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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 7, 2007

Provost releases report of mentoring task force

University of Iowa Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Lola Lopes today released the final report and recommendations of the Mentoring Task Force, which was charged by former Provost Michael Hogan in January 2006 to take a broad look at faculty mentoring at the UI.

Recommendations in the report include:

* The initiation of an electronic newsletter focused on the needs of new faculty;

* Development of a centralized web site/clearinghouse that would provide information and Web links to a variety of university resources for both mentor and mentees;

* Offering of training for Departmental Executive Officers (DEOs) and other mentors;

* Training opportunities for DEOs and other faculty who serve as mentors;

* Creation of a Mentoring Advisory Board in the Office of the Provost;

* Establishment of a requirement that each college prepare a mentoring plan that meets its individual needs; and the development of methods for monitoring the outcomes of mentoring programs.

"Bringing great new faculty to campus is only half the job," Lopes says. "With strong mentoring we can help make sure that they have the best chance to succeed."

The ad hoc task force was asked to identify best practices in the mentoring of faculty from both the literature and current campus programs, and to make recommendations to further improve the mentoring of faculty members at the UI.

The goal of the initiatives is to increase the rate at which qualified faculty members attain promotion, improve the retention rate of qualified faculty and improve and enhance the UI environment by making it more supportive and welcoming, Lopes says. Additionally, the task force noted that an increased exchange of ideas between senior and junior faculty would contribute to the campus' intellectual vibrancy. 

Toward these ends, the Office of the Provost implemented several strategies this fall, including the creation of a new full-time professional staff position to coordinate faculty career and leadership development. Other initiatives include an electronic newsletter for new faculty, a dedicated e-mail address for new faculty inquiries (, professional development workshops for mentees and mentors featuring a nationally known expert, and Noon NetWork Luncheons to support peer mentoring.

The Mentoring Task Force was co-chaired by Usha Mallik, professor of physics and astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Susan Johnson, associate provost. For more information see

The committee's full report may be found online in PDF format at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Usha Mallik, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 319-335-0499,; Susan R. Johnson, Office of the Provost, 319-335-0256;; Charles S. Drum, University News Services, 319-384-0048,