Mentorship at Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University recognizes the value of mentoring for all faculty members and especially for new faculty.  The University provides new faculty with a collaborative first-year University-Wide Mentoring Program that is designed to support them as they begin to adjust to faculty responsibilities and engage as teachers, scholars, and citizens of the university and greater community.  Colleges and/or units provide additional discipline-specific and unit/college-specific mentoring (Shared Governance Policies, SG 3.01.E)


  • Each unit and/or college should develop a mentorship program that will be signed by the dean.  The plan, at a minimum, should contain the following elements:
    • Clarification of who can serve as a mentor or part of a mentoring group.  Successful mentoring depends partially on candidness and confidentiality.  Unit heads should not serve as assigned mentors.  A mentor should not participate in any process that involves a personnel decision (including annual salary adjustments) concerning the mentee beyond standard participation in unit discussions and voting on personnel matters at the unit level.  Mentors who subsequently serve on committees that make personnel or salary recommendations should recuse themselves when their mentees are being considered.
    • How the mentor(s) is assigned or chosen.
    • Confidentiality expectations.
    • Descriptions of a mentor’s role and a mentee’s role and the behaviors that are expected of each.
    • A list of required and optional topics to be covered by semester.
    • Scheduling of meetings between the mentor(s) and mentee.
    • A list of workshops/orientations the mentee should attend.
    • A list of people with whom the mentee should meet.
    • Planned class observations of the mentee and observations by the mentee.  (This is optional for library faculty.)
    • Process for ending the relationship by either party.
    • An explanation of how satisfaction with the program will be measured.
  • Colleges and/or units are encouraged to use mentoring teams rather than only one-on-one mentoring.
  • Each Unit or college with an existing mentorship program should review it to make sure that the above elements are included.  Also, each unit should determine if it is adhering to the program it submitted.  If some things are not occurring, those elements should be removed from the program.
  • New, untenured faculty members should be strongly encouraged to attend the University Program.  This, in combination with the college and unit programs, will provide the multiple-point mentoring that is recommended.  If a faculty member does not want to attend the University Program, they should notify their unit head in writing of their intent not to participate.
  • New, untenured faculty members should be strongly encouraged to participate in the unit and/or college-mentoring program.  If a faculty member does not want to participate in the unit and/or college program, they should notify their unit head in writing of their intent not to participate.

Available Resources

The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC) has mentoring resources available on their Faculty Mentoring Resource page.  In addition, the FTLC offers customized consultations and workshops on the topic of faculty mentoring.  The FTLC can also assist in the development of a college and/or unit mentoring program.

Model practices of mentoring can be found in Colleges and Units. View programs recommended by the Faculty Personnel Policy Committee.

Page last modified September 27, 2019