Author(s): Carole A Benson, Page S Morahan, Ajit K Sachdeva, Rosalyn C Richman
The experience and lessons learned in the design, implementation and initial evaluation of a demonstration faculty-to-faculty mentoring program, during a time of major institutional reorganization, are described. The question addressed was: Can a voluntary mentoring program be established with minimal resources and be effective in the context of major organizational change? Key design elements included two-tiered programs (one year preceptoring and multi-year mentoring), voluntary participation, and selection of senior faculty members by the junior faculty members. A total of 20% of junior faculty and 30% of senior faculty participated. Faculty indicated the program was worth the time invested, had a positive impact on their professional life and increased productivity. There was high satisfaction with the mentoring relationship, especially the psychosocial mentoring functions, and a trend toward increased retention of minority faculty. Within two years, the program was institutionalized into the Office for Faculty Affairs, and faculty approved a mentoring policy. It is concluded that voluntary mentoring programs can have a positive impact on junior and senior faculty satisfaction, reinvigorate the collegial culture, and improve productivity and retention even during a time of reorganization and minimal resources.