Faculty Mentoring Program

Faculty members involved in the mentoring program are strongly encouraged to consult the Mentoring Handbook.

The materials in this handbook are adapted from successful mentoring programs at other institutions, including Grinnell College and Emory University and the publication Inside Higher Education.

The Mentoring Program is part of a suite of events, programs, and workshops offered by the Provost’s Office and the Faculty Development and Diversity Committee (FDD) that are designed to guide and support Barnard faculty in successfully building their careers as scholars and teachers.

Other components of this support include:

  1. New Faculty Orientation
  2. Junior Faculty Research Talks
  3. Professional development workshops (on such topics as academic publishing and securing grants and fellowships)
  4. The Willen Seminar program, designed to support faculty coming together for occasional seminars organized around a research or pedagogical topic
  5. Social events designed to build networks between new colleagues, across departments and professional generations

Senior faculty participation in the Mentoring Program is considered an important service activity by the College. The Mentoring Program pairs a new faculty member with a senior colleague, usually from a different department, who has a record of scholarly accomplishment, an excellent knowledge of the institution, and a willingness to help a new colleague navigate the next stages of the career at Barnard. 

The mentoring pairs regularly meet, determining strategies and identifying local resources to help the new faculty member formulate goals that are appropriate for the department, discipline, and career path. Although participation in the program requires a commitment to regular and sustained interactions between the partners, the program leaves it to the participants to negotiate the specifics of their mentoring relationship.

The most important part of the program is that new colleagues receive the necessary information, guidance, and advice they need to succeed at Barnard (and Columbia) and in their careers more broadly. To that end, the FDD has formulated this Mentoring Guide with suggestions for information sharing and strategizing regarding scholarship, teaching, and service.

Note:  Many of the recommendations in this guide are suited to new faculty members at the beginning of their careers. However, the mentoring relationship can be valuable to an established scholar joining a new institution.  Mentors and mentees should consider how their relationship might change as both accrue more experience.  For more ideas about the need for mentoring as one’s career advances, read this article from Inside Higher Ed.