Interdisciplinary Networking Committee Program

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A networked approach to starting your Lehigh faculty career 

All new faculty are invited to particpate in the Interdisciplinary Networking Committee mentoring program. Participants can include faculty from all colleges, those working interdisciplinarily, and those focused in one discipline, and those in professional teaching, professional researching, and tenure-track faculty roles.  To join the 2024-2025 INC program sign up by August 7, 2024  with the 2024-2025 INC intake form.

If you would like to be a mentor for a group of new colleagues, let us know that too with this form.

This voluntary program is co-organized by Lehigh ADVANCE and the Deputy Provost for Faculty Affairs.

Purpose: This University level faculty mentoring initiative provides the benefits of both peer networking and guided mentorship across ranks and disciplines. There is an emphasis on learning the institution, professional identity development and helping new Lehigh faculty get the mentoring they need. It is a complement, not a replacement, for college/departmental mentoring.  

• To provide helpful advice about developing relationships across campus and externally
• To provide insight on career development at Lehigh and professional identity
• To offer a more robust networking program and gain skills to effectively get more of the mentoring you need
• To complement existing college and department mentoring efforts

What is the structure? Up to 6 new faculty are matched into groups with up to 2 current faculty mentor-guides to provide support, connection, and guidance through the first year. The mentors are not selected to be all knowing gurus of your disciplinary norms, rather, they will be selected and prepared to guide and facilitate your growth and access. Disciplinary knowledge and attention to shared identities can be part of the match, via the intake form; the overarching driver of building the INC group is shared goals. 

The "Committee" looks like this, and relationships can grow in all directions. 

Professional development topics: Examples of professional development workshops may include: professional development plans for faculty, understanding communication styles, faculty evaluation at Lehigh, time management, elevator pitch/telling your story,  negotiation, becoming a research-mentor, teaching and advising at Lehigh; etc.  Past topics are listed below. Participants' needs can inform some of the topics.

Expected commitment: The INCs will meet about once a month for a 90 minute program-wide interactive professional development session. Most sessions will include time to focus on the process of developing a faculty development plan.  INCs are encouraged to meet between programmatic sessions to follow up on the previous topic or to address emerging ideas. 

2024-2025 INC Schedule The INC mentee participants meet about three times a semester for professional development topics to support  a faculty development plan. In between, the INCs can meet for additional learning, support, and development. The mentors may also gather periodically for their own support with refining their role as guides to new faculty.

2024-2025 INC intake form

Skills and Topics for ideas for mentoring activities that you can tailor to your personal situation.

Previous INC Years

2022-2023 INC 

2021-2022 INC Schedule

2020-2021 Schedule, via zoom

2019-2020 Schedule

Structure of INC before 2022- While all new facuty were invited, typically, pre-tenure colleagues opted in to this program which started in Fall 2011, as a pair of pairs with an imbedded one-one disciplinary match. We revised the approach in 2022 to focus more on individuals' growth, including teaching track faculty, and navigating with peers.

Topics of prior Interdisciplinary Networking Committees sessions include:

  • Introduction to the INC program and expectations

  • Time management

  • The reappointment and tenure process

  • Writing personal statements

  • Giving an elevator pitch

  • Getting feedback in a sounding board model

  • Mentoring students, student advising

The original slide show summarizing the launch of the initiative provides additional insights into topics that could be the subject of needed guidance and suggests concrete steps networking committees could take.