In January 2003, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business Administration co-sponsored a half-day faculty workshop, Conversations on Learning, on the topic of faculty mentoring, which was attended by approximately 75 faculty and administrators. Out of this event, approximately a dozen faculty who had attended the workshop met over the next eighteen months to discuss the development of a formal faculty mentoring program that would address needs at the college level.
This formative committee identified program goals, expectations of mentors and mentees, a process for selecting and training mentors, and formal administrative procedures and documents for managing a formal mentoring program. During this process, Dr. Paula M. Rhyner, Program Coordinator of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Faculty Mentoring Program, was helpful in sharing ideas and materials.
In Fall 2004, the Deans of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences (Dr. Michael A. McKinney) and Business Administration (Dr. David L. Shrock), and the School of Education (first, Dr. John J. Augenstein, then Dr. William Henk) approved the development of a formal mentoring program for untenured faculty in those three colleges. Matching of mentors and mentees began in Spring 2005. As the program's third year began in January 2007, The Diederich College of Communication, led by Dean John Pauly, joined the program.
In the program’s fourth year (the 2008-09 academic year), Interim Dean David Schrock and the incoming Provost John Pauly approved the expansion of the program to include all tenure-track assistant professors across the university.
Director: The role of director is filled by a senior tenured faculty member who is not involved in any other major administrative role at the college level. The Director is appointed by mutual agreement of the Deans of the participating colleges. The responsibilities of the Director include but are not limited to the following:
Advisory Committee: The Advisory Committee consists of six tenure-track faculty members representing each of the participating colleges. Committee members are drawn from faculty who have shown an interest in faculty mentoring by their participation in mentoring workshops, serving as a mentor, or having been in the role of a mentee. The Advisory Committee meets at least once each semester to review and approve the annual report of the Program Director, and to consider and develop assessment processes to evaluate the achievement of program goals. Committee members report to their respective deans about the conduct and progress of the FMP.
Assessment: The Advisory Committee reviews and approves the annual summary report prepared by the Program Director. The Committee also considers the FMP goals and determines the most appropriate and efficient means of assessing the extent to which the goals are met. Surveys completed annually by mentors and mentees provide input for program development.