing from this list of topics to discuss to guide your conversation.

Further advice

  • For a deep dive into advice to new faculty on how to make the most of mentoring relationships, see this chapter.
  • Write down questions as they occur to you to ask at your next mentor meeting.
  • Branch out from your mentor. Ask your mentor for names of faculty who can help you in various areas. You can use your stipend for any other mentoring relationships, including peer mentoring.
  • Realize that your success is important not just to you, but also to your department and the college. “Going it alone" doesn't work that well for anyone.
  • At the end of spring semester, you may want to talk to your mentor about the 2nd-year review, how to prepare, what to expect, how to deal with different outcomes. They can preview documents and debrief after reviews. 
  • If it ain’t working out like you’d hoped, don’t fret too much. Find other folks who have what you are looking for. Talk to your cohort, or your department colleagues, etc. Reach out to the Associate Dean of the Faculty: they are a non-evaluative, confidential source of support and can help connect you to other faculty.

Some sources

Tips for Mentors

Start here

  • Mentors should reach out to their mentee and invite them to meet as soon as both are notified of their match.
  • Try to meet in person two times a semester. Send an email monthly during the academic year just to check in. You might also invite another colleague who would be a useful/good person for your mentee to meet to join you for a mentoring coffee.
  • In the first meeting, discuss what sort of mentoring relationship you hope to build. This list of nine possibilities is a great way to ground that conversation. 
  • For following meetings, consider choosing from this list of topics to discuss to guide your conversation.

Further advice

  • You are not expected to be a guru and you are not expected to know all the answers. The most important thing you can do is to help network your mentee with people on campus who can become part of their mentoring network to give them what they need.
  • Ask about and encourage accomplishments. Provide constructive criticism and impromptu feedback.
  • Use your knowledge and experience to help the junior faculty member identify and build on their own strengths.
  • At the end of spring semester, talk to your mentee about the 2nd-year review, how to prepare, what to expect, how to deal with different outcomes. Offer to preview documents and debrief after reviews. Reach out again right before 4th-year and tenure reviews.
  • Exchange CVs with your mentee to stimulate discussion about career paths and possibilities.
  • Encourage them to apply for internal funding and fellowship opportunities.
  • Share insider knowledge about the institutional, school, and departmental culture, i.e., what is valued? What is rewarded? What do you wish you had known when you were in their position?
  • Share knowledge of important department, university and professional events that should be attended by the junior faculty member.
  • Mutually mentor: Ask them for advice in relevant areas where they can help you, e.g., your research plans, social media engagement, teaching, etc.
  • Let your mentee know they can talk to the Associate Dean of Faculty to learn about important work-life balance policies like paid caregiving leave, faculty daycare subsidies, stopping the tenure clock, etc.

Addressing more serious issues raised by mentee

  • The mentor’s primary role is normally to listen and counsel, to help the mentee problem solve.
  • Encourage the mentee to talk to appropriate people depending on the issue at hand (Department Chair, ADOF, Dean of the Faculty, Office for Institutional Diversity, Equal Opportunity Employment Officer, Faculty Title IX Deputy), and, if you want to, offer to join them in the conversation if that would help make it happen or feel more comfortable.
  • Contact the Dean of Faculty's office if you feel that additional interventions would be useful; you don’t have to put yourself in the position of intervening or advocating for your mentee.

Some sources

Additional Support for New Faculty

  • Office of the Dean of the Faculty: In addition to the array of support the Dean of the Faculty provides all faculty, in collaboration with the Office for Institutional Diversity, this office runs the New Faculty Seminar geared specifically to the needs of incoming colleagues, tenure track and visiting.
  • Center for Teaching and Learning: Provides programmatic support for pedagogical development.
  • Office for Institutional Diversity: Provides programmatic and direct support for all faculty in learning and implementing inclusive and anti-racist practices in teaching, advising, and personal interactions. Provides programmatic and direct support to faculty from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups in navigating professional and personal challenges and opportunities at Reed.
  • Committee on Diversity: Sponsors activities that dovetail with faculty development; supports initiatives related to faculty mentoring work.
  • Department chairs: Ensure that new TT faculty have regular, department-based mentoring. In many departments, this will mean that one person is assigned the role of mentor; in some, this role is treated as a common project. In either case, the chair will communicate with new TT faculty what the arrangement is. Departments are encouraged to pair visiting faculty with a departmental mentor. Receive training as part of the on-going Chairs workshop series.