Music Mentorship Plan
Points of Contact and Liaison
The Music Department Chair will serve as the main point of contact for Divisional questions about our mentorship program.
Timeline of Action
Established mentorship pairs; all 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, 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 have also circulated the initial draft of our 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.
A practice of informal group mentoring, facilitated by two Associate Professors, was established. Several group mentoring sessions have taken place since the fall.
Faculty were given updated copy of the Mentorship Guidelines draft, and were surveyed for input. The Mentorship Guidelines were finalized and submitted to the Arts Division as requested.
We will distribute the finalized Mentorship Guidelines and Voting and Personnel Review Guidelines documents to faculty. Informal group mentoring sessions will continue to take place, as we recognize the importance of group mentoring as a safeguard against the abuse of power.
For mentees coming up for review in the following academic year, we encourage seeking advice from both mentors and the Department Chair about how to best navigate the review process. Mentorship should 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, especially in anticipation of major promotions.
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.
During the spring quarter, the Music faculty continue to discuss the efficiency and equitability of our undergraduate curriculum, and have scheduled a special faculty meeting in May for a discussion about our core theory curriculum. This portion of our curriculum needs adjusting in order to address issues of academic freedom and to close equity gaps with regard to student success in major pathways courses, especially among students of color and first generation college students.
Finally, during spring 2023 the Music Department will again vote to change our current voting practice to bring us in line with the rest of the Arts Division departments, all of which now allow all faculty to vote on all files regardless of rank. Recognizing that the campus experience indicates that allowing all senate faculty to vote on all cases improves department collegiality and diversity, we must achieve this goal.
The Music Department recently overhauled its B.A. curriculum to decenter Western and Eurocentric perspectives. The program formerly offered just one track to success, with problematic and outmoded barriers to access. The curriculum has been restructured to reflect the research and teaching expertise of the ladder faculty, which represents many diverse offerings, and allows students of stylistically diverse musical backgrounds and interests to thrive in the music major.
A key to the new curriculum is a continued effort to diversify our course offerings. We note that new course proposals will be carefully vetted by the Chair as developing a new course proposal is added work that might be avoided in the early years of one's career, although we also acknowledge the importance of allowing junior faculty autonomy over their own teaching priorities.
All ladder faculty are polled for their teaching preferences annually. With new incoming faculty, the Department Chair will earmark courses that would best suit the new hire and the new curriculum. These courses should be a mix of lower/upper division and graduate courses, with lower enrollments and strong relation to courses taught on the new hire’s CV. The faculty agrees that large lecture courses should not be assigned in the first year.
The Music Department has been in discussion on reporting methods of feedback. One setting that has been established is an informal group mentorship committee geared towards supporting junior faculty. This idea was formed in spring 2022 and several Associate Professors are leading this effort for 2022-23. The group setting functions as a tool to allow for sharing ideas and best practices, and provides a good setting to build relationships organically, where many valuable mentoring relationships can begin. We wish to emphasize that group mentoring can provide a space safe for airing concerns about department culture.
The Music Department is committed to seeking out opportunities where informal mentoring can occur, and we foster a sense that the request for informal and spontaneous mentorship is a normal and desired part of department culture. We also offer a number of community-building events annually to encourage positive interpersonal relationships. In addition to our concerts, which are at the heart of the Music Department community, we offer the following: ● An annual Graduate/Faculty Fall Mixer;
● Music Department Fall Kick-Off Lunch (including adjuncts, lecturers, and staff); ● End-of-the-year faculty/staff party (including retirement parties);
● All-Department Colloquium (approx. 3-4 times per quarter);
● Informal receptions and gatherings celebrating completed doctoral degrees, special concerts, performances, and events, visiting guest scholars and artists, etc.
All ladder faculty are polled regarding their top three choices for committee work. The Chair determines the final assignments. The Chair is careful to note professor rank, assigning junior faculty with lighter workloads, and also being careful not to burden BIPOC faculty with assignments to work on DEI committees unless it is their first-choice request, as we recognize the burden of expecting BIPOC faculty to be diversity experts.
3 April 2023