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New Faculty Member (NFM) Mentoring Program

Sabancı University 

Faculty of Engineering & Natural Sciences (FENS)

New Faculty Member (NFM) Mentoring Program

Sabancı University has demonstrated a rapid progress and maturation since the outset, become one of the leading institutions in higher education in Turkey and received international recognition. Exemplary contributions played a major role in this process from faculty members not only as active educators and researchers but also as initiative takers to help structure the organization as a unique environment for high quality education and high impact research. As a part of this process, the need has been recognized to develop a mentoring program that helps new faculty members (NFM) to achieve career advancement and to adjust the culture and norms of the university.

The goals of the mentoring program are:

  1. To help the NFM to familiarize with the campus, faculty, programs and administrative and academic processes.
  2. To introduce the NFM to the faculty and establish a professional network.
  3. To encourage the NFM to develop a teaching strategy.
  4. To promote the development of effective research skills and publishing strategies.
  5. To guide the NFM in development of productive balance between research, teaching and service
  6. To foster a collegial atmosphere.
  7. To provide guidance to the NFM on career advancement and the performance evaluation process.

Mentor Assignment
Upon conclusion of the appointment processes, NFMs are informed about the scope of the mentorship program and asked to either contact directly to potential mentors, or indicate their choice of profiles of a mentor. Mentor profiles are based on the program affiliation, research and teaching interests, service, seniority, and particular strengths such as networking, time-management, teaching techniques, grant writing, workshop organization, accessibility, etc.

The Dean’s Office contacts potential mentors who have the closest profile to the one described by the NFM, confirms their availability and completes the mentor assignment. The NFM informs the Dean’s Office, if she/he wishes to opt-out of the program, or has already contacted potential mentors and reached an agreement. 

Typically, each NFM is expected to work with two mentors: one from the NFM’s program and one from another one.

Mentorship is absolutely voluntary, considered as a part of service to the university and open to all faculty members. Even new faculty members with a few years of experience may become good mentors. NFMs and mentors are expected to meet formally on a regular basis or informally, such as lunch meetings. However, a faculty-wide mentors and mentees meeting is held once every semester among all NFMs, mentors and other volunteers to enrich the experience thru exchange of information and experience.

Scope of the Mentorship Program
The program is strictly voluntary for both mentors and mentees and defined within bylaws, rules and the academic principles of Sabancı University, first and foremost, the Statement of Academic Freedom. Thus, the mentorship program is stringent on protecting the intellectual independence of the NFM. 

Typical expected duration of the program is the first-year of the NFM’s appointment. However, if the NFM wishes the mentorship program can be prolonged until his/her first performance evaluation. Moreover, the mentorship relationship can be concluded by the mentor, NFM or mutually, in cases of changing commitments, unavailability, inaccessibility, etc., without any prejudice or fault. In case of incompatibilities, or other wrongdoings the Dean must be informed confidentially.