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Faculty Mentoring & Support Program

The Faculty Mentoring and Support Program was created through a collaboration between the Office of the Provost and the Commission for Blacks, Commission for LGBT People, and Commission for Women to establish a voluntary network of university-wide teams to provide high-quality mentoring and support for faculty from historically underrepresented groups, particularly faculty members who self-identify as people of color, women, and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals. The success of these faculty members is an essential component of the campus’ Vol Vision 2020 strategic plan.

Interested faculty will be assigned to mentoring and support teams and encouraged to meet informally with team members at least 2-3 times per semester. The Office of the Provost will provide funding for the teams to have lunch or dinner together at least twice per semester. Participants will have the opportunity to attend receptions as well as periodic training events focused on topics such as professional development, self-advocacy, work-life balance, the organization of UT, available resources for faculty at UT, and the tenure and promotion process. Each team will provide updates, reflections, and suggestions for future mentoring and support opportunities at the end of the academic year.

To participate in this program, faculty members begin by completing a brief questionnaire to identify their preferred mentoring group structure, meeting times, and goals. The questionnaire also includes optional demographic questions to aid the formation of mentoring teams that best meet individual faculty needs.

Based on participation and preferences, teams will be formed consisting of approximately:

  • 1-2 full professors
  • 2 associate professors
  • 2-3 assistant professors

Teams will not include faculty from the same department or those in supervisory relationships. Participation may be limited based on available resources, self-identified mentoring goals, and to ensure cross-disciplinary representation. This faculty mentoring and support program does not replace existing mentoring programs within departments or colleges; rather, it is intended to supplement and enrich departmental mentoring activities.

  • Provide a sustainable network of mentors for historically underrepresented faculty at UT.
  • Improve the social and professional support available to historically underrepresented faculty.
  • Enrich opportunities for research, teaching, and scholarly collaborations by fostering campus-wide relationships among faculty.
  • Provide historically underrepresented faculty with mentors who can help with setting research, scholarship, creative activity, and teaching goals and strategies to be successful at UT.
  • Increase the number of historically underrepresented faculty who advance to the associate and full professor ranks.

For more information and guidelines about the faculty mentoring and support program, including how to seek reimbursement for team meals, please download the “Information & Guidelines” PDF.


Faculty members who wish to participate in this program during the 2018 – 2019 academic year must complete the online questionnaire no later than September 17, 2018. Please direct all questions to Matthew Theriot, Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Strategic Initiatives, at mtheriot@utk.edu.

Complete the Online Questionnaire

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