Faculty Mentoring and Development

Faculty Mentoring in the Arts and Sciences

All faculty, no matter their discipline or career stage, deserve to have access to quality mentoring. The Arts and Sciences at Brandeis has made a special commitment to this precept by initiating a comprehensive plan to provide A&S faculty with a range of mentoring resources. While our initial focus is on serving pretenure faculty in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Creative Arts, in the coming years our efforts will expand to the Sciences and to offering mentoring resources to senior faculty across the A&S.

The centerpiece of this plan is the Faculty Mentoring Program (FMP). Building on the success of our 2017-2018 pilot mentoring program, the FMP is now transitioning into a permanent program that provides pretenure faculty with dedicated mentors and access to other professional development resources that will foster their success and wellbeing here at Brandeis.

The FMP is made up of three essential components:

Close Knit Mentorship

Designed to bolster the current system of departmental mentorship, program participants are placed in small cohorts and paired with a dedicated faculty mentor outside of their department. In addition to individual meetings, mentors convene semimonthly cohort-wide discussions that cover relevant professional development topics during the first year of the program. The second year of the program is more loosely structured, and participant driven. Cohort meetings have the added benefit of fostering community building among FMP participants.

This year’s faculty mentors are Ulka Anjaria (English) and Elizabeth Ferry (Anthropology). Ulka and Elizabeth have generously agreed to mentor the 2018-2019 FMP cohort of ten pretenure faculty drawn from Sociology, Political Science, NEJS, English, Anthropology, and AAAS. As we increase the number of mentors over the next three years we expect to create multiple cohorts capable of meeting existing and incoming pretenure faculty interest in joining the FMP.

The Faculty Success Program

The FMP guarantees full funding for participants who wish to enroll in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s (NCFDD) Faculty Success Program (FSP). This virtual boot camp has drawn national attention for providing concrete advice, strategies, and resources for junior faculty as they enter the professoriate and navigate towards tenure. You can read more about the FSP here.

Manuscript Workshop

Funding and logistical support for a book manuscript workshop are offered to all FMP participants. Workshops convene up to four specialists to discuss a complete book manuscript. In addition to advancing pretenure faculty members’ scholarship in important and meaningful ways, not least towards tenure, these workshops also serve ancillary benefits of expanding professional opportunities and networks at a crucial career stage. Analogous workshops for participants who are not in book fields will be planned on an individual basis to ensure the workshop format best meets the faculty member’s professional development goals.

As we expand our capacity for mentorship in the A&S, we want to draw your attention to a new on-line mentoring resource. As an institutional member of the NCFDD, Brandeis faculty of all ranks, academic staff, postdocs, and graduate students now have access to the Center’s impressive array of tools to increase research and writing productivity and to improve work-life balance. Register now with your Brandeis email to get started.

A Note from the Director of Faculty Mentoring

Everyone’s path towards tenure is unique, but it is not a journey that has to be made alone. My commitment to mentoring stems from this simple realization accompanied by another: the tenure process is too often shrouded in mystery. Building community, prioritizing our wellbeing, ensuring intellectual and professional growth, and demystifying tenure are foundational principles of the work I am undertaking as Director of Faculty Mentoring in the Arts and Sciences. Other key priorities are expanding the FMP into the Sciences, cultivating a cadre of faculty mentors to serve in the coming years as the FMP grows, and ensuring the continued success of tenured faculty.

I am eager to hear from you about your experiences, needs, and how I can be of service to you. Over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year I will hold a series of consultations with Division Heads, Department Chairs, and faculty members to assess needs and opportunities across the Arts and Sciences. I will also hold office hours on Tuesdays from 11:00-12:00 in Mandel 219 and by appointment. Please stop by or otherwise be in touch.


Carina Ray
Director of Faculty Mentoring
Associate Professor, AAAS