Who is Assigned Mentors?

All tenure-track and research faculty members hired at the Assistant Professor level and all faculty members hired as Instructors/Assistant Teaching Professors are assigned two mentors. Faculty members who join the Department with tenure or at a level higher than Assistant Professor, or as Senior Instructors/Associate Teaching Professors, may request that the Department assign a mentor to them.

Who Acts as Mentor?

All tenured faculty members at the Associate Professor and Professor levels, rostered in either the ECEE Department or in other CU Boulder Departments, are eligible to mentor any mentee. In addition, all Senior Instructors/Associate or Full Teaching Professors in the Department are eligible as mentors of Instructors and all Associate Research Professor and Research Professors are eligible as mentors of junior research faculty and Instructors.

Role of Mentors

Mentors make their experience available to their mentees to get them acquainted with the Department and to make decisions about their careers. They advise about teaching, research, and service as appropriate. To that end, mentors and mentees should establish regular meetings (at least monthly). The Department will bear small, pre-approved expenses that may be incurred in carrying out these meetings.

Mentors also participate in the yearly evaluation process of their mentees. They review the material submitted by their mentees, they discuss plans and circumstances with them, and then present their cases to the PUEC. Finally, mentors also participate in the feedback meeting with the mentee, the Chair, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Affairs.

Assignment of Mentors

As part of the onboarding process, the Associate Chair for Faculty Affairs, in consultation with the Department Faculty selects a mentor for the newly hired faculty. This mentor contacts the new hire at the earliest opportunity to establish communication and help with non-administrative matters.

The second mentor is chosen by the newly hired faculty in the first three months since joining the Department. While the first mentor is usually from the ECEE Department, the second may be from another unit. At least one mentor should be from the ECEE Department.

The mentor-mentee assignment normally lasts until a tenure-track faculty receives tenure. For Instructors/Assistant Teaching Professors it last until they are promoted to Senior Instructors/Associate Teaching Professors. For research faculty, it lasts until they are promoted to Research Associate Professor. For senior faculty who elect to have a mentor, the assignment lasts for one year.

At any time during the mentorship period a faculty may request to change one or both mentors. The request is made to the Associate Chair for Faculty Affairs, or to the Chair in case of conflict of interest. Mentors may likewise request to be relieved of their mentoring duties. Whenever the number of mentors of a faculty member falls below the prescribed number, the Associate Chair for Faculty Affairs, in consultation with the mentee, nominates a new mentor.

Recognition of Mentors

Mentors have a significant responsibility in fostering the professional growth of junior faculty and in creating a welcoming environment. Successful mentorship relationships promote better teaching, research and service for the whole Department and improve retention.

In recognition of the important role that mentors play, and of the significant time commitment requested of them, the Department considers mentorship of junior faculty a major component of a mentor’s service.

The Department further recognizes the role of mentors by instituting a yearly award. Nominations may be submitted by all faculty. The decision is by the Executive Committee, which also set the deadlines for nominations so that the award may be announced in time for the yearly Department award ceremony.