Mentorship Report

Mentorship Report




StrengthMentoring relationships are valued greatly among faculty at UMass with 89% indicating that departmental mentorship is important. Furthermore, 85% of faculty find serving as a mentor a fulfilling part of their job.  Mentoring can take many forms, from one-on-one to peer mentoring and other forms of mutual mentoring; from a formal matching of mentor and mentee to reaching out as needed to get help in a particular context. Of those who received departmental mentoring, in whatever form, 70% found it effective, putting UMass in line with faculty at its peer institutions. Similarly, 71% of those, who were mentored by faculty outside the department, and 86%, who were mentored by faculty outside the institution, found it effective. Pre-tenure faculty at UMass were much more satisfied with the effectiveness of mentoring within and outside the department than faculty at our peer institutions: 64% of pre-tenure faculty agreed that mentoring of their peers is effective, compared to 48% at our peer institutions.









Support for mentors is an important part of creating a culture of effective mentoring. An area of strength of UMass relative to our peer institutions is satisfaction with support for faculty to be good mentors. However, although faculty are more satisfied than our peers, the absolute levels of satisfaction are low: only 27% agree that there is support for faculty to be good mentors (48% disagree and 24% are neutral). 

Some groups of faculty are concerned about the effectiveness of mentoring among faculty of their rank and career stage in their department. For example, only 37% of non-tenure track faculty agree that mentoring of faculty of their rank is effective. Among NTT faculty, 42% of women view such mentoring as effective compared to 32% of men. The gender difference* among NTT faculty at our peer institutions is less striking, with 33% of women and 36% of men viewing mentoring of NTT faculty as effective. Furthermore, only 24% of tenured professors agree that associate professors are mentored effectively. Among tenured professors, 16% of women view such mentoring as effective compared to 31% of men. The gender difference among tenured professors at our peer institutions is less striking, with 25% of women and 29% of men viewing mentoring of associate professors as effective.

* COACHE reports findings by gender for men and women, including transgender men and women, but not for non-binary individuals.

Rec and Resources



Mentoring has long been viewed as a powerful means of enhancing the professional success and personal well-being of faculty members, particularly early-career and underrepresented faculty.  However, mid-career faculty also need support on their path to promotion in rank and as they develop new directions and opportunities in their careers.  

The following recommendations and resources are in place to help support mentoring efforts by faculty, departments, and schools & colleges: 

  • Because mentoring within the department is of highest importance to faculty, departments may consider developing and reviewing the effectiveness of departmental mentoring plans for early and mid-career faculty of all ranks, and especially those for associate professors and NTT faculty. Written, department-specific guidelines help support mentors and mentees in part because they outline clear expectations for mentors and mentees.   

  • Departments should consider evaluating the quality of mentoring and, as research into best practices by the COACHE initiative suggests, ask both mentors and mentees to participate in the evaluative process. 

  • The Office of Faculty Development (OFD) provides a Mid-Career Mentoring Plan for Associate Professors  and is developing a similar tool for non-tenure track faculty. Guidelines from the Provost for creating formal mentoring structures at the department level can be found here.

  • OFD offers many resources related to mentoring, such as a customizable mentoring map developed by The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. The ADVANCE program offers a set of best practices and other resources on mentoring of faculty.

  • Mutual mentoring has benefits for all career-stages and ranks. A comprehensive Mutual Mentoring Guide with information on building productive mutual mentoring networks and creating a culture of mutual mentoring can be found here.  

  • Mutual mentoring team and micro grants support innovative, faculty-led projects that support their growth as researchers, teachers, and leaders in their fields. Mutual mentoring grants are available through OFD and ADVANCE.

  • Whenever possible, mentors should be recognized and rewarded for the critically important work they perform in supporting their colleagues’ professional development and success. Department heads/chairs may promote mentoring by applauding such activities in their faculty members’ annual faculty reports.  The ADVANCE program celebrates mentoring efforts through the College Faculty Mentoring Awards that recognize contributions to equity through mentoring of colleagues.