Junior Faculty

Junior Faculty

We support junior faculty in their professional development as they build their scholarly and teaching careers at the University of Oklahoma. We work with department chairs and directors to ensure that junior faculty members receive ongoing advice and mentorship regarding their professional paths, plans, and academic progress. We partner with academic units to offer junior faculty professional development opportunities in teaching and research. We also provide a tenure and promotion (T&P) workshop to help them understand the T&P process, timelines, institutional guidelines, and preparation of dossiers.

Provost’s Junior Faculty Mentoring Program

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 designed a new Provost’s Junior Faculty Mentoring Program designed to provide junior faculty with the opportunity to learn the institutional and system networks and maximize the use of such networks for personal and professional development. Whereas most colleges have informal or formal mentoring programs, junior faculty members can also request a mentor via the Provost’s Junior Faculty Mentoring Program. Senior faculty members who have the passion and experience for mentoring are strongly encouraged to join the program.

The Vice Provost for Faculty Development, the Associate Vice President for Research, and the Executive Director for the Center for Teaching Excellence will serve as the “Mentorship Committee.” The committee will carefully evaluate mentor applications to identify a group of faculty members from diverse backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, and career experiences who collectively will address the needs of the mentees for that academic year. Each mentor will receive a one-year membership to the Jan Marie and Richard J. Crawford University Club and $150 discretionary funds for the mentoring experiences in the same year.

The mentorship committee will host a retreat each fall for the mentors to discuss expectations from mentors as a group and as individuals, provide a forum for exchanging past mentorship experiences, and review mentee applications and strengths of the mentors in the program.

Each year, the mentees will nominate mentors for the outstanding mentor award. The mentorship committee will review all nominations for the award. The outstanding mentor will receive $1,000 in appreciation and recognition of the outstanding service.

To join the program as a mentor or mentee, complete an application form (below).

Application form to become a mentor

Application form to request a mentor

General Expectations from the Mentors:

1) Provide information to mentees about the institutional support available for career or professional development.
2) Listen to mentees and offer advice and guidance.
3) Provide guidance for short and long term career planning.
4) Keep discussions and comments confidential.
5) Be candid when you see areas in need of improvement.
6) Celebrate success of the mentees and encourage them to persist when setbacks occur.
7) When mentorship is not effective, seek confidential advice from the coordinator of the mentorship program.

General Expectations from the Mentees:

1) Engage with your mentor and actively participate in this mentor/mentee relationship.
2) Use the mentoring sessions most efficiently. Come prepared.
3) Keep discussions and comments confidential.
4) Be respectful of the mentor’s time.
5) When mentorship is not effective, seek confidential advice from the coordinator of the mentorship program.

Possible areas where mentorship can be beneficial:

1) Social and professional networks – introduce mentees to individuals with similar interests.
2) Balancing work and personal life, time management.
3) Clarity in promotion and tenure process.
4) Judging professional service commitments.
5) Guidance on working with and taking the perspectives of others
6) Early review of proposals for external funding and/or manuscripts.
7) Student supervision
8) Improvement strategies for teaching and student learning
9) Personal issues

Faculty at the University of Oklahoma are expected to engage in three primary activities:

1) Engage in research / scholarship / creative activity
2) Instruct courses
3) Provide service to the institution and beyond the University

The Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment (CRPDE) is dedicated to assisting faculty in their efforts to become successful researchers / scholars / artists and/or instructors.

Maintaining a dynamic and up-to-date research/scholarship plan can allow faculty to develop a career trajectory that aligns professional goals, teaching, and work-life balance. In addition, CRPDE also provides workshops on a number of topics pertinent to junior faculty, including research project idea development, scaling research ideas, research funding planning, understanding external funding agencies and internal funding resources, increasing research competitiveness, removing barriers to successful scholarship and the like.

The iRep Program walks faculty through the development of an individualized Research Plan with the goal of developing a dynamic and creative path for faculty to align their activities with professional goals, research/scholarship/creative activity, teaching, service, and work-life balance.

iRep begins with a workshop in a small group format. Consult the workshop calendar on the CRPDE website for more information: http://crpde.ou.edu/irep

Thanks to the Faculty Senate Faculty Welfare Committee, the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues, the Office of Legal Counsel, and many others, OU Norman campus has a new set of guidelines for the application of FMLA in the context of faculty employment.

FMLA Policy