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U.Va. Departments' Mentoring Program Survey Results 2004-2005 Last Updated: March 7, 2005

Department New Faculty Mentoring Program Gender-specific Faculty Mentoring Program Minority Faculty Mentoring Program Int'l Faculty Mentoring Program Other Number of Faculty in Dept. Detail


Landscape Architecture X       X 30 Click
Urban and Environmental Planning X X X     7 Click


Anthropology X         24 Click
Art X X X     22 Click
Astronomy X         14 Click
Chemistry X         25 Click
French X     X   14 Click
Music X         12 Click
Politics         X 35 Click
Psychology X         36 Click
Slavic Languages X         8 Click
Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese         X 19 Click


Curriculum and Instruction; Human Services; and Leadership, Foundations, and Policy X           Click


Chemical Eng X         10 Click
Civil Eng X       X 14 Click
Material Science X         23 Click
Mechanical/Aero X X       29 Click


X   X   X 70 Click


Anesthesiology X   X     32 Click
Biomedical X X X     15 Click
Emergency Med X X X   X 16 Click
Family Med X         23 Click
Internal Med X       X 150 Click
Orthopedic Surgery X         15 Click
Otolaryngology X         8 Click
Pathology X         30 Click
Pediatrics X       X 70 Click
Pharmacology X         12 Click
Physical Medicine X       X 12 Click
Plastic Surgery X         9 Click
Radiology X         41 Click


X     X     Click

Landscape Architecture

In discussions over the past two years, one of our departmental priorities has been to implement a more structured mentoring program, so this a new program beginning this spring. Historically, mentoring for untenured faculty has taken place with the Chair and informally in conversations with tenured faculty. The program that we are implementing has two parts. It is designed to assist all untenured faculty members. The first part is the assignment of a faculty member as mentor for all new tenure track faculty. The mentor is to serve as an advisor to help orient the faculty member to the school and the university, as well as to assist in refining a research and teaching agenda that will form the foundation for a strong tenure case. The choice of the mentor may be selected to provide assistance in areas that may be of particular concern, including research focus, teaching goals, race, or gender. Following the first year, the relationship may continue, but the formal mentoring responsibility shifts to larger tenured faculty. This process comprises the second part of the program. Each January, as part of the regular school-wide review process, all faculty members submit an annual report, including a new section in which the basis for tenure and promotion reviews is articulated by the faculty member. Following a meeting between the Chair and the tenure-track faculty member in which this report as well as teaching evaluations and other materials are reviewed, the tenured faculty meets as a group to discuss the goals and progress. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that the tenured faculty members understand the nature of the work, the ways in which they may be supportive, and share concerns about progress toward tenure. This provides a common basis for informal discussions and advising as well as an understanding by the Chair of the broader faculty perspective. The Chair then meets again with the faculty member to review the conversation and to advise accordingly. In this way, the full tenured faculty is invested in supporting the development of the tenure track faculty and concerns are raised and may be addressed prior to reappointment or tenure discussions.

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Urban and Environmental Planning

Informal, unfunded program activated with new hires. The department chair reviews the teaching evaluations and faculty activity reports with new faculty members once per year, and writes a statement for that person indicating the strengths and weaknesses of their trajectory for tenure. Informal lunches and coffee breaks are used as venues for Q&A.

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Our program is informal. Each new full-time faculty member is assigned one or two senior faculty members as mentors, and they work out among themselves how the mentoring will proceed. The Chair makes these assignments after consultation both with the new faculty member and with the proposed mentors, so it's not quite the same as self-selection. In preparing for this survey I sent each junior faculty member a questionnaire asking them for feedback on the effectiveness of our mentoring. In their responses, each of them mentioned that the informality of our program works because our department is very collegial, so they do not hesitate to consult with senior faculty, other than their official mentors, if they have questions or problems, and each of them says they often do this. In a department where collegiality is weak or absent, a more structured mentoring program would be desirable. The topics our junior faculty consult with mentors about (whether official or not) include publication/research, teaching, advising, committee work, working with a T.A., grading, and managing one’s personal vs. professional life—i.e. pretty much every topic of concern to a junior faculty member. Some mentors initiate contact regularly, e.g. twice/semester, by dropping in or having lunch with the mentee; others wait to be contacted about specific problems. From the feedback I got, I think it's better for the mentor to initiate contact at regular intervals because some of the junior faculty hesitate to impose on the time of their mentors.

