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Post-Tenure Mentoring

Alstete, J. W. (2000). Post Tenure Faculty Development: Building a System of Faculty Improvement and Appreciation. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report 27(4). This digest suggests post-tenure faculty development programs as a way to address pressures on the tenure system and calls for the elimination of tenure in higher education. The paper notes that tenure policies are being impacted by internal factors such as the uncapping of the mandatory retirement age and the aging of faculty, as well as by external forces such as increased use of information technology, globalization of the curriculum, a more diverse student population, and negative public perceptions about the tenure system. The paper examines current practices of faculty development, takes note of post-tenure faculty development programs currently used by several institutions, and suggests several strategies for building improved post-tenure faculty development programs.


Buch, K., Huet, Y., Rorrer, A., & Roberson, L. (2011, November 23). Removing the Barriers to Full Professor: A Mentoring Program for Associate Professors. Change43(6), 38-45. The article discusses the campus-wide career development needs assessment of associate professors and the comprehensive mid-career mentoring program at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, North Carolina. It says that the needs assessment revealed that associate professors perceive various factors as barriers to career development including lack of career planning attention, lack of career-development opportunities, and lack of promotion criteria transparency. It says that the needs assessment resulted in the formulation of a six-step mid career mentoring program for associate professors, with grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, to increase women career advancement in STEM education disciplines. Also included is the mid-career faculty planning process chart.

Harnish, D. A. & Wild, L. A. (1994, June). Mentoring strategies for faculty development. Studies In Higher Education19(2), 191. Peer mentoring as an intentional instructional improvement strategy and the concept of mutual mentoring are the focus of this article. These themes are explored through the presentation of four peer mentoring projects developed under a federal Title III grant for professional development and instructional improvement. Mentor faculty were teamed with faculty mentorees desiring assistance in developing or using new, alternative teaching materials/methods or gaining new knowledge. Cross-disciplinary mentoring and the impact of mentoring on teaching and professional growth of both new and experienced faculty are present.

Hawkins, A. G.,Jr, Graham, R. D., & Hall, R. F. (2007). Tenure as a fact of academic life: A methodology for managing the performance of tenured professors. Education and the Law, 19(1), 41-57. Academic freedom is the right, especially of a university professor, to free speech without fear of reprisal. Experts posit three means to academic freedom: tenure, due process and professional competence. A critical issue in current post-secondary education governance and administration that relates to each of these means is post-tenure review. Post-tenure review relates to evaluating and managing the performance of tenured professors. Performance fundamentals include accountability, competence and professional development. This article suggests a methodology for a performance-based approach to increasing the productivity of tenured professors while safeguarding academic freedom.

Licata, C. M., & Andrews, H. A. (1992, March). Faculty leaders' responses to post-tenure evaluation practices. Community/Junior College Quarterly of Research and Practice, 16(1), 47-56. Faculty leaders (union head or faculty association head) from the 305 member colleges in the 19-state North Central Region were surveyed to determine the status and effectiveness of post-tenure evaluation within each institution. Responses indicate that there is overwhelming support for the need to review tenured faculty for purposes of development and improvement. However, the effectiveness of current systems in accomplishing this goal is suspect. The major reasons cited for ineffectiveness include the inability of the evaluation to tie directly to faculty development and the lack of credible mechanisms to reward meritorious teaching and deal effectively with substandard teaching. Suggestions for improvement include development of an evaluation plan which, over time, can join formative and summative results.

Mignon, C., & Langsam, D. (1999, September). Peer review and post-tenure review. Innovative Higher Education, 24(1), 49-59.  This essay focuses on four themes, which are post-tenure review as a summative moment in a cycle of formative occasions, the post-tenure period as characterized by flux and change, the post-tenure period as one of crisis in intellectual growth, and peer collaboration and review of teaching as appropriate modes of faculty development.

