ERIC Identifier: ED399888
Publication Date: 1995-00-00
Author: Luna, Gaye - Cullen, Deborah L.
Clearinghouse on Higher Education Washington DC.| BBB32577 _ George Washington
Univ. Washington DC. Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
Empowering the Faculty: Mentoring Redirected and Renewed. ERIC
The concept of quality improvement has been incorporated into higher
education within the last decade. Incumbent with this concept is the empowerment
of college and university faculty to harness their unique talents and skills and
promote their professional growth. For years, business and industry has applied
the philosophy and principles of mentoring to attract, retain, and promote
junior employees, and mentoring has improved individual and corporate
performance and effectiveness.
In translating these same mentoring concepts to higher education, strategies,
guidelines, and programs have been developed and implemented to empower faculty
through mentoring. For example, mentoring has been known to invigorate senior
faculty, to help junior professors learn the ropes, and to assist female and
minority faculty members in understanding the organizational culture.
Mentoring embraces a philosophy about people and how important they are to
educational institutions. "Empowering the Faculty" synthesizes the literature on
mentoring in terms of conceptual frameworks, mentoring arenas, and roles and
functions of mentors and proteges. It also discusses the dynamics of mentoring
for empowering faculty members as leaders and the importance of mentoring women
and minorities in academe. A discussion of planning mentoring and faculty
mentoring models focuses on developing and empowering faculty and ultimately
benefit the institution.
WHY SHOULD ACADEME BE CONCERNED WITH MENTORING?
does mentoring develop the profession; "by not mentoring, we are wasting talent.
We educate, and train, but don't nurture" (Wright and Wright 1987, p. 207). The
literature overwhelmingly points to benefits to the organization, the mentor,
and the protege. Mentoring is useful and powerful in understanding and advancing
organizational culture, providing access to informal and formal networks of
communication, and offering professional stimulation to both junior and senior
faculty members. Mentoring is a continuation of one's development as defined by
life cycle and human development theorists in terms of life sequences or stages,
personality development, and the concept and value of care. (Erikson 1963 and
Levinson et al. 1978).
HOW DOES MENTORING EMPOWER THE FACULTY?
professional growth and renewal, which in turn empowers faculty as individuals
and colleagues (Boice 1992). Teaching and research improve when junior faculty
are paired with mentors, job satisfaction and organization socialization
greater. Not only do proteges become empowered through the assistance of a
mentor, but mentors themselves also feel renewed through the sharing of power
and the advocacy of collegiality.
CAN MENTORING ASSIST IN FACULTY LEADERSHIP?
Experts in the
field of mentoring point out that mentoring is developmental and continuous and
may address a variety of faculty career needs over a period of time. Faculty can
develop as leaders through the receipt of professional and institutional
information; support, sponsorship, and stimulation; advice, assistance, and
guidance; and feedback and direction toward goals. Faculty involved in mentoring
are more likely to have opportunities to develop not only professionally (career
orientation) but also personally (psycho-social needs) over the span of their
careers (Kram 1986).
DOES MENTORING INVOLVE SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS?
emphasizes the benefits of mentoring programs and the successes of those who
have experienced mentoring. But mentoring must fit the culture and environment
of the educational institution, and faculty must be involved in the design and
implementation of strategies and plans for mentoring. Mentoring might need to
address the concerns and needs of women and minorities in academe. Statistics
and research studies point to these professionals' experiences in higher
education as different in terms of scholarship, advising assignments, teaching
loads, and service to the community, profession, and institution. As a first
step, mentoring has been important in assisting new female and minority faculty
members to feel comfortable with the academic environment (Maack and Passett
WHAT CAN INSTITUTIONS DO?
Empowering the faculty through
mentoring requires careful planning so that the educational institution's needs
are incorporated. Although mentoring programs have similar steps, purposes, and
activities, programs need to be customized to meet the goals of the proteges,
the mentors, and the community college or university. Recommendations include
raising campus awareness about the importance of mentoring, establishing a
mentoring program with faculty assistance and input, providing recognition to
those who participate, and providing support through institutional resources.
Planned mentoring programs include establishing purpose and goals, assessing
organization's policies, identifying and training participants (both proteges
and mentors), and evaluating and modifying the program.
WHAT MUST BE DONE IN THE FUTURE?
mentoring programs are often found in community colleges and universities, no
existing body of literature synopsizes or analyzes these programs. What works
well at one educational institution is not readily known to others interested in
developing mentoring programs. Planned, formalized mentoring programs are even
rarer, and some of those that exist have failed to determine evaluative outcomes
in terms of proteges, mentors, and institutional goals and objectives. Those
interested in mentoring research need to identify those programs which have been
successful and understand why. And research on the specific benefits of
mentoring programs for female and minority faculty members at both the community
college and university levels needs to be conducted.
Boice, R. 1992. "Lessons Learned about
Mentoring." In Developing New and Junior Faculty edited by M. D. Sorcinelli and
A. E. Austin. pp. 51-62. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Erikson, E. H. 1963. Childhood and Society 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton.
Kram, K. E. 1986. "Mentoring in the Workplace." In Career development in
organizations, edited by R. A. Katzell pp. 160-201. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Levinson, D. J., Darrow, C. N., Klein, E. B., Levinson, M. A., and McKee, B.
1978. The Seasons of a Man's Life. New York: Knopf.
Maack, M. N., and Passet, J. 1994. Aspirations and Mentoring in an Academic
Environment: Women Faculty in Library and Information Science. Westport, CT.
Wright, C. A.. and Wright, S. D. 1987. "Young Professionals." Family
Relations 36(2): 204-8.