COHP102 Academic Faculty Mentoring Guidelines – Academic Policy

UT Health Science Center:

COHP102 Academic Faculty Mentoring Guidelines – Academic Policy

No./Title: COHP 102 Academic Faculty Mentoring Guidelines

Resp. Office: FACULTY AFFAIRS Approval Body: College Council

Effective Date: May 2019

Category: Faculty

Last Review: May 2019

Next Review: May 2022

Contact: Dr. Hassan A. Aziz

Faculty Affairs

 901.448.3164

Related Policies:


Mentoring is a process in which faculty members share their experiences regarding a variety of issues including but not limited to 1) establishing and directing an individual research and scholarship program, 2) teaching within the professional and graduate curricula, 3) professional service, and 4) other activities associated with starting and maintaining a successful academic career. These guidelines are meant to support the mentor and new faculty. This is of importance for the College of Health Professions (COHP) as we strive to bring in faculty who can enhance the quality of the University’s outcomes as stated in COHP Strategic Plan.


Faculty mentoring will consist of two main elements, 1) orientation for new faculty, and 2) on-going peer mentorship.

Orientation for New Faculty

Orientation of the new faculty members to the Department is the responsibility of the Department Chair. The purpose of orientation is to:

  1. Inform the new faculty of the resources available within the Department, College and University to facilitate their ability to meet their academic responsibilities. This includes but is not limited to
    1. the day-to-day operations of the Department
    2. personnel support and management
    3. procedures and policies of the Department, College, and University
    4. clerical/business support for grant preparation and submission
    5. on-line resources
    6. information technology services
  2. Ensure understanding of job duties and expectations, including but not limited to
    1. the development of an independent research/scholarship program
    2. teaching within the professional and/or graduate program
    3. responsibilities for advising/mentoring students
    4. development of a network to facilitate collaborations with other on-campus faculty
    5. dedication of time for service/engagement activities. This includes discussion of annual performance evaluation, and the promotion and tenure process.
  3. Introduce and inform new faculty member to the activities and roles of important individuals and offices outside the department, including but not limited to the Dean’s Office, Academic and Faculty Affairs, Student Affairs, Research and Graduate Education, Finance and Operations, and other departments in the College. This also includes other offices, centers, and colleges and units on campus.

Faculty Mentoring

After orientation, with assistance from the Department Chair, the new faculty member will be assigned a primary faculty mentor, most likely from the Department. The Department Chair will work with the faculty member to determine who may best serve as this role. Conflicts of interest should be minimized in the selection of the faculty mentors. Ordinarily, the obligation to provide reasonable mentoring opportunities for faculty members rests with the primary departments. However, in some cases, it may make more sense for the Dean’s office to take responsibility for providing mentoring opportunities. Together, the Dean and Department Chair shall determine whether to have department-based mentoring, college-based mentoring or a combination of the two. For example, The Department Chair in collaboration with the Dean’s Office may recommend a different primary mentor or mentoring team from inside or outside of the Department for faculty with a high research time commitment.

It is the responsibility of the mentee to schedule and meet regularly with the mentor. Meetings should occur no less than once per semester. Elements of the interaction should include but is not limited to:

  1. development of clear, concise, and realistic goals and timeline for promotion and tenure
  2. discussion of means to achieve success in establishing and directing an individual research and scholarship program
  3. how to be successful in teaching within the professional and graduate programs
  4. the importance of and ways to be successful in professional service.

Role of the Department Chair

The Department Chair (or Program Director) will assign a faculty mentor to all new faculty during their first year, in consultation with the faculty member and the prospective mentor. The Chair will have responsibility for the overall faculty development and will meet regularly with the faculty member to review his/her progress and goals. The Department Chair/Program Director will also conduct an annual evaluation and provide a frank written assessment of the faculty member and establish goals and direction for the following academic year with the member.

Role of a Faculty Mentor

The main role of the faculty mentor is to ultimately support the integration of new faculty in the culture of the COHP and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). The role of a faculty mentor is to provide information and support so that the new faculty member can fulfill his/her potential. Helping the new member solve minor problems, learn policies and procedures, become aware of opportunities, and work productively is not only a useful service to the individual joining the College, but it enriches the entire campus community. Faculty mentoring is regarded as a service activity for the college and faculty mentors should be able to count mentoring activities in the annual performance evaluation process.

Role of Faculty Mentees

As new faculty members entering the college, mentees are usually eager to know more about the context that can help them in their career at the university. For a successful beginning to an academic career, mentees will need to assume responsibilities such as:

  • Express their needs for academics and logistics in a courteous manner and become familiar with the campus culture
  • Have a willingness to accept and act on constructive evaluations that are made to the mentee by the mentor or mentoring team
  • Become familiar with the Strategic Plan and goals of the Department, the College and UTHSC
  • Become familiar with UTHSC policies and procedures including the faculty handbook
  • Become familiar with research opportunities and resources
  • Accept opportunities to exchange ideas about teaching, research, clinical practice and services
  • Attend professional development events offered by COHP and UTHSC and other events as approved by the Department Chair

Faculty mentees who believe they are not getting adequate mentoring are responsible for bringing their situation to the attention of the Department Chair. If they are not satisfied with the mentoring opportunities the Chair provides, they should bring this concern to the attention of the dean.


Effective: May 2019

Approved: May 8, 2019, HPFO Approved: May 14, 2019, Dean of COHP

COHP102 Academic Faculty Mentoring Guidelines – Academic Policy
Version: // Effective: 05/01/2019
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