Despite the fact that all our junior faculty members felt satisfied with our mentoring program, one of them mentioned the problem of the lack of senior mentors of color, for junior faculty of color. This is a general problem across the College and is worth reporting as further evidence of the pressing need for more faculty of color, especially at senior levels. Finally, I appreciate your sending this survey as it has led me to learn more about what we are doing and how to make our mentoring more effective.

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This is an informal program, and I would hesitate to describe it as a program. We don't use the word "mentor," though mentoring is in effect what is happening. Basically, I try to meet with new faculty on a regular basis to discuss their concerns, progress in their work, and issues in their teaching. I suggest faculty colleagues for them to get to know, usually in the Art Department, but in other departments as seems appropriate to the person’s field and interests. I also urge senior faculty to make a point of getting to know the junior faculty. The upshot seems to be that all of our new faculty in recent years have found at least a couple of senior faculty that they go to for advice on a wide range of issues affecting their careers.

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We do not assign mentors. Senior faculty informally help new faculty in teaching, research, grant writing, etc. We are a friendly cohesive department and have never felt the need for a formal program. We are quite successful in that every new faculty member hired since 1970 has received tenure.

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Our mentoring program has been informal. When new people are hired there are several more senior faculty that typically volunteer, or are designated by the Chair, to help mentor the new hire. Given that our hires usually occur within divisional areas (e.g., physical, organic, etc.) of chemistry, it is generally obvious to the new hire, potential mentors, and Chair who the most appropriate mentor choices will be. In addition, our Director of Laboratories, Bob Burnett, works very closely with new hires to ensure their success.

We would welcome additional resources for mentoring young faculty, particularly women, minority, and international faculty which exist in small numbers within Chemistry at UVa.

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The departments junior faculty, including associate professors, all women over the past eight years, have all been and are mentored informally by senior faculty. Rather than imposing a stifling formality on the process, the department relies on spontaneity, collegiality and affinities. The formal part of the program is an individual interview with the department chair each year, during which the performance of every faculty member is discussed in detail. This interview is followed by a short written report by the chair to the individual faculty member. All of the department's faculty members have a self-selected mentor.

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Our program is informal. All junior faculty members on tenure track are assigned a senior faculty mentor. The exact duties of the mentor are not laid out, and it has had uneven results. With new faculty arriving in the fall, I plan to oversee the program more closely.

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We ask all untenured faculty whether they would like to have a mentor and we explain to them the different alternatives. If they want a mentor we help them find one with whom they feel comfortable. The system is informal and depends on the wishes of the faculty members concerned. The Chair and Associate-Chair meet annually with the non-tenured faculty to review their accomplishment and detect whatever problem they may have encountered. If the faculty concerned decide that they need a mentor we work with them to select one. We encourage untenured faculty to seek—at least—informal assistance with senior colleagues; we do not, however, select mentors for them.

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For several years the chair has asked assistant professors to suggest a senior professor to be their mentor, and then asked the senior faculty if they will agree to serve in that role (all senior faculty have agreed). The system is informal. Some assistant professors rely primarily on their mentor for advice and guidance, whereas others rely on several senior faculty.

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Slavic Languages

The program is formal; it has been in existence for about 7 years, which means that only one new junior faculty member has been assigned a mentor. The experience seems to have been positive. Below is the official statement on faculty mentoring.


Although the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures encourages faculty consultation and cooperation on an informal basis, there is also a formal system of mentoring for junior faculty.

Assignment of a Mentor

After a new faculty member has been hired by the University, the faculty member will meet with the department Chair to discuss the choice of a mentor from the department. The mentor should have research and teaching interests in the same field as the new faculty member. The faculty member may request a specific member of the senior faculty to serve as mentor. The Chair will then appoint a member of the senior faculty to serve as mentor.

