Avenues of Mentoring

Revised April 2009 by the College of Arts and Sciences


A mentor is a faculty member (usually an experienced, senior faculty member) who provides an untenured faculty member with guidance and support that will help them establish a successful academic career. Any tenure-track faculty member may request a mentor from their department chair or Associate Dean. Faculty who agree to serve as mentors and mentees should review the report, Junior Faculty Mentoring: a Report on the National State of the Art and a Best Practices Document for the University of Colorado, available at https://facultyaffairs.colorado.edu/a-z-information-guide-docs/mentoring-resources/. Mentors desiring further assistance should contact their Associate Dean. Departments may choose to recognize significant mentoring activities in the annual merit evaluation.

Mentoring Opportunities

Mentoring opportunities exist at the levels of the department, college and campus. They encompass a range of types of assistance and are available to pre-tenure faculty who choose to take advantage of them.

Academic departments are an important source of guidance for individual untenured faculty. Departments vary in what they provide, but each should also have a document available to all faculty describing, as explicitly as possible, what constitutes acceptable performance in research, teaching, and service from the perspective of the department.

The College of Arts and Sciences provides tenure-track faculty with an orientation session at the time of hiring. In that session the College presents information on the University’s procedures and timelines for the tenure process, and provides time for discussion between new faculty members and their Associate Dean. The College also holds an annual information session on the tenure process for tenure-track faculty to which all pre-tenure faculty are invited.

On campus, there are a variety of programs that provide mentoring opportunities for pre-tenure faculty. Two examples of these are:

  • FTEP (Faculty Teaching Excellence Program) organizes a program, The Early Career Faculty Program, that provides support for tenure-track faculty in fulfilling the multiple responsibilities of their position in a major research university. For details see http://www.colorado.edu/ftep/services/ecfp.html.
  • LEAP (Leadership Education for Advancement and Promotion) provides workshops designed for new faculty interested in improving time management and communication skills, and for meeting other junior faculty. More information is available at http://www.colorado.edu/facultyaffairs/leap/workshops/

Information on other mentoring opportunities is available on the Faculty Affairs website at https://facultyaffairs.colorado.edu/a-z-information-guide-docs/mentoring-resources/.

The Administrative Policy Statement (APS) that outlines key areas of faculty development is available at https://www.cu.edu/ope/aps/1021