Collaborative Faculty Mentoring Teams

 What is the Faculty Mentoring Program?

The Office of Faculty Development (OFD) is sponsoring a collaborative mentoring program that will provide early career faculty with quality guidance to build long and productive careers at Western Michigan University (WMU). The goals of the program are to provide professional support to new faculty in instruction and scholarship, to encourage cross-disciplinary networking and connections at WMU, to increase faculty awareness of available resources at WMU and the greater Kalamazoo community, and to promote a healthy work-life balance. 


Who are the Participants in Collaborative Faculty Mentoring?

Incoming and early-career faculty (mentees); Faculty members who have successfully (broadly defined) achieved tenure and promotion.  


What Does Collaborative Mentoring Involve?

Two to three early career faculty will be grouped with a mentor who is a senior colleague working in a similar discipline.  Each collaborative group will meet at least once a month throughout Fall and Spring semesters. At these meetings, the mentors will work with early career colleagues to help them: 

        to establish professional priorities in teaching, scholarship, and service,  

        to gain perspective from colleagues outside one’s department,  

        to develop a strong network of colleagues across the university in related areas,  

        to learn more about southwest Michigan and available professional and personal resources,  

        to understand WMU’s institutional culture, and,  

        to navigate the tenure process. 

This is a structured mentoring program. Members of each collaborative faculty mentor team will establish monthly meeting times and will select goals and priorities for the mentoring experience based upon mentee preferences and needs. The program affords participants’ flexibility in choosing how to spend their time and energy to enhance early career members' careers at WMU. Most program participation will take place through small group meetings, though two large group sessions will occur. 

In September, a large-group inaugural session will be held including all collaborative mentoring groups.  The following topics will be covered:  a) the purpose of the program, b) the expectations of the program, c) do’s and don’ts, and d) suggested topics for small-group meetings. Time will be provided for small group meetings during which collaborative mentoring teams will plan their schedule and discuss potential topics. A second meeting will be held in January. This meeting time will include a large-group discussion of the program, networking and social time, time for evaluation of the program, and small group meeting time to launch Spring Semester activities. 

 The Office of Faculty Development will offer ongoing support to mentoring groups through face-to-face consultation, email, or telephone conversations. 

How Do I Become Involved?

 If you are interested in participating in our mentoring program as a mentee fill out the early career faculty application. If you are interested in participating as a mentor fill out the senior faculty application. Registration is required by Friday, September 20, 2019. You can also contact the Office of Faculty Development at

Every success recorded by a mentoring program participant, every step toward tenure and promotion, is part of building a better future for all at Western.