Empowering Untenured Faculty Through Mosaic Mentoring

  • Heather Kanuka Athabasca University
  • Anthony Marini University of Calgary


Mentoring programs have consistently demonstrated their value in assisting new and early faculty members to make successful adjustments and productive contributions to the academy. Yet, mentoring programs have failed to be consistently implemented despite their efficacy and increasing levels of job dissatisfaction reported by new and early faculty members. To extend the understanding of this issue at a research-based university in western Canada, a survey was sent to deans, department heads, and new faculty. Based on the results of this survey, a focus group of new faculty members was conducted and semi-structured interviews were held with department heads who had implemented effective mentoring programs. The results of this investigation indicate that mosaic mentoring programs, which have no agendas to preserve hierarchies and power imbalances, and which view all faculty members as continuing learners, could reduce feelings of dissatisfaction among new and early faculty members and support conditions for identity transformation.