Responsibilities of the Mentor

Although informal contacts between the new faculty member and the mentor should be encouraged, the formal responsibilities of the mentor will be as follows:

  1. During the week before classes begin for the fall semester, the mentor shall meet with the new faculty member to discuss his or her syllabi and teaching plans for the upcoming semester, and to make sure that the faculty member is aware of the numerous resources available through the Teaching Resource Center. The new faculty member's research plans, opportunities for scholarly publishing, etc., should also be among the topics discussed. (The new faculty member should discuss his or her departmental service responsibilities with the Chair.)
  2. The mentor and the faculty member should meet again at the beginning of the spring semester. The purpose of this meeting is to review the experiences of the fall semester as well as the faculty member's plans for the spring semester.


The meetings between the junior faculty member and the mentor are intended to help junior faculty find the best opportunities for success at the University. Formal evaluation of the faculty member's progress at the University will remain the responsibility of the department Chair, who will meet with the junior faculty member for this purpose at the end of each academic year.

Other faculty members are encouraged to offer assistance whenever they choose to do so, and the junior faculty member shall be encouraged to seek advice and assistance from other faculty members, both inside and outside the department.

(Adopted by faculty vote on May 1, 1997)

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The Chair always mentors junior faculty. Also, senior colleagues regularly mentor junior colleagues when they seek such mentoring. It is also made very clear to junior faculty that the senior faculty are here to help them.

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Curry School of Education

In the past, Curry has had a formal mentoring program in which we appointed official mentors to our new faculty hires, and held an introductory luncheon for mentors and mentees. However, the mentoring among these new faculty was not uniform or systematic. Some mentors were frequent collaborators in teaching and scholarship, but some mentors never went beyond initiating a few social occasions.

The primary mentors in recent years have been our department chairs who meet regularly with younger faculty to discuss professional growth and future goals. Each year, the annual performance review (which is conducted by six reviewers) is discussed fully by the department chair. In addition, we conduct a formal three-year review which requires the junior faculty to prepare a dossier of teaching, scholarship and service achievements, which is reviewed by a school-wide committee. This Third-Year Review provides a written analysis of each achievement area, which is also discussed with the department chair.

For the coming year, we are establishing a more comprehensive orientation and mentoring program for our new tenure-track faculty. In addition to the individual meetings previously described, we plan to hold monthly group meetings on topics of interest and need, as identified by our younger faculty who have been here at UVa a few years. In addition, we are asking the chairs of the relevant search committees to work with the department chairs in identifying official mentors in both teaching and scholarship who will work with these new faculty as part of their assignment. In other words, the mentor will not be volunteering merely from his or her sense of being a good citizen.

The mentor also will know that his efforts with the new faculty member will be acknowledged along with other accomplishments when his or her own annual faculty performance report is reviewed. We plan to be more explicit about our expectations for the mentor, giving them greater structure and support in their work with the younger faculty.

We plan to evaluate this new mentoring program at mid-year and end-year.

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Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering has an informal mentoring program. Senior faculty are receptive to helping new faculty members. All assistant and associate professors receive feedback in the form of written annual evaluations from the department chair.

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Civil Engineering

Not a formal program and I have no data on past hires except that our faculty is comprised of there technical interest groups and each takes it upon themselves to mentor new faculty in their group.

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Material Science

Mentoring has focused on junior faculty and been tied closely to the research and teaching activities of the department. Research mentoring is enabled by the fact that all young faculty over the past 5 years were hired under the umbrella of centers or areas of excellence, each populated by 2-5 senior faculty. At least 1 senior faculty has served as mentor and been particularly effective in advising on grantsmanship, graduate student interaction, and service to the discipline. This mentoring has lead to joint grants, projects, and student advising. Mentoring in teaching is achieved as a natural outgrowth of research-based relationships and is additionally shouldered by several of our senior faculty who are active in the TRC, Rodman Program, and other special forms of education. This model of mentoring is a cross product of self-selection and senior faculty service to their centers of excellence and department. Additional mentoring is provided to all assistant and associate professors on tenure track during yearly meetings with the department chair.

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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

The program is informal. When a young, new faculty member joins the department I look for a match between that person’s educational and cultural backgrounds and those of a few senior faculty in the department. I then encourage the new faculty member to meet with these individuals and choose from among them the person they are most comfortable with as a mentor.

The program works well and there are no major obstacles. It is especially valuable for getting feedback on the new faculty member’s teaching for preparation of P&T dossiers.

The program is not funded.

