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ASU Mentoring Practices

Deans, department chairs and faculty at ASU share mentoring responsibilities for junior faculty. Examples of mentoring activities at ASU for different entities are described below.

Dean's Office Mentoring Practices

General culture expectations

  • Facilitate and monitor that mentoring practices are in place.
  • Conduct an initial orientation to the college.
  • Meet with junior faculty as a group for informal lunch and discussion.

Performance expectations

  • Require department chairs to provide resources and developmental opportunities for untenured faculty members.
  • Hold chairs accountable for junior faculty mentoring.
  • Review progress of junior faculty with unit chair/director during their annual performance evaluation.
  • Meet with junior faculty as a group for informal lunch and discussion.
  • Meet with each unit chair and junior faculty member during the year of his/her probationary review.
  • Provide faculty an exemplar tenure package.
  • Facilitate meetings with new untenured faculty, division directors and selected faculty successful in achieving tenure and promotion to discuss establishing academic careers.
  • Meet with faculty cohorts by year of hire to discuss their progress.


  • Conduct initial orientation to research resources.
  • Maintain a list of community contacts and encourage new faculty to identify possible external partners and funding sources.
  • Provide information sources to help faculty identify research collaborators.
  • Hold forums on the promotion and tenure process.


  • Ensure faculty receive an initial orientation on instructional resources.

Department Chair/Unit-level


  • Provide each junior faculty member with a mutually agreed upon senior faculty mentor.
  • Match junior faculty with an appropriate senior faculty member (by teaching duties, scholarly interests, and expertise).
  • Ask faculty who have successfully completed promotion and tenure or probationary review to mentor untenured faculty.
  • Form 2- to 3-person mentoring teams for each junior faculty member composed of mentors with strengths in the specific areas of research, service and teaching.
  • Devote a faculty meeting/department retreat time to facilitate learning on the subject of leadership.
  • Encourage junior faculty to meet with outside seminar speakers for career development advice.
  • Provide mentors with up to date information on policies, etc.
  • Ask for feedback from junior faculty on impact of mentoring.

General Culture Expectations

  • Discuss expectations of teaching, scholarship, and service with junior faculty.
  • Identify resources that will advance faculty member’s professional development.
  • Place junior faculty offices across the hall from senior faculty.
  • Recognize and reward senior faculty who are good mentors.
  • Remove senior faculty from mentoring teams if they routinely skip mentoring sessions, department meetings or seminars

Performance Expectations

  • Early and persistent communication of standards required to achieve tenure.
  • Within six weeks of the first semester define and clarify expectations for promotion and tenure with each junior faculty member.
  • Discuss the faculty member’s self-reported short-term and longer-term research agenda and teaching schedule in light of these expectations.
  • Meet regularly with junior faculty to give advice on issues and assess progress. For those with joint appointments hold joint meetings.
  • Provide developmental feedback each spring semester: The faculty member summarizes her/his activities, achievements, and impacts during the year and outlines her/his plans for the next year. The chair discusses the results of the assessment and provides information, insights and guidance for future direction.


  • Identify an out-of-department mentor, preferably with similar culture and gender.
  • Introduce junior faculty to program managers in their discipline for various research sponsors.
  • Recommend research initiation meetings between faculty and companies/program managers and ensure necessary travel funds exist.
  • Encourage junior faculty to seek advice from senior research leaders in their specialization on selecting suitable, quality journals for publication as it relates to their progress towards promotion.
  • Form research development committee of 2-4 mentors to provide critical readings of manuscripts, grant proposals, and faculty work. The committee assists mentees in: selecting journals, improving the quality of manuscripts, increasing the publication in a peer-reviewed, high impact journals, increasing the likelihood of publishing a book length manuscript in a high quality press or increasing success at external funding.
  • Provide opportunity to take a one-semester, one-course deferral.
  • Hold research discussions with all junior faculty and include faculty with appropriate strengths in these areas.
  • Hold brown bag research sessions that focus on developmental issues or showcase the research of untenured faculty.
  • Hold writing for publication workshops.
  • Conduct regular workshop series allowing a steady steam of external researchers to present leading edge work to our faculty.
  • Invite campus resources (i.e. library) to offer workshops to facilitate knowledge of the distinctions in ranking among various publications (print and online) in the specific fields and provide resources for publication.

Professional Associations

  • Identify appropriate professional activities that will give the faculty visibility within the field, e.g., technical committees, proposal review panels, workshops.
  • Help establish connections between a faculty member and peers/leaders in his/her field.
  • Introduce faculty member to peers at conferences.
  • Nominate faculty member for external awards commensurate with her or his experience.
  • Coach junior faculty to apply for specific awards.
  • Attend conference presentations of your new junior faculty and provide feedback on their presentation.


