Campus Mentoring Scheme
The impetus to develop a campus mentoring scheme for Monash University Malaysia arose from the need “to assist new or existing junior academic staff in their professional career development, intellectual capacity building…” (PAG minutes, 12 February 2015). A reference group was formed to develop a mentoring framework for Monash University Malaysia that meets the needs of its early career academics and other academic staff who perceive value from a mentoring relationship. While this scheme is especially aimed at supporting academic staff at Levels A and B, any other academic staff member can self-select into the scheme. This report provides the framework for the Monash University Malaysia Campus Mentoring Scheme (CMS) for Early Career Academics. The framework was developed following an extensive review of the literature, discussions with potential mentors and mentees using four focus group sessions held at the Sunway and Johor Bahru campuses, as well as evaluation of the six-month pilot mentoring scheme, which concluded in September 2015.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a voluntary but formal relationship in which “an experienced individual, outside the reporting relationship, holds regular meetings and discussions and takes a personal interest in guiding and supporting the development of a less experienced person in progressing within and beyond their immediate role” (Hale, 2000).
What mentoring is not
Mentoring is not a management activity. It is not formed for the purpose of achieving targets driven by Monash Malaysia’s performance supervision system. Moreover, mentoring is not coaching, as it is not a short term tutoring scheme with the concern of improving performance and development of skills (Whyte, 1997). It is also not buddying because it is not solely to meet orientation needs for new employees.
The mentoring scheme is primarily based on a one-to-one relationship in which a mentor has a personal but professional relationship with a mentee, and vice versa. The Monash University Malaysia Campus Mentoring Scheme is formal because it is a demonstration of Monash Malaysia’s commitment to supporting staff. It is also monitored and evaluated to determine its effectiveness.