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Minority Specific Mentoring Program (formal)

We are developing a mentoring program for staff hired through our recruitment efforts specifically designed to increase diversity in the Library. The programs include high school interns, library staff in degree programs desiring to enter the library profession, and master’s degree students working as interns wanting to enter the library profession. Participants will be assigned a mentor from a list of volunteer library faculty. Mentors will meet with each participant on a regular basis for dialogue and support.

This program is currently in development with the initiatives noted above. Obstacles may be in finding funding for the initiatives, and finding individuals willing to donate their time. In this particular program staff mentors from underrepresented groups would be preferred if possible and it may be necessary and beneficial to include other individuals from other departments on grounds.

New faculty mentoring program (formal)

We are developing a mentoring program for new faculty to assist in the adjustment to a new work culture, on University and Library policies and as a social contact in an environment where they may be unknown to other staff. The goal is to provide the new faculty member with an additional source of information and guidance. The Library Human Resource department will have a list of interested individuals and a mentor can be assigned to them. The option should also be available for new faculty to wait for a short period and chose their own preference for a mentor from individuals with whom they have had successful interactions.

This process will be in place for the fall of 2004.

Other: Promotion Process Mentor (formal)

When candidates notify the Promotion Review Board (PRB) of their interest in going up for promotion, the Board will assign a mentor to advise on the development of the promotion packet. Mentors will be individuals who have served on the PRB or those that have already been through the promotion review process. This is a temporary mentor assigned for a specific period of time prior to the submission of the promotion packet.

This process was implemented with a new policy this summer so it is too new to provide any feedback. At this point we have had very few obstacles. The Library faculty is willingly volunteering their time to assist in the program. This new addition of a mentor to the promotion process has been well received.

Other: Informal mentoring for future research library leaders

We have an unusually strong staff for a research library and an unusually high number of people with obvious potential to take on leadership roles in research libraries here or elsewhere. As we identify those people, one of us in senior administration or a direct supervisor explicitly takes on the role of mentor. Such mentoring may include monthly lunches with discussion of important issues, encouragement the individual to publish or become more active professionally, encouragement to take advantage of professional development opportunities (e.g. Frye Program, Harvard Program in Higher Education, etc.), and strategic advice on enhancing one's professional portfolio.

The informal mentoring program is working well, although we often risk losing our best people to another institution. We feel it is a professional responsibility to help prepare the next cadre of library leaders.

Other: We are interested in hearing about other mentoring programs and practices on Grounds since they might help us improve ours.

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The School of Medicine has mandated a mentoring program for the past two years. New faculty members have been assigned mentors, but there is no mechanism that enforces utilization. Because of the clinical responsibilities of the vast majority of the faculty members in the same location, there is a rather communal sharing of advice and approaches to advancement. As such, the formal mentoring defined in the employment contract has been employed modestly to date.

We have recently hired only one women on a one year contract. Although I might be tempted to pair a new woman faculty member with another more senior woman faculty member. We currently have four more senior women faculty members (Assoc. Professors, two on the non-tenure ‘clinical’ track, two on a tenure-tracks (one Clinician-Investigator, one Clinician-Educator)). Consequently, I would be likely to pair new women junior faculty members with senior faculty (Professors) who are in a similar area (e.g., pediatric anesthesia).

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It is informal, in existence for 15 years, but enhanced over the past 3 years by packets of information for incoming Assistant Professors and by group white-boarding sessions for mid-career faculty. Minority and gender mentoring are also informed and self-selected with guidance by a general mentor. The Department Chair and one other faculty member act as dual mentors. We encourage new faculty to participate in the Excellence in Diversity Fellows (EDF) program, and in national leadership activities & development programs.

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Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine (EM) faculty participate in the School of Medicine Faculty Development Program. In addition, a special faculty development fund has been created and junior faculty can apply for money to help them initiate research projects.

Emergency Medicine faculty provide advising for medical students and pre-medical students interested in an EM careers. In addition, some emergency medicine faculty are active participants in the mentoring programs administered through the University Office of the African–American Affairs.

We have an informal program. One-third of EM faculty and nearly one-third of EM residents are women. All of the residents are assigned an advisor. All of the faculty have one or more mentors. There is particular attention paid to mentoring of our women junior faculty by the senior faculty and chair.

