The successful development of new academic faculty, including their leadership potential, is crucial to the success of each college or unit, and to UNMC as a whole. That’s where a formal mentoring program comes in. Along with helping overall academic achievement, mentoring programs can:
- Increase retention rates of new faculty
- Enhance their personal satisfaction of their career choice
- Improve faculty morale
- Assist in leadership development of junior faculty
- Reduce stress and prevent burnout
As such, mentoring programs add value to the university and its learning culture, and reduce the costs of faculty replacement. High faculty satisfaction will assist in recruiting students and postdoctoral fellows, in the obtaining of new grants, and in recognition of UNMC through publications and the provision of high-quality, safe-patient care.
However, in order to achieve all these benefits, there must be an organizational commitment and a shared vision across all areas of campus such that mentorship is embedded within the learning culture. This requires adequate infrastructure within each area to support mentoring activities and leadership should be role models on mentoring and encourage mentor and mentee participation.
To be successful, a mentorship program should also be visible through printed publications, an online presence local and regional newsworthiness, and celebrations of its success. The rewards from mentoring should be visible through the promotion and tenure process, by the selection of best mentors, in annual performance evaluations, and with the awarding of sufficient time to mentors for their meetings with their mentees.