ERIC Number: EJ792292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr-18
Are You a Good Protege?
Perlmutter, David D.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n32 pC1 Apr 2008
Perhaps getting advice seems a clearer-cut task than giving it. But at a time when budding academics seem busier and more distracted than ever, it is all the more important to understand how to learn from a mentor, and that being a good protege has its own strategies, techniques and responsibilities. The mentor relationship is alive and well in the sciences, where there is a strong tradition of senior researchers bringing postdocs and new assistant professors into their laboratories and grant projects. But in the social sciences and humanities, perhaps because of a difficult job market, relations between established scholars and newcomers to the profession seem more strained. Perhaps, also, it is because senior scholars were tenured at a time when the expectations for the profession were different. Some veteran professors note a significant cultural gap in temperament and outlook between themselves and new faculty members. Whatever the reason, failing to seek, find, and keep a good relationship with a mentor during the tenure-track years and beyond, says the writer, is a serious mistake. A fruitful, long-lasting mentor-protege relationship is one of the great joys of an academic career. But like any meeting of minds, spirits, and interests, it needs to be worked at, tended carefully, and evaluated, from both sides, for its limitations as well as appreciated for its opportunities.
Descriptors: College Faculty, Mentors, Collegiality, Professional Development, Interprofessional Relationship, Learning Strategies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A