University of Southern California USC

Academic Senate Retreat on Mentoring

Promoting the Culture of Mentoring at USC

February 11-12, 2011

Asr.mentoring.02112011 from uscLL

The 2011 annual retreat, jointly organized by the Academic Senate and the Provost, is devoted to the culture of mentoring, and is co-sponsored by the USC Mellon Mentoring Program.

USC is committed to achieve a culture of mentoring, so that mentoring is understood by all faculty as an integral part of their responsibilities, and that there is a cascade of mentoring reaching all levels from long-time faculty to new undergraduates. The Academic Senate, Provost and President have declared these expectations in the Faculty Handbook and in the guidelines on promotion.

Outstanding mentors are recognized through the Provost’s Mentoring Award and the Mellon Mentoring Awards, and university-wide mentoring initiatives include the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET), the Center for Excellence in Research (CER), the Mellon Mentoring Forum, and the Academic and Leadership Development Committee (ALD).

The theme of this retreat is how to continue to transform USC’s culture by conceiving innovative programs that will help faculty be effective mentors of colleagues and students. This emphasis is part of the overall initiative, endorsed by both the Academic Senate and the Provost, to support faculty growth.

The retreat is meant to be a brainstorming and planning session to produce ideas to invigorate existing university programs (such as ALD, CET and CER), to expand current mentoring initiatives (such as the Mellon Mentoring Forum, the residential colleges, and the undergraduate research programs), and to share ideas of how departmental culture can help existing faculty be transformative.

Goals of the retreat are to understand:

  • What mentoring do we currently have at USC?
  • What are the goals for improving our mentoring programs?
  • What are the obstacles to achieving those goals?
  • How do we get buy-in from the faculty?
  • What are the specific actionable next steps?

Overview of panels:

Faculty mentoring undergraduates:

Faculty mentor undergrad students in areas ranging from community engagement and global experiences to technology and arts & humanities. Residential education provides informal learning experiences that enrich undergraduate education. USC undergraduates, sometimes independently, sometimes in groups, conduct research with guidance from distinguished faculty.

Faculty mentoring graduate students and post-doctoral scholars:

Grad students and post-docs are key members of USC’s community of scholars. Our faculty seek to help them achieve their goals, so that graduate students achieve success in their studies and post-docs develop into independent investigators, and all have experiences that prepare them for successful academic, research, or professional careers.

Faculty mentoring faculty:

We are committed to provide mentoring for all faculty, both tenure-track and non-tenure-track, both assistant professors and long-time faculty, as all are vital to achievement of USC’s academic goals.
One panel will focus on mentoring to help faculty be more effective as educators, and to help them in their career development.

A second panel will focus on mentoring to help faculty on research and scholarship, including helping assistant professors achieve tenure, helping research faculty succeed in their career goals, and helping long-term senior faculty reinvigorate their scholarly programs.


Academic Senate Retreat 2011 Agenda (PDF)

Photos from the retreat