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Faculty Mentoring: Principles, Best Practices, and Expectations

Constructive mentoring of junior faculty can be a significant factor in helping new faculty reach their full potential and in the development of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Moreover, mentoring provides a unique and valuable method to use the talent of senior faculty to provide leadership. The goal of the Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is to help junior faculty succeed. To accomplish this, the School has established a voluntary junior faculty mentoring program that is owned by the faculty and supported by funds from the Bill and Karen Campbell Fund and the Office of the Dean.


    1. Junior faculty members will find in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and the academic community at-large individual colleagues who provide them with appropriate professional advice.
    2. Junior and senior faculty participation in the Campbell mentoring program is voluntary.
    3. It is the responsibility of the School of Pharmacy and its divisions to mentor faculty in ways conducive to success in teaching, research, and service and, thereby, to assist in the tenure and promotion process.
    4. Faculty mentoring is a critical responsibility of the School’s division chairs. Mentoring junior faculty is especially important and is supported by the Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program.
    5. Mentoring is both a formal and informal activity that provides advice and assistance in areas that include, but are not limited to, teaching, scholarly activities, service, and enhancing academic life.
    6. Tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty in the Bill and Karen Campbell Mentoring Program should have the opportunity to review their teaching, research, and service contributions formally with their division chair at least once a year. These reviews should be constructive and diagnostic. For tenure-track faculty, these reviews should include information about the fourth-year review and tenure and promotion review processes. Without predicting success, these processes should outline benchmarks needed for a successful tenure or promotional review, provide suggestions for making improvement, and address areas of strength and areas for improvement in the faculty member’s teaching, research, and service.
    7. Division chairs should recognize that some faculty in the Bill and Karen Campbell Mentoring Program may face special challenges in the academic workplace and in receiving appropriate mentoring. These faculty members may include, for instance, a single parent, a primary caregiver of elder parents or disabled child, an underrepresented minority. In such instances, the formal and informal mentoring program should be respectfully inclusive of such candidates and their work.
    8. New faculty members should not be brought in or engaged in Divisional or School issues that are not central to their development and progression.

Best Practices

    1. During the interview process, the junior faculty members are introduced to the Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program.
    2. Upon candidates accepting a primary faculty appointment at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the director of the Campbell mentoring program will ask the new members if they wish to participate in the program. If they wish to do so, the director will work with the junior faculty’s division chair to assemble a mentoring team. The team should be in place when the junior faculty member arrives on campus. The mentee with the chair of the mentee’s division will provide the director of the Bill and Karen Campbell faculty mentoring program and the mentoring team a list of objectives for academic success for the initial two years. These objectives serve as the basis of the mentoring plan and will address the objectives agreed to by the division chair and the junior faculty member. The plan should include teaching, scholarly, and service activities.
    3. The division should work to develop a climate of mentoring in which all faculty assist new members. Collegial conversations about the intellectual concerns of the department or program provide a useful opportunity for informal mentoring.
    4. School faculty will recognize requests for help and guidance made by junior faculty are a sign of strength and that offering help and guidance is a responsibility of senior faculty.
    5. The mentoring teams and division chairs should advise junior faculty members of the many teaching and professional scholarship resources on campus that can assist their progression.
    6. The mentoring team and division chair should support independent as well as collaborative teaching and research on the part of the junior faculty. The academic leadership should recognize that collaborative work is, itself, a form of mentoring.

Expectations of the Mentees and Mentors

    1. The mentoring team is responsible for guiding the mentee toward scholarly independence consistent with the objectives outlined by the mentee’s primary division and division chair.
    2. The mentoring team will provide the mentee with timely scientific and methodological advice to assist implementation and development of independent study. Mentors will provide initial peer review of scholarly papers and proposals, help to identify consultants, and assist the mentee in developing effective presentations.
    3. The mentee and mentoring team will develop defined goals consistent with the division chair’s objectives and milestones and timelines to achieve.
    4. The mentee, mentors, division chair, and the director of the Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program will meet each year to discuss the mentee’s progress toward meeting professional goals and the mentee’s plans for the following year.
    5. The mentee will schedule regular biweekly meetings with each team member and monthly meetings with the entire mentoring team. A log of the meetings is maintained by the mentee where specific objectives and timelines are recorded.
    6. The mentee will invite team members to all seminars at which the mentee is a presenter.
    7. The mentoring team will participate in mock reviews during which the scholarly work of the mentee is presented and discussed.