A smooth transition to life at an academic institution and the surrounding community is essential to the professional careers of new faculty members. The transition begins during the hiring process and startup package negotiations. Once at an institution, aspects of academia including teaching, proposal writing, and the tenure process inevitably generate issues and concerns for new faculty members. Research has shown that mentoring new faculty members early in their academic career can have significant impact on professional success. This is especially true at a research-based institution where the demands of funded scholarship add an extra level of complexity. A survey was conducted of faculty members at Missouri University of Science & Technology (Missouri S&T) in their first three years of a tenure track appointment to determine areas of concern for new faculty members. This paper presents the survey results, discusses the issues raised by the survey, and makes recommendations for effective mentoring relationships. Specific questions for new faculty members discussed in this paper include: What to look for in a mentor? What to consider in selecting where to submit papers? When to say "yes" and when to say "no" to service? Where to begin the hunt for research funding? What are quality resources for teaching? The paper also provides insight to mentors relative to junior faculty members' concerns. This paper evaluates issues that are critical to forming effective mentoring relationships. Guidance offered provides value to mentors in understanding which areas are of greatest concern to new faculty. It provides information to proteges as well in determining key characteristics of an effective mentor.

Meeting Name

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2009: Jun. 14-17, Austin, TX)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Employment; Engineering education; Surveys; Academic institutions; Areas of concerns; Key characteristics; Mentoring relationship; Professional careers; Proposal writing; Quality resources; Smooth transitions; Teaching

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2009 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2009