Tenure Track Supper Club
The Tenure Track Supper Club (TTSC) at Metropolitan State University of Denver is a faculty retention program which utilizes mentorship as a tool in the retention of minority faculty. The program originated from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2011. Given the disproportionate retention rates of African American faculty at the university, the Office of Institutional Diversity developed the Faculty Success Mentorship Program for African American faculty. Over the years, the program has grown to provide all tenure track faculty of color with the tools necessary to increase their capacity to earn tenure. The program now welcomes tenure track faculty from all underrepresented populations and introduces them to tenured faculty who help them build on skills that they have in order to increase their chances of earning tenure.
Goals of the TTSC
This program is a voluntary program, which focuses on current junior faculty from underrepresented populations, who are between 1-5 years in their tenure track journey. This program is designed with the overarching goal of providing tenure track faculty with the intellectual and structural tools to increase their capacity to earn tenure. This key element of the mentorship program is beneficial to those who may be in their 4th and 5th years. Other goals linked to TTSC are to:
- Increase the concentration of faculty support networks,
- Increase the number of faculty mentorship relationships across the institution and promote interdisciplinary dialogue
- Understand the tenure process at Metropolitan State University of Denver
- Develop self-imposed goals to increase chances for tenure and promotion
- Increase the number of faculty earning tenure
- Increase opportunities to create systemic change at MSU Denver
The TTSC is not a one or two year mentorship program, but a program that typically will last six years with an option to end when the mentee has successfully earned tenure. The mentee's earning of tenure will be the only measure of success for the mentor and mentee relationship and the mentorship program. Many attendees have returned and assumed positions as mentors to current tenure-track colleagues. The transformative nature of the mentorship program provides tenure-track faculty with the opportunity to create systemic change at the institution. The program has a direct link to the Associate to the President for Diversity who is an advocate for faculty of color across the institution. As an advocate, he introduces concerns of faculty to senior leadership and actively develops solutions to the complex problems that have been communicated. Therefore, there is a unique opportunity to create change, to begin conversations that can influence the recruitment of minority faculty, improve campus climate, and to create an increasingly inclusive tenure process.