  • Communicate expectations regarding rigor and classroom quality.
  • Provide information regarding assistance and tools available within the school to improve classroom delivery.
  • Discuss teaching evaluations and suggestions for improvements if needed.
  • Require first year faculty to visit specific classes taught by senior faculty.
  • Provide early warning of any teaching difficulties.
  • Conduct peer assessments of teaching at least once a year.
  • Provide 1- or 2-day a week teaching schedule for tenure-track faculty for the entire probationary period.
  • Minimize new course preparations for tenure-track faculty members.
  • Hold discussions with junior faculty on teaching and include tenured faculty with appropriate strengths in these areas.
  • Encourage faculty to attend a new faculty teaching orientation at the Center for Learning and Teaching Excellence prior to the first week of class
  • Hold a First Monday seminar focused on teaching excellence.
  • Feature top faculty discussing and demonstrating issues related to teaching and methods of improving classroom performance.
  • Include tutorials in teaching methodologies and technologies such as “Turning Point” (a voting software package).


  • Protect untenured faculty members from incurring large service burden.

Informal Faculty Mentors


  • Hold all meetings and conversations in strict confidence.
  • Keep regular and frequent contacts with the mentee (i.e. a minimum of three contacts per semester).
  • Provide supportive guidance and constructive feedback that gives clear messages, offers encouragement, compliments achievements and motivates behavior change.
  • Refrain from evaluation or assessment.
  • Mentoring topics:
    • Culture of the faculty, department, school, college and university life.
    • University resources to advance the professional development.
    • Decision-making skills related to career management and advancement.
    • Teaching and scholarship challenges.
    • How to establish a professional network.
    • Setting priorities—budgeting time, time management and balancing research, teaching and service.
    • Networking—introduce to colleagues, identify other possible mentors.
    • Policies and procedures that are relevant to the faculty member’s work.
    • ASU system of shared governance.
  • Collaboratively decide on the focus of mentoring activities.
  • Allow either party to end the relationship at anytime without prejudice.


  • Faculty member and mentor develop a two-year plan for meeting promotion and tenure expectations.
  • Provide critical readings of manuscripts, grant proposals and other faculty projects.
  • Assist mentees to:
    • Select appropriate journals.
    • Improve the quality of manuscripts
    • Increase their probability of publication in a peer-reviewed, high impact journal.
    • Increase the likelihood of publishing a book length manuscript in a high quality press.
    • Increase the chances for the mentee to secure external funding for his/her research.
  • Arrange for junior faculty to meet with outside seminar speakers for career development advice.
  • Recommend names of other faculty to discuss specific topics: writing, research methods, etc.
  • Help establish connections between a faculty member and peers and leaders in his/her field.
  • Introduce faculty member to peers at conferences.
  • Coach on how to build networks within her/his field.
  • Coach on how to identify key potential reviewers of her/his work for tenure review and/or promotion review.


How to develop lectures, construct syllabi, develop tests and writing assignments for a class, stimulate student involvement in the class, grade written assignments and mentor students etc.

  • Visit each other’s classes and discuss your observations.
  • Attend two classes taught by the mentee, discuss how the class went from both parties’ perspectives and provide the mentee with an assessment of strengths, weaknesses and/or suggestions. (These assessments will not be included in the annual review.)
  • Review the course syllabi.


  • Work with the mentee to take on service roles appropriate to his/her time in rank, making sure that the mentee does not de-emphasize teaching and research in the process and take on too many service roles.

Mentee/Protégé Responsibilities


  • Request a mentor through the department chair or ask a tenured faculty member to serve as a mentor.
  • Attend all mentoring meetings. Be on time.
  • Be prepared for all meetings. (Have an agenda, and have questions.)
  • Keep an open mind and listen to mentors.
  • Accept feedback graciously.
  • Communicate openly when issues and problems arise and request help from mentors, chair and/or deans.
  • Use the mentoring system to increase productivity (learn to focus on the right things). 
  • Create and respect boundaries.
  • Keep your mentor informed of your success and challenges.
  • Respond to requests to meet with your mentors.


  • Allow extra time before submitting papers and grants to allow other faculty to review your work.
  • Ask faculty colleagues to comment on your papers before sending them out for review.
  • Present your working papers and research at brown bag seminars to get advice.
  • Give a seminar to the department once a year on your research.
  • Volunteer to serve on proposal review panels for research sponsors, e.g., the National Science Foundation.
  • Cultivate potential outside referees for promotion and tenure letters by sending them copies of publications, notes on research progress and other communications on scholarly output.
  • Learn the expected performance standards in your unit and profession for tenure.
  • Resolve conflicting information received by clarifying with the department chair.