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.
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? Revised for 2022 based on emerging successful practices in mentoring, up to 6 new faculty are matched into groups with up to 2 current faculty mentors 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 from one-two times a month-a mix of professional development workshops and time within your INC.
See Skills and Topics for ideas for mentoring activities that you can tailor to your personal situation.
Sessions: The INC mentee participants meet about three times a semester for professional development topics and in between, the INCs meet for additional learning, support, and development. The mentors will also gather periodically for their own support with refining their role as guides to new faculty.
2022-2023 INC Schedule is being finalized now- stay tuned. The intake form will go live before the start of the semester.
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 and navigating with peers.
Topics of prior Interdisciplinary Networking Committees sessions include:
Introduction to the INC program and expectations
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.