WHAT IS MENTORING?
Mentoring is a planned pairing of a more skilled or experienced person with a lesser skilled or experienced one with the agreed-upon goal of having the lesser skilled person grow and develop specific abilities to reach long-term objectives.
For the sake of simplicity and clarity and to assure there is a consistent understanding across the ASU campus, the term "mentor" refers to an experienced professor or professional with the "knowledge, skillset, [enthusiasm] and ability to empower [a tenure-track professor] through modeling, instruction, reflective dialogue, affirmation, challenge and support in the context on an authentic formal relationship"9 with clearly defined goals. The protégé (or mentee, trainee, apprentice or candidate) is the individual with less experience. The protégé and mentor are two individuals who will engage in a structured relationship with specific objectives. The mentor will share with the protégé the responsibility of achieving the goals rather than bear sole responsibility.
During the mentorship program, there will be opportunities for professional development for both the mentor and the protégé. The mentor and protégé relationship must be based on specific goals driven by the protégé but jointly arrived at with the mentor. The relationship may be more structured as is suggested in the program guidelines or it may be based on a natural chemistry between the two individuals. The relationship, however, should be between two individuals who do not have a direct reporting relationship but rather a relationship in which coaching and mentoring can be delivered in a non-judgmental way. Mentors can help tenure-track faculty navigate the process to becoming tenured while achieving personal, organizational and professional goals.