Launch@UML has been expanded for the 2018-19 academic year to include new full-time faculty of all ranks. We enlarged the teams to create a more interdisciplinary environment similar to that in which our faculty work. The goal is to provide a structured framework for all new full-time faculty to learn about UML as well as the resources to promote faculty success.
Launch@UML is not a traditional formal mentoring program, but more similar to a circle of advisors or a mentoring circle. It is a means by which new faculty members can learn about UML, connect with faculty members from across campus, enhance campus networks, and learn about the city of Lowell. The teams are meant to be advisory and to provide advocacy and support when necessary.
We hope that faculty members of all ranks will take this opportunity to learn about our university and integrate into our community. We intend that participation in Launch@UML will enhance a faculty member’s sense of belonging across the university and our multiple campuses. We encourage our faculty members to consider that the combination of individual agency and shared responsibility for our own and other’s careers enriches the entire community.
Each team is composed of the new full-time faculty member, the department chair, a senior faculty member in the new faculty member’s own department, and a faculty member outside the department.
Why two faculty members? Each department and discipline has its own culture and ways of doing things. The faculty member in the department is expected to provide that context to the new faculty member. Even seasoned professors from other universities will need to know how their new department works. The launch team member from outside the department can become a comparison and reference point. The external team member may also serve as a sounding board for answering questions that new faculty members are hesitant to pose to their own chair or departmental colleague who will be conducting their reviews.
We expect team members to have regular meetings that suit each member’s schedule, have meetings that are both face-to-face and virtual, and provide timely feedback to questions. We recommend that you take a look at research-based self-assessment tools for mentors and mentees developed by the University of Wisconsin. The tools identify expectations of skills and competencies that a mentor or advisor brings to the relationship. These may be helpful to review as well as other materials available for Launch@UML, including Possible Topics for Launch Teams and the Launch Plan.
Benefits to all team members