Career Advising (Mentoring) Guidelines for Requesting Support

Guidelines for Requesting Career Advising Support for Assistant Professors

It is the hope of the College of LSA that newly hired faculty will receive useful professional advice from their colleagues in the academic community. Career advising, sometimes called mentoring, can take many forms: it may be formal and deliberate or informal and unintentional; it may take place in a group or one-on-one. It includes advice about the substance of teaching and research in the academy, about navigating the academic environment, about work-life balance, and about external measures of success, such as where one publishes. Career advising is an activity that sometimes occurs between and among peers, as well as between and among those with different levels of experience. In an academic community, mentoring is ideally freely sought and freely given among colleagues with different needs for assistance at different career stages. Please see the Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty page and your departmental career advising/mentoring policy for more information.

College Support for Career Advising

The College of LSA will provide up to a total of $3500 to each department that appoints a new Assistant Professor. These funds are to be used for Career Advising/Mentoring activities over the course of the Assistant Professor’s time at this rank; these include both activities scheduled by the department and, with departmental approval, additional activities identified by the Assistant Professor.

The preparation of a plan and budget for mentoring should be a cooperative activity between each Assistant Professor and the unit. Although the dollar amount will vary by unit, some portion of the available funding will be committed for standard mentoring activities expected to occur in all cases. Assistant Professors who wish to request the remaining funds should prepare a brief proposal describing a plan and budget. Although this need not be detailed, it should include a timeline for key activities (e.g., manuscript workshop, proposal submission, etc. as appropriate). Before developing a proposal, Assistant Professors should consult with their chair and their mentor or mentoring committee regarding both the typical and required mentoring activities in the department. Some examples of appropriate expenses include:

  • Formal mentoring meetings (for example, over lunch or dinner) with other faculty. These might be organized around a particular subject or issue, e.g., research interests, effective teaching, tenure prep, work-life balance, writing projects, etc., and could be either a peer group or one or more senior mentors
  • Costs associated with a manuscript works hop (for Assistant Professors in book fields)
  • Editing services to proofread, fine tune, or edit a scholarly manuscript or a research proposal for submission
  • Coaching services to improve writing, productivity and/or time management skills
  • Modest honoraria to bring relevant scholars to campus for a departmental or interdisciplinary event, such as a book workshop (for book fields) or a working forum (for article fields), or a panel to review individual research proposals. Note, it is not the intention of the College that these funds should be used to replace funding that would ordinarily be provided by the department.

The College recognizes that mentoring plans are likely to evolve through the probationary period and funds may not be spent precisely as originally planned. The Dean’s office should be consulted for approval if there are significant variations from the original budget.

After approval by the unit Chair/Director mentoring budget requests should be submitted to the appropriate Divisional Associate Dean for final approval. Requests that have been approved by the Divisional Associate Dean will be forwarded to the Budget and Finance Team. Reimbursement requests should be sent to the appropriate Financial Analyst for funding, once expenses have been incurred.

June, 2010
Updated 12/20/2011

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