Welcome to the 2020-2021 Launch@UML. The goal of this program 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 and staff 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.
In addition to the Launch Teams, the Launch@UML program features a yearlong series of networking events for new faculty aimed at introducing them to resources and opportunities within and beyond UML. These events will be virtual during the fall semester, but we hope to meet in person when it is safe to do so.
We encourage faculty members of all ranks to 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, a team leader (usually a faculty member in the new faculty member’s own department) and a faculty member from outside of the department.
Why the two mentors?
Each department and discipline has its own culture and ways of doing things. The team leader from within 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. While the department chair can also provide some of this context, chairs are generally very busy with running the department, so shared mentorship is important to faculty success.
The Launch team member from outside the department plays a very special role and can provide both a comparison and reference point. This 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 colleagues 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. At a minimum, we expect that each team member will meet and check in with the new faculty twice a semester. Below we provide links to materials on mentoring best-practices. We encourage team members to review the materials available for Launch@UML, including “Possible Topics for Launch Teams” and the 2020 “Launch Plan."
Benefits to all team members: