The most important and valuable investment a university makes is in its faculty and we feel strongly about helping them in every way possible to achieve success in all dimensions of their professional life. Mentoring is ONE important mechanism for carrying out that responsibility. The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost (OSVPP) has launched an Institutional Faculty Mentoring Program (IFMP) designed to provide faculty at all ranks with the opportunity to learn the institutional and system networks and maximize the use of such networks for personal and professional development. The IFMP is an OU-wide mentoring network for faculty, new and experienced, seeking to learn from the experiences of other faculty. The program serves as a catalyst for meaningful relationships to form among faculty, institutionally, with the goal of investing in each other’s professional development and success.
The IFMP is designed to supplement the traditional mentoring programs available in most departments and colleges. The internet and social media have created virtual opportunities for us to share our knowledge and experiences with one another. The practice of appointing a departmental mentor to junior faculty is no longer sufficient. Besides, research has shown that this practice has not always been effective. Today, faculty members are more proactive in reaching out to others for advice and support. The network of institutional mentors facilitates fruitful and mutually beneficial mentor-mentee relationships. A faculty member can reach out to any or all of the institutional mentors for guidance. We are very excited about the new program and look forward to expanding it every year.