The Office of Equal Opportunity encourages the development and use of mentoring programs Iowa State University’s various units and departments. This tool is an overview of mentoring research to assist departments and units in the design and application of their mentoring programs.
Mentoring programs have been shown to bolster the research and teaching component aspects of faculty performance in teaching assignments and in research projects. They have also been shown to help with generally improving an organizations retention by increasing communication, congeniality and support among its employees.
Iowa State University currently does not have the capability to have a formal mentoring program which aligns junior and senior faculty with matching identities in every college and department. It is precisely for this reason that a formal mentoring program can help Iowa State University retain diverse faculty.
There are four ways of organizing a formal mentoring program to provide resources to incoming diverse junior faculty:
- Departments and colleges can provide the names of senior faculty in other areas of Iowa State University to incoming junior faculty, so that they can have a matching identity mentor, as well as a mentor within their own college. This would provide a many-to-one mentoring relationship, so it would be necessary to address the unique challenges to that relationship outlined under that section of this article. One inherent problem with this kind of solution is that it could make the diversity tax more pervasive because the mentoring work is performed outside of the department. With that in mind, this kind of structure would require departments to communicate with each other to foster this kind of reciprocal benefit, in order to reduce an inherent diversity tax.
- Second, departments and colleges can also provide incoming junior faculty with names of other junior faculty to develop a peer group mentoring relationship with matching identities to undergird a cross cultural mentoring relationship inside of their college and department.
- Departments and colleges can also train their non-matching identity faculty on cultural competency issues, so that turbulence in the beginning of a cross-cultural mentoring relationship is eased.
- Fourth, departments and colleges can also encourage and facilitate participation in external mentoring opportunities that are listed at the end of the article.