Mentoring Resources

A wide range of resources is available on the topics of faculty mentoring and the development and advancement of scholars. This resource guide is meant to provide you with foundational information on the benefits of and strategies for effective faculty mentoring and development of scholars. The following list of academic resources is by no means comprehensive.

Akerlind, G. S. (2005). Academic growth and development—How do university academics experience it? Higher Education, (2005) 50, 1-32.

Abstract: This paper reports the outcomes of a study, undertaken from a phenomenographic perspective, of university academics’ experiences of their own growth and development, i.e., what it means to them, what they are trying to achieve, how they go about it, why they do things that way…the outcomes presented are based on a series of interviews with teaching and research academics at a research intensive university. The group as a whole showed a range of view of academic development, representing in particular a varying focus on (1) academic performance, in terms of increasing work output, academic standing or work quality; (2) personal learning in terms of ongoing accumulation of new knowledge and skills or increasing depth of understanding in one’s field of study; and (3) disciplinary or social change, in terms of contributions to one’s field of study or a relevant social community.  Implications for our understanding of academic development and academic work are discussed.

Chesler, N. C., & Chesler, M. A. (2002). Gender-informed mentoring strategies for women engineering scholars: On establishing a caring community. Journal of Engineering Education, (January, 2002), 49-55.

Abstract: Improved mentoring of women graduate students and young faculty is one strategy or increasing the presence, retention and advancement of women scholars in engineering. We explore the sociological literature on interpersonally- and institutionally generated gender roles and dynamics that make the construction and maintenance of mentoring relationships especially difficult for women in male-dominated fields. In addition, we review nontraditional strategies including peer-, multiple- and collective mentorships that are likely to be more successful for most women (and many men). Finally, organizational change strategies designed to provide a more egalitarian and cooperative atmosphere in engineering programs and departments are presented. These ideas represent a social contract for a caring community more supportive of all members’ personal and professional growth and success.

Gibson, S. K. (2006). Mentoring of women faculty: The role of organizational politics and culture. Innovative Higher Education, (31) 1, 63-79.

Abstract: This article reports on a key finding of a phenomenological study on the mentoring experiences of women faculty. The study revealed the political climate of the organization as an essential attribute of this experience. Women faculty identified organizational culture and gender issues that affected the mentoring they received. This study suggests the need for human resource and organization development initiatives to facilitate the provision of academic mentoring for women faculty—individually, departmentally, and culturally—as a means to foster transformation and change in academic institutions.

Okawa, G. Y. (2002). Diving for pearls: mentoring as cultural and activist practice among academics of color. College Composition and Communication, (53) 3, 507-532.

Abstract: For senior scholars of color like Geneva Smithereen and Victor Villanueva, mentoring is more than an academic exercise.  From them and their protégés, we may gain some understanding of the complexities and costs of building a multiethnic/multiracial professoriate in our discipline.

Tillman, L. C. (2001). Mentoring African American faculty in predominantly white institutions. Research in Higher Education, (42) 3, 295-325.

Abstract: Mentoring has been identified as a method to facilitate the professional growth and development of African American faculty and to increase their representation in predominantly white institutions. However, there is little empirical evidence from studies of this group to suggest that this is the case. This article presents findings from a study of the mentoring experiences of African American faculty in two predominantly white research institutions, and the findings are presented using a cross case analysis to highlight complexities which may affect the dynamics of faculty-to-faculty mentoring for African Americans. The findings from this study make two important contributions to the literature on faculty-to-faculty mentoring for African Americans: an analysis of assigned mentoring relationships and the concept of the isolation of African American faculty in predominantly white institutions. The findings also challenge the literature on traditional faculty-to-faculty mentoring in three areas: mentor functions, phases of the mentor-protégé relationship, and race in the mentoring relationship. The article concludes with implications for practice and the role of the university in taking affirmative steps to facilitate the professional growth and development of African American faculty.

Useful sites

Additional literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, and resource guides, on mentoring related issues can be accessed via these links:

Other Resources by Topic (compiled by F.S. Laanan, 2007)