Neumann, A., & Terosky, A. L. (2007, May). To give and to receive: Recently tenured professors' experiences of service in major research universities. The Journal of Higher Education, 78(3), 282-310. Professors create their careers through three forms of work: research, teaching, and service.  Teaching and research are well defined in most professors’ careers and in higher education at large.  However, faculty service is nebulous.  In this article, we define service as faculty members’ contributions to (a) the governance, management, and operation of their employing institution, in whole or in part, internally and externally; (b) the work of their professional/disciplinary associations; and (c) the maintenance of their disciplines and fields at large.  Drawing on a three-year study of recently tenured university professors’ learning and development across the spectrum of faculty work, we examined the widely held view that faculty service increases after tenure.  We also asked what forms increases took and what university professors claimed to gain, developmentally, from engagement in faculty service in the early post-tenure career (up to 5 years after the award of tenure).

Nottis, K. E. K. (2005, July). Supporting the mid-career researcher. Journal of Faculty Development, 20(2), 95. Individuals, institutions and organizations that are committed to the quality, long-term research productivity of academics need to view the post-tenure period as a critical turning point. Continuing to engage mid-career faculty in research when the immediate need for publication has decreased is one of the key issues that should be addressed to sustain and increase quality scholarship from within an institution. Reasons for faculty involvement in research are explored in this paper with particular attention to the tension between competing identities (teacher versus researcher; practioner versus researcher), an especially salient issue for female academics. Contextual factors and challenges that impact research longevity such as type of institution and teaching load are also explored. This paper concludes with a discussion of some ways to support mid-career researchers to increase the chances of their continued productivity.

Professor, F. S. (2012, March). Midcareer mentoring, part 1. The Chronicle of Higher Education 31(17). The importance of tenured faculty members needing career guidance is discussed.

Smith, J. W., Smith, W. J., & Markham, S. E. (2000, Summer). Diversity issues in mentoring academic faculty. Journal of Career Development, 26(4), 251-262. 

Sorcinelli, M. D., & Yun, J.  (2007, November/December)  From mentor to mentoring networks:  Mentoring in the new academy.  Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 39(6), 58-61.  In the literature of faculty development, mentoring is usually mentioned as a vital contribution to a successful academic career, particularly for women and faculty of color. Mentoring has traditionally been defined as a top-down, one-to-one relationship in which an experienced faculty member guides and supports the career development of a new or early-career faculty member, and research on faculty development and mentoring programs largely has been designed to fit this traditional definition. Recently, a model has been emerging that encourages a broader, more flexible network of support, in which no single person is expected to possess the expertise required to help someone navigate the shoals of a faculty career. In this model, early-career faculty build robust networks by engaging multiple "mentoring partners" in non-hierarchical, collaborative, cross-cultural partnerships to address specific areas of faculty activity, such as research, teaching, working towards tenure, and striking a balance between work and life. This review highlights recent faculty-development resources, all published since 2000, that offer fresh models, concepts, and thinking on mentoring in higher education, particularly the mentoring of new and underrepresented faculty. The resources are organized into four areas: (1) new conceptualizations of mentoring; (2) recent studies on mentoring; (3) faculty-development programs and practices that promote mentoring; and (4) gender, race, and other diversity issues related to mentoring.

Wanberg, C. R., Kammeyer-Mueller, J., & Marchese, M. (2006, December). Mentor and protégé predictors and outcomes of mentoring in a formal mentoring program. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(3), 410-423. This study examines the predictors and outcomes of mentoring received by participants of a 12-month formal mentoring program. Based on relationship theory, we examined how the personality of the individuals in the mentoring dyad, their perceived similarity, and mentor perceived support for mentoring contributed to relationship outcomes. The study includes data from both mentors and protégés at the program launch, midway through the program, and at program close. Mentor proactivity was related to more career and psychosocial mentoring; protégé’s perceptions of similarity to the mentor was related to more psychosocial mentoring. More mentoring was related to positive protégé and mentor outcomes, including improved protégé career clarity over the duration of the study.




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