Establishment of a Faculty Mentoring Programme

PDAD&C #14, 2002-2003


TO:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
FROM:   Ken Bartlett, Director, Office of Teaching Advancement
DATE:   September 26, 2002
RE:   Establishment of a Faculty Mentoring Programme

I am writing as Director of the Office Teaching Advancement. Although I have spoken to many academic administrators since January when the office was created, I thought it wise to reintroduce myself both to reinforce my offer to assist you in any way possible in the improvement of teaching in your department or division and to ask for your help as well.

In my discussions with colleagues about how best to further teaching excellence in the University, it became clear that new appointments or junior faculty have particular concerns that would be best addressed within their own academic context and by colleagues conversant with that discipline and its teaching challenges. Specifically, I would like to establish a network of mentors throughout the University who would be available to work with their junior colleagues in the improvement of their classroom performance. Consequently, I would greatly appreciate it if you would pass along the names of those members of your department who have established a reputation for excellence in teaching and who might be interested in assisting their junior colleagues.

Because of the increasing demands made upon all faculty for service to the University, the Provost has established a modest fund to which faculty mentors can apply for small grants to develop their course materials or carry out activities that is in some way related to the delivery of their research to their students. The amounts will not be large, but access to this competition would at least provide some compensation for the time involved in mentoring young faculty. Of course, I will also record in writing the participation of faculty in this important enterprise so that it might be recognized for their PTR or their career development.

Please send me the names of any potential mentors from your department or division, and I will forward to them details on how to apply for small instructional development grants and other information regarding teaching advancement in the University which they can then circulate among their colleagues.

With thanks in advance.

Please feel free to contact us at:

Office of Teaching Advancement
130 St. George Street
Robarts Library, 4th Floor
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON M5S 3H1
416-946-8585 (tel); 416-946-8588 (fax)