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Film & Digital Media Department Mentorship Plan

Film and Digital Media Mentorship Plan

June 2023

Film and Digital Media’s mentorship plan is concerned to ensure that every faculty member has access to a committed mentor and that mentorship relationships inform successful personnel review and advancement. More than that, we wish mentorship to contribute toward a positive culture of belonging in the department where faculty at all levels feel supported and able to ask questions and learn from each other.

Our mentorship handout (based on the Arts Division’s mentorship guidelines but lightly edited and expanded for clarity) outlines the expectations for mentoring.

In Fall 2023, our focus has been on establishing mentorship pairs; most faculty now have mentors. The chair has helped facilitate the pairs where necessary, meeting with some individual faculty to give them the opportunity to think out loud about possible mentor partners.

We have also revised our personnel review guidelines, not revised previously since 2013, which are included with this plan. We will continue to revise these guidelines after each cycle of personnel reviews is complete, further refining our process of evaluation.

We will also circulate the Mentorship Guidelines to all faculty mentor pairs with the suggestion to become familiar with all the contents and especially some of the helpful links to campus resources, personnel review expectations, DEI resources, etc.

In Winter 2023, all mentoring pairs will have received a copy of the Mentorship Guidelines and mentors will be reminded that the onus is on them to initiate a mentorship meeting, thereafter at least once per quarter. Chairs will check in with the pairs at the beginning of winter quarter to see if they have questions and to help set an agenda for the remaining year. Mentorship pairs will be encouraged to identify questions that the mentee might have for the current year, and questions or issues that pertain to summer and the following year. This will be especially important for those on the Call in Spring.

●      Also in Winter, the CLP will be due. The FDM Chair has already been consulting with faculty and heads of programs to ensure a curriculum that works as best as possible for everyone; that care will continue in the Winter as the CLP is finalized, with the aim of assuring the fall faculty, especially junior faculty, have teaching loads that are equitable.

In Spring 2023, many events will occur that will be significant for mentorship pairs:

●      Some mentees will be on the Call. Mentorship will focus on how to prepare for the personnel review and on questions about file-building. APO states in their department review procedures that either the Chair or the Chair’s delegate will “discuss research plans, teaching, and service with every assistant professor” and that they will “review status and performance of each faculty member.” In cases where a mentee prefers to have these discussions with their mentor rather than the chair, that will be allowed and the mentor will check with the Chair for any additional questions.

●      Some mentees will receive the results of their personnel reviews in Spring. This can be an occasion, hopefully, for celebration and also for the pair to discuss any questions or concerns about the review process and outcome. Pairs can also use this as a moment to take stock and think towards the next period of review.

●      The Chair will continue to think about service commitments for the following year, with the aim of locking in by the end of Spring quarter major roles such as DGSs, department committees, Senate committees and the like. This is the occasion for pairs to discuss service invitations and requests, responsibilities, and plans for the following year. At this point, the Chair will make sure that there is an equal distribution of service appropriate with rank in the department, per the mentorship guidelines and CAP suggestions.

●      At the end of this quarter, the Chair will identify mentorship pairs that seem to have been working particularly well and will make that known to the Division.

Points of Contact and Liaison:

The Chair of Film and Digital Media, Peter Limbrick, will be the main point of contact for divisional questions about the mentorship program.

Community-building Activities:

●      Wednesday Night Cinema Society, a regular screening series principally attended by graduate students and faculty.

●      Monthly graduate student/faculty mixers at Abbott Square, which began in Fall 2022.

●      FDM Visiting Artist series, where undergraduate attendees are prominent also.

Personnel Action Voting:

All faculty in Film and Digital Media are eligible to participate in personnel reviews for all peers at all levels. All are eligible to vote on all actions. This change was implemented to our bylaws some years ago and has been working very well; we see no reason to change our procedure on this point. Our personnel review process follows the guidelines established by APO and referenced above, with minor differences.


We anticipate polling all faculty members in a department meeting at the end of the 2023 academic year and each year thereafter to discuss how the program is working. And in addition we will offer a confidential feedback form so that both mentoring partners can report any issues or problems easily and confidentially to the chair.

Mentorship of Lecturers:

While mentorship of lecturers is not understood to be a fundamental part of the divisional plan this year, the Chair of FDM has already made some initial queries of Staff HR to discuss the viability of lecturer mentors. Mentors used to be offered for lecturers upon appointment but that process seems to have lapsed in recent years. We regard it as essential that lecturers, especially those appointed for a single course or a few courses and not continuing, have access to mentorship from ladder faculty so that syllabi are constructed appropriately for the course being replaced, TAs are being properly supervised with clear workload expectations, and ladder faculty are available to field questions and offer advice. Since review of lecturers is important to the extension of multiple-year contracts based on excellence, we wish for mentors to also observe a class and to regularly see syllabi. We hope to appoint mentors for all lecturers beginning in Winter 2023.