In recent years, both Brandeis and Al-Quds Universities have recognized the importance of guiding new faculty to build productive careers as teachers, scholars, and members of the university community. Each university has initiated a formal program for mentoring junior faculty, and the subject has been an ongoing topic in our Effective Teaching exchange. In May 2009, Dan Kryder and Sue Lanser worked with the Al-Quds Committee for the Support of Teaching in a three-part mentoring initiative: a meeting with junior faculty to identify university-specific experiences; a workshop presentation to deans, department chairs, and mentors on goals, principles, programs, and techniques for mentoring; and a follow-up discussion on next steps for expanding the pilot mentoring program at Al-Quds University.
Topics that featured in this lively and productive series of conversations included qualities of a good mentor, matching mentors and mentees, the role and responsibilities of mentor and mentee, common components of mentoring, ways of institutionalizing a mentoring program that covers all new faculty, and problem-solving when difficult situations arise. Both groups have agreed to continue sharing experiences, resources, and strategies as both universities work to improve our mentoring programs.