Informal program. There are few minorities in our department. The chair is a minority and two other faculty member. There are growing numbers of minorities in our residency program. The chair has written a special manuscript on faculty development for minorities in Emergency Medicine for the national academic society SAEM web site Some EM faculty actively participate as mentors in the University of Virginia Office of African-American Affairs mentoring programs. The Department of EM annually provides a clinical experience for the approximately 120 under represented or disadvantaged pre-med students who participate in the Uva summer MAAP program.

Some members of the Uva Emergency Medicine faculty participate as advisors to medical students of foreign countries and US medical schools without EM residency programs through the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) “ virtual advisor” web-based program. This program links the medical student interested in an EM career to an EM physician who will provide advice/mentoring throughout the residency application process. For more information go to medical student section.

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Family Medicine

The Department of Family Medicine has a formal program of mentoring that complements the Departments dialogue based performance management system. The mentor assignment process is formal and includes a convocation of the relationship by the Chair. Each individual’s responsibilities are clarified through a written document that is shared with the mentor. A written report to the Chair from the mentor annually is an expectation. Mentors are often sought from faculty outside of the Department and are always of a more senior rank with complementary interests and professional direction. Gender and ethnic/racial issues are considered in the dialogue for determining a mentor if they are important to the faculty member. The formal documents describing and used in this process can be obtained by contacting Dee Saunders at 982-3975.

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Internal Medicine

The Department is divided into Divisions. Each Division has a Division Chief. The Chair delegates responsibility to the Division Chief for oversight and mentoring of all faculty with at least annual reviews. In addition there is mentoring from the Department and School of Medicine. The School has a program for new faculty.

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Orthopedic Surgery

No comment provided.

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Informal, unfunded; in existence since the institution of the department. In a department of this size, there is less opportunity for formal and more for informal mentoring. Having stated this, each new faculty member is mentored aggressively on the front end, and all faculty meet with the chair . at least annually, and more often, on an as needed basis. We utilize the skills of Dean Hostler for mentoring and faculty development, and we had utilized her help in the past for gender-specific assistance. We make sure that each faculty member is aware of the programs provided by the School of Medicine and encourage them to attend appropriate programs . The chair provides national opportunities for faculty advancement on a national level as they are available and applicable. Feedback is informal during the annual review process. Personal attention from the chair works well; additional programs from the Dean's office will assist even further, and I anticipate them to grow in the near future.

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All new faculty are assigned a faculty mentor. These are intended to reflect career pathways, with consideration of gender and ethnic status. Faculty are free to reassign mentors, and this is discussed during the annual faculty review.

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We assign mentors to all new faculty with a significant research effort. All faculty are requested to select a mentor in addition to their division head (but only about 50% have done so). Our departmental Research Council reviews in-house grants, and makes specific recommendations for improving the proposals (in existence >15 years, formal—open to faculty outside Dept). Our departmental Promotions and Tenure Advisory Council reviews CVs and performance surveys annually and provides feedback to faculty and division heads regarding what to do for academic advancement (in existence >15 years, formal. Dept faculty only).

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New faculty are advised by two formal sources: 1) the chair and 2) the search committee involved in their hiring. SInce the search committee is a group of 4 to 5 faculty, after a bit the mentor/mentee relationship becomes more 1:1 with those who are interested and appropriate.

Physical Medicine

Informal, unfunded, in existence since my arrival as Chair in April 2002.

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Plastic Surgery

The program is about ten years old. All new faculty are assigned a mentor. Participants are strongly in favor of the program.

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Informal program. New faculty are assigned a mentor when they first join the faculty. They are free to use or not use the assigned mentor. Many develop projects with other collegial faculty and do not really use their mentor.

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The Robert's Scholars Program is dedicated to newly appointed tenure track faculty to support the development of their research trajectories. Appointments are up to two years.

Robert's Scholar Receive:

  • Support from the well-established Center for Nursing Research.
  • Participation in a formalized research-mentoring program.
  • $1500 per year for beginning research support, including travel.
  • 5 to 10 hours of graduate assistant time allocated per week by semester.
  • The opportunity to work with peers in similar stages of career development.
  • Teaching Support, including:
    • Reduced teaching assignments
    • Participation in a formalized teaching-mentoring program
    • University Teaching Resource Center support to strengthen teaching effectiveness.

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