Mentoring Resources: For Program Chairs

Mentoring Resources + Templates List for Program Chairs

Mentoring Assignments

In assigning mentoring relationships, the following key priorities can be supplemented by further discussions with the eligible mentees and mentors to check the suitability of a match.

Size and Ratios for Mentoring Relationships

The size of any mentoring groups and ratios of mentees to mentors will be dependent upon the number of eligible mentees and mentors in the College. The current* numbers of mentees and mentors are as follows:

Architecture (2021)Urban Planning (2021)
Number of eligible mentees8Number of eligible mentees3 (1 up for tenure)
Number of eligible mentors38Number of eligible mentors11
Ratio of mentees to mentors1:4Ratio of mentees to mentors1:3

This current ratio of mentees to mentors opens up possibilities for mentees to be assigned multiple mentors if desired. However, this would still need to be balanced against other factors and priorities of the mentees, mentors, and the College; which could range from sharing some disciplinary expertise, under-represented/minority group identities, work-life balance constraints, or a mentee wanting specific mentoring in a particular skill set, such as improving in their writing, teaching, or balancing service assignments.

Alignment of Disciplinary Expertise

Having some alignment of expertise between the mentor and mentee is critical, particularly in a one-to-one mentoring scenario. This will be a key factor in determining mentoring assignments, and the Program Chairs will discuss any potential matches with the relevant mentees and mentor(s) before any assignments are made.

Specific Support for Under-represented Minority Mentees

All mentees will be able to customize their mentoring to suit their needs (see Section 3.2). The program will be set up to enable various different mentoring scenarios that can be adjusted over time as mentee and mentor priorities and circumstances change.

Structure of Mentoring Assignments

Customized Assigned Mentoring Scenario

Phase 1 of the mentoring program is set up as a framework through which mentees can customize the support they require. A suite of possible mentoring formats are offered, from which each mentee can choose what will best suit their needs. Each new tenure-track mentee will discuss their goals and priorities for mentoring with their Program Chair, and the Program Chair will work with the mentee, potential mentors, and other College leadership to determine suitable matches. Mentees are able to request for mentors outside their department and the College, although finding a match outside of the College cannot be guaranteed. At the end of each year, mentees and mentors will have an opportunity to reflect on how the past year of mentoring has gone, and make any adjustments/changes as necessary. It is expected that mentoring relationships will require adjustments/changes over time, as mentee and mentor circumstances and priorities will continue to evolve; however, it is also possible for a mentoring scenario to remain the same for the full duration of the mentee’s tenure timeline if desired by both mentee and mentor(s). Below are the following mentoring models that are available. Mentees are also welcome to engage in a hybrid of these mentoring models.

One-to-one mentoring relationship model. This model provides a clear point-person for each mentee to go to for questions and guidance. The smaller group size also enables simpler scheduling of meetings, and can possibly allow for more frequent communication as needed. In this model, it is expected that the mentor will initiate the first meeting, but both the mentee and mentor will be responsible for ensuring subsequent meetings are scheduled. Mentees should meet with their mentors at least once per semester. An agenda for guidance should be prepared to serve as discussion points for each meeting; meeting notes should be taken from these meetings and then made available to the Program Chair. The role of the mentor should be clearly defined and limited, as it is important to note that no single mentor can be expected to provide all the support and guidance that a mentee will need. It is expected that mentees (with the help of their mentor) will be able to seek additional mentoring networks as needed. A risk to be mindful of with the one-to-one mentoring model is that if the mentee-mentor relationship is not positive, there is not another assigned mentor for that mentee to initially fall back on; however, all mentees will have access to College leadership to discuss any issues that arise, and make any changes to mentoring assignments if needed. 

Mentoring team model. This model provides a single mentee with a team/committee of 2-5 mentors. One of the mentors is assigned the role of chair, who is primarily responsible for ensuring that the mentee receives the support that they need, and for initiating and setting up the mentoring relationship. A mentoring team that provides a variety of strengths/expertise can be very beneficial for a mentee, providing the mentee with a range of perspectives, and the option of reaching out to different mentors regarding different issues. The mentoring team also provides group accountability for guidance offered in meetings, and to ensure regular scheduling of meetings. A significant risk with mentoring teams, however, is the difficulty in finding time for this larger group to meet, potentially reducing the frequency of meeting, and therefore the level of mentoring offered. To manage scheduling difficulties, a mentee does not always have to meet with their whole mentoring team at the same time, but has the option to meet with some or one of their mentors at a time. However, the mentee should plan to have at least one mentoring meeting per semester with one or more of their mentors. An agenda for guidance should be prepared to serve as discussion points for each meeting; meeting notes should be taken from these meetings and then made available to the Program Chair. 

Division of labor model. This model has clearly defined and separate mentors for different areas of coaching; for example, a mentor for research, another mentor for teaching, and another mentor for tenure and promotion processes. This could be set up in a mentoring team model, or in a group mentoring model where one mentor is assigned to groups of mentees for that specific area of coaching.

On-call mentor pool model. A group of eligible mentors are formally identified as being part of a pool of mentors who are available to answer any questions and provide guidance for mentees on an as-needed basis. This provides the mentees with a wider network of mentors to reach out to, without concern that they would be burdening additional mentors. The major risk with this model is that the mentees do not reach out to the mentors at all, as it is largely a mentee-initiated structure, and that the mentee “does not know what they do not know” in order to reach out and obtain the support that they need. There is also a limited accountability structure to ensure regular meetings and feedback on mentee progress. As such, mentees should still plan to meet with one or more of their mentors from their mentor pool at least once per semester. An agenda for guidance should be prepared to serve as discussion points for each meeting; meeting notes should be taken from these meetings and then made available to the Program Chair. 

The mentoring models outlined above are a starting point for mentees to discuss with their Program Chair as to what scenario is most appropriate for them. If desired, mentees also have the option to choose a hybrid of these mentoring models. These options are also intended to be flexible enough to be available to new faculty, as well as to work with any existing mentoring structures. It should also be noted that the College mentoring program will be across both the architecture and urban planning departments, enabling integration of faculty from both departments as mentees or mentors.

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