This is the end of my first year as LTC Director. Next year I will be away for winter term teaching my off campus program, but I will serve as the Director for fall and spring. I have always had a great deal of appreciation for the LTC, but this has increased with my inside view. I have been especially impressed by the things that are in place to help new faculty members. None of this existed when I started at Carleton.
One of my favorite activities has been the small scale mentoring lunch meetings that have been held for first and second year faculty. At each of these, two senior colleagues have presented and offered advice on topics like grading, advising, developing a research agenda, etc. The senior faculty have been generous with their time, thoughtful, and honest. For either people on the tenure track, or for people on short-term appointments, the mentoring program and the weekly LTC sessions offer a great way to enter the profession of teaching.
I recently contacted a number of colleagues to ask if they would be willing to serve as a mentor to new faculty members that will start in the fall. Every person I contacted was eager to participate. I think this is something we should not take for granted. It would have been reasonable for people to respond to me with how busy they are. Certainly we all are very busy. The fact that people were so happy to help out is a very good sign for our culture.