Summer Planning & Networking Lunch

On communicating with their mentors and mentees, results from the post-workshop evaluations revealed that many of the 28 faculty in attendance gained a variety of concrete skills and tips to use, as well as information on taking steps to prepare for tenure. Skills and tips for summer planning included timing and scheduling, being organized, formatting your CV, setting goals, keeping a log, doing detailed and realistic planning, and maximizing time with a work-life balance.

Faculty were appreciative of the opportunity to network with their mentors and mentees as well as other faculty. One mentor said “my mentee is well on her way, she’s well-organized and disciplined.” One of the mentees noted “my mentor is very good. He will be my mentor for life!” Several faculty noted that it might be helpful to have more of a buddy mentor system for junior faculty, so that they could help each other as allies.

Regarding the discussion on tenure, many faculty elaborated on the importance of finding appropriate letter-writers. One mentee realized it was also more important for her to focus on field research than to apply for a grant at that time. Faculty mentioned further resources such as the Applicant & Candidate’s Tool distributed at another workshop earlier in the year, and referenced checking the Tenure & Promotion Handbook.

For future presentations, mentor pairs asked to have discussions on related issues that could be shared by the whole group, in addition to talking with their mentors or mentees. And they would like to receive handouts on “how to succeed” in the academic environment. Some faculty requested future workshops on “how to” be better mentors. One faculty member said “this is most helpful. I wish it had been around when I had to come up for tenure years ago, and I applaud the initiative.”

Twenty-one participants completed evaluations of the “Summer Planning & Networking Lunch” sessions.

Question & Responses: Range = 1 (strongly disagree) - 6 (strongly agree)

  • The Summer Planning session lived up to my expectations N = 18 Mean = 5.44 (SD = .70)
  • The session helped me to identify four goals for the summer months N = 17 Mean = 5.35 (SD = .79)
  • The session assisted me in anticipating any roadblocks, or obstacles, and ways to respond N = 16 Mean = 5.25 (SD = .77)
  • I am glad I took the time to participate in the session N = 16 Mean = 5.63 (SD = .62)
  • The Networking Lunch session lived up to my expectations N = 20 Mean = 5.45 (SD = .60)
  • The session allowed me to get or give useful suggestions towards making goal progress N = 21 Mean = 5.67 (SD = .66)
  • I am glad I took the time to participate in the session N = 20 Mean = 5.60 (SD = .60)

Question & Sample Answers

Please give an example of at least one thing you learned and will definitely take from the Summer Planning session to use in your daily life. (open-ended)

  • I really enjoyed reading the handout/writing provided by the facilitator (Suzanna), very helpful
  • Will start thinking about letter writers
  • How to maximize time with work-life balance and tenure concerns
  • Start to prepare the tenure file and keep all the files
  • Be detailed, organized, realistic and do forward planning

Additional Comments

  • Very productive
  • Good idea to have this networking lunch
  • Wish this had been around when I had to come up for tenure years ago and I applaud the initiative