The Women Faculty Mentoring Program has worked to support and retain women faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for nearly 30 years.
Tenure-track faculty who would like a WFMP mentor are asked to complete a brief form outlining professional and personal interests.
Each participating assistant professor is paired with a tenured colleague who shares similar interests but remains at arm’s length from the promotion and tenure process. This multiple year match does not obviate the department’s responsibility to assign a guidance committee or mentor for each assistant professor; rather, it builds upon the work of departmental mentoring relationships.
Faculty appointed with tenure may participate in a year-long match to build connections at UW-Madison.
In addition, the program is home to a number of peer mentoring groups. These informal networks are intended to foster collegiality, promote learning, spark new ideas for research, and help women find their way throughout the university.
The program sponsors a number of events that are open to all, including:
- Mentoring Lunch: Newcomers attend to learn about the program, including the roles of mentor and mentee, receive information about mentoring resources, and share observations and tips about effective mentoring
- Annual Reception: Applaud newly promoted and tenured women, recognize their mentors, and honor recipients of the Doris Slesinger Awards for Excellence in Mentoring
- Conversation Series: Learn from panelists and peers while engaging in dialogue about topics of special interest to women faculty
About the WFMP
The program was founded in 1989 by Robin Douthitt (former dean of the School of Human Ecology and professor emerita of Consumer Science) when she was an assistant professor. Soon thereafter, the program was adopted into the offices of the Provost and the Secretary of the Faculty.
Today, the program is directed by Naomi Chesler (professor of Biomedical Engineering) in consultation with a faculty advisory committee. Vice Provost for Faculty & Staff Michael Bernard-Donals is the Office of the Provost’s liaison to the WFMP. Lindsey Stoddard Cameron (faculty services) is the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty contact and program coordinator.