APS #1021

ActiveImplementation Delayed

Mentoring for Tenure-Track and Tenure-Eligible Faculty

Brief Description

Outlines expectations for faculty mentoring.

Reason for Policy

To outline expectations for faculty mentoring.

Policy Profile

APS Policy Title: 
Mentoring for Tenure-Track and Tenure-Eligible Faculty
APS Number: 
Proposed Effective Date: 
July 1, 2020
Effective Date: 
July 1, 2017
Approved By: 
President Bruce D. Benson
Responsible University Officer: 
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Office: 
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Policy Contact: 
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, 303-860-5623
Faculty Development and Mentoring, April 1, 2012
Last Reviewed/Updated date: 
July 1, 2017
Applies to: 

I. Introduction

Departments and schools/colleges invest considerable time and resources hiring tenure-track and tenure-eligible faculty and thus have a significant stake in the retention of these new hires and share a responsibility to nurture the talents of their faculty members by providing relevant information and advice. However, it is the individual faculty member's responsibility to develop the teaching and research skills and a work plan that produces the quality and quantity of professional activity needed to warrant reappointment, tenure and/or promotion.

II. Policy Statement

    1. Faculty Members in a Probationary Period

      Individual faculty members hired into positions for which there is a mandatory evaluation period followed by a decision to continue or terminate the appointment shall be provided with mentoring opportunitiesMentoring OpportunitiesSee Section III. Definitions. relative to the standards of performance required for reappointment, tenure and/or promotion.

      1. Criteria for Tenure and/or Promotion

        At the time of hire, faculty members must be provided with the university's standards and procedures for tenure and/or promotion, including the primary unit’s published criteria for tenure and promotion and a timeline for the review process. In addition to published policies and guidelines, schools and colleges shall provide their faculty members reasonable opportunities for training and information sessions on the tenure and promotion process.

      2. Mentoring

        Primary units shall ensure that reasonable mentoring opportunities are available for faculty members during their probationary period. However, in some cases, it may make more sense for the campus’s faculty development office or a school or college to take responsibility for providing mentoring opportunities. Together, the dean and faculty of each school/college shall determine whether to have unit-based mentoring or campus/school/college-based mentoring.

        Department chairs/unit heads have the responsibility to assist any faculty member who requests a mentorMentorSee Section III. Definitions. during his/her probationary period to locate an appropriate mentor on the campus. In some units, it may be helpful to identify an external mentor from another CU campus or from outside the university. External assistance, however, cannot be assured. If the mentoring program is formal, the frequency and general subjects of the mentoring sessions should be documented.

        While the primary unit (or school/college, if not the primary unit) has a responsibility to provide reasonable mentoring opportunities, faculty members should proactively seek mentoring assistance.

        Faculty members who believe they are not getting adequate mentoring are responsible for bringing their situation to the attention of the unit head. If they are not satisfied with the mentoring opportunities the unit head provides, they should bring this concern to the attention of the dean or the provost’s office.

        Faculty members who serve as mentors should be able to count mentoring activities in the annual merit evaluation process.

      3. Advising on Progress toward Reappointment, Tenure and/or Promotion

        Faculty members receive specific feedback on their progress toward tenure and/or promotion at the Comprehensive Review (leading to reappointment, usually in the fourth year). They may also request additional feedback from the primary unit head in the second and any subsequent year prior to the tenure and/or promotion decision (except the academic year in which the Comprehensive Review is undertaken). In this additional feedback process, the primary unit head shall examine evidence provided by the candidate of the candidate's teaching, research/creative work, clinical activity, and leadership and service and make suggestions for improvement in those areas where the record should be stronger. These suggestions are not intended to provide the level of specific formal feedback that is provided through the Comprehensive Review. The primary unit head may recommend that the candidate work with senior faculty members and/or with a campus office of faculty development. If the candidate elects these advising sessions, the candidate shall report this fact in the annual report of professional activity (FRPA), but the content of these consultations shall remain confidential unless the faculty member elects otherwise.

    2. Other Faculty Members

      Units are encouraged, but not required, to extend mentoring opportunities to other faculty as resources allow.

III. Definitions

A mentor is an individual who provides career development counseling, either formally or informally, to assist a faculty member.

Mentoring opportunity(ies) refers to a range of professional assistance provided to faculty on such subjects as the tenure and promotion process, teaching, publishing, creative work, research, grants, etc.

IV. History

This policy was developed from recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Tenure Related Processes in 2005-06.

  • Initial APS approved October 1, 2006.
  • Revised April 1, 2012.
  • The term “service” was replaced with the term “leadership and service” effective April 30, 2014, per resolution of the CU Board of Regents.
  • Faculty Development and Mentoring, April 1, 2012 was revised and renamed July 1, 2017.