Year of Mentorship

Professors Clare Hasenkampf and Anya Tafliovich in discussion

The Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs, Equity, & Success (VDFAES) has declared 2023-24 the Year of Mentorship, aiming to launch new initiatives and amplify existing efforts to ensure that all faculty and librarians can benefit from mentorship and to work toward a culture of mentorship at U of T Scarborough. 

How Do Faculty Benefit From Mentorship?

Mentorship fulfills a variety of faculty needs: professional development, access to networks and role models, emotional support, accountability, and community. Faculty who participate in mentorship are likely to benefit both as mentors and mentees and report higher job satisfaction. Yet, while excellent work is being done at U of T Scarborough to support mentorship, not all faculty and librarians have their mentorship needs met.

What Can Faculty Expect From the Year of Mentorship?

The Year of Mentorship involves five primary efforts:

  • Amplify current mentorship offerings: Working closely with the Mentoring Excellence and Diversity (MEAD) Advisory Committee, the VDFAES office will review current offerings to identify those that can be reframed and amplified as fundamental to the Year of Mentorship, such as workshops on career review in the teaching and tenure stream, writing group meetings, and faculty lunches and coffees.


  • Encourage mentorship in each department: The VDFAES Office, working with MEAD, will work more closely with departments to ensure faculty have the local mentorship necessary to succeeding in their home units. We will work with chairs on mentor assignments for all new and pre-tenure and pre-continuing status faculty; identify a faculty member in each unit to lead group mentorship efforts; and convene departmental mentors and mentees throughout the year to support relationship building and to seek feedback on VDFAES efforts.  


  • Launch new mentorship initiatives, including:
    • Mentorship Connections, a program to connect faculty members and librarians with needs and interests not already addressed through existing mentorship efforts at UTSC, including one- on-one mentoring.  Mentorship Connections models will include traditional mentor-mentee pairing, group mentoring and peer mentoring. Faculty members and librarians who enroll in Mentorship Connections will have access to a database of Faculty and Librarian volunteers who are passionate and committed to mentorship. This database will include the names, disciplines, academic rank, areas of expertise and experience, and availability of mentors, and mentees enrolled in the program can reach out directly to potential Mentors to arrange meetings or discussions. The Office of the Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs, Equity, and Success will be available to support faculty as they explore Mentorship Connections and identify and connect with mentors. 
    • department leadership and succession planning workshops for chairs and associate chairs; profiles of successful mentor/mentee relationships posted in campus newsletters and on the VDFAES website; workshops co-hosted with the Vice-Dean Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies and focused on mentorship across career stages; and “mentor map” workshops that explore the NCFDD mentorship model and encourage participants to identify their mentoring needs and networks. 
  • Pilot new funding:
    • The Mentoring Partnership Fund aims to support UTSC teaching and tenure stream faculty and librarians; this pilot will draw on funds previously administered through the Mentorship Initiative Fund. Mentoring partnerships take many forms, including (but not only) collaborative writing and research projects; accountability groups working together toward a new career stage; communities of practice focused on teaching practice and assessment; and communities of scholars organizing a series of workshops that address a shared identity, lived experience, or interest. No matter the activity, mentoring partnerships share the broad aim of “sustaining dynamic networks of support for multiple individuals within a specific community” (Endo 2020: 173). Proposals should also reflect a commitment to alternative paradigms of mentorship, collective care, and the interrogation of hierarchical relationships through, for example, shared leadership across ranks and streams or the development of “working agreements” to guide the partnership. Mentoring partnerships may include full- and part-time UTSC UTFA-appointed faculty (tenure stream or teaching stream) and librarians. Each partnership must have a nominated lead who holds a full-time position at UTSC as either a librarian or faculty member. Teams will include at least 3 faculty and/or librarians and may include up to two co-leads. We especially encourage proposals from teams that represent multiple positions (faculty and librarians), streams (teaching and tenure), academic units, disciplines, and ranks. We also encourage applications that address and advance established and emerging OVPD priorities and activities. Proposals may be for up to two years of funding, with work finished by March 31, 2026. We expect to fund 5-7 proposals, with no award exceeding $25,000. Deadline: February 22, 2024. 
    • The Mid-Career and Promotion (MidPro) Fund aims to support mid-career UTSC teaching and tenure stream faculty pursuing professional opportunities that advance their progress toward promotion to Professor or Professor, Teaching Stream. We expect to fund 5-7 proposals with no MidPro award exceeding $12,000. Deadline: February 8, 2025. 
  • Invite existing mentors to become Year of Mentorship leaders: The VDFAES Office will reach out to faculty who have completed the NCFDD Faculty Success Program to invite them to take a leadership role in the Year of Mentorship. Leadership can include serving as departmental mentors in one-on-one and/or group mentoring; consulting with faculty across campus as they build a mentoring network; leading workshops on the NCFDD mentorship model; and supporting U of T Scarborough mentors and mentees in their partnerships.  

How Can Faculty Get Involved?

Faculty and librarians are encouraged to get involved in any or all of these efforts. Mentorship has been shown to be beneficial across career stages, and we conceptualize mentorship in an expansive way that goes beyond the hierarchical mentor-protégé relationship – this means that mentorship can be relevant and beneficial to all faculty and librarians. Questions can be directed to