The main goal of the CRN is to ‘coach, sponsor and mentor’ assistant and associate professors. The CRN is open to faculty at the West Lafayette campus and the two branch campuses at Fort Wayne and Northwest. Participants are expected to select coaches from outside their department and if possible, college as well.
CRN members will actively coach assistant and associate professors beyond disciplinary needs and requirements. The ‘coaches’ are expected to meet regularly (at least once a month) with the assistant and/or associate professor, discuss concerns, and provide advice and advocate for them. To advocate means to support, believe in, sponsor, and encourage. CRN members are expected to advise faculty mentees about navigating their lives on campus to enable them to be productive. It may include relations they can cultivate for research, encourage them to apply for awards, and suggest their names for collaborations or as experts in their fields; even publicize their accomplishments informally, or simply be encouraging that they can ‘do it’. The CRN is created to be outside the appeal and evaluative process.
What can CRN do for assistant and associate professors?
- Provide one-on-one mentoring and advising
- Build community with women assistants and associates campus-wide
- Have the opportunity to explore a field of interest through exposure to a professional in that field
- Build a network of valuable professional connections
- Have an advocate on campus
- Benefits of having coach/mentor outside your college include:
- Facilitating candid conversations about concerns especially outside the unit
- Varying perspectives on issues and on navigating academic spaces
The full professors serving on the inaugural CRN are diverse – by gender, race, and discipline. The members of the inaugural CRN attended a workshop on coaching and networking in May 2019. The same workshop is offered to CRN members who start/ed in subsequent years.
Any assistant or associate professor (tenure track/tenured/clinical/research) at Purdue may select and work with a maximum of two ‘coaches’ from the network. The ‘coaches’ are expected to meet regularly with the assistant or associate professor and advice and advocate for them.
Annual Meetings with Provost
Each spring the Center organizes and coordinates a meeting of CRN members and participants with Jay Akridge, Provost & Chief Diversity Officer. The first meeting was held on January 28, 2020, and the second one was held on February 2, 2021. These meetings provided the CRN members and participants to engage in conversations with the Provost and seek clarifications regarding faculty matters.
A study of the effectiveness of the CRN commenced in May 2021. The first phase of the study is designed as a quasi-experimental qualitative study in order to assess the differences, if any, in the coaching, sponsoring, and mentoring experiences of those who participate in CRN and those who do not.
The Center/Purdue has signed agreements with the University of Texas at Austin and Georgia State University to replicate the CRN model. Detailed guidelines for planning and starting the CRN have been created and can be made available to interested institutions. These guidelines have been shared with the two institutions replicating the model.