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Faculty Mentoring Program



The goal of the mentoring program is to foster an environment of communication, cooperation and collaboration that will benefit the school as an academic community. Mentoring brings value to the all the individuals involved; mentoring improves support for diversity, improves awareness of personal biases, assumptions and areas for improvement, and creates a culture of acceptance and inclusion.

The Earth Sciences mentoring program is a formal program within the school, open to all faculty, and is completely voluntary. Faculty can choose mentors from anyone on the list of potential mentors; they do not have to be in the same department or discipline.

Who gets a mentor?

Any faculty member in the school can request a mentor, but all junior faculty are strongly encouraged to select at least one mentor. Individuals can have more than one mentor (for career planning, for community building, for university knowledge, etc.). In addition to the self-selected mentor, all untenured faculty will be counseled by their department chair for purposes of reappointment/promotion issues. This role is distinct, but complementary to any other mentoring or counseling the junior faculty may be receiving.

Who can be a mentor?

Anyone who is part of the “professoriate” can be a mentor, and this includes senior lecturers, tenured and untenured faculty, faculty in the tenure-line and those not, consulting professors, etc. A list of volunteer mentors will be maintained by the Dean’s Office and made available on the school’s web site.

Mentor Training

All mentors will be given mentor training (including words of advice from the Provost, associate provosts, and faculty affairs personnel), and it is presumed that those who volunteer to serve in this capacity will be at Stanford for at least several years (i.e., visiting faculty who are here for only a short time should not sign up to be a mentor). In addition to formal training, informal relationship building amongst the mentor community will be fostered through occasional lunches and other gathe rings. This will help ensure that a strong safety net is being developed across the school and that “best practices” are developed and shared.

How are mentors selected?

Any faculty member wanting a mentor (the “mentee”) should refer to the list of possible mentors. Links to mentors’ curriculm vitaes are provided and mentees are encouraged to look through the list before making a selection. Once they have identified their potential mentor(s), the mentee should take action to contact that person, either by phone or email. Mentees should email the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to report on who they have selected and has agreed to be their mentor. If, for some reason, the mentee encounters difficulty selecting or connecting with a mentor, he/she should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for assistance.

A word about the mentor/mentee relationship

Once the initial contact is made both the mentor and mentee should discuss and reach a clear understanding of what they expect from each other. They should agree on the frequency and duration, and they should decide whether or not the mentor will have an "open door" policy so as to be available for mentees at any time. It should be made clear that the mentor will not act as go-between for the mentee and the Chair regarding promotion, salary setting, etc.

Mentors cannot guarantee the happiness and work environment of mentees and they cannot make promises as to salary equity, access to resouces, etc., but they can offer support, encouragement and useful information.

The mentor/mentee pair should agree to a no-fault conclusion of the  relationship if either party feels that the intended goal is not being  achieved, without either blaming the other.


For more information about counseling and mentoring at Stanford, please refer to section 2.8.A of the Faculty Handbook.