Meta Mentor

Need advice on your tenure or promotion file? Help managing a conflict with a colleague in your department? Tips for writing a letter of recommendation? Meta Mentor is here to answer your questions about life in academia. Meta Mentor is a group of experienced UNM faculty, but you can think of her as a knowledgeable and trustworthy senior colleague.

Stay tuned to this page for your answer. If you submit anonymously, we’ll need contact info if you wish for us to let you know we’ve replied.

Hi Meta Mentor,

I am a very active faculty member in my department, even though I know I need to spend more of my time in my research. Will my multiple roles in my department help my case for tenure? — Anonymous, Oct. 3, 2017

Hi Meta Mentor,

I am a faculty who has two little kids going to the Children’s Campus. UNM Children’s Campus is usually closed on the Thursday-Friday immediately before the academic year begins for professional development. These two days are very important for faculty and students prepare for the new academic year. Having no child care, parent faculty and students spend these two days taking care of kids. I wonder if the professional development days at UNMCC can be reorganized or rescheduled or refactored in ways that avoid a full closure of the child care center?

Anonymous, Aug. 17

Dear Meta Mentor,
I’m having trouble navigating all the administrative processes in my department. It seems to take forever to get approvals to complete purchases or spend money on other things that I need to do for my research. Even with my department admin’s help, I’m spending tons of time on these tasks. How/where do I get help?

Drowning in red tape, June 22

Dear Meta Mentor,

How can I advocate to help make my university more family-friendly without upsetting the senior faculty / administrators who will oversee my tenure and promotion?

For example, UNM does not have the same spring break as APS, this means that I have to hire childcare so that I can teach while my kids are on break and we can’t leave town for our break because my kids are in school. It’s an expensive mess.

Additionally, other universities have institutional subscriptions to websites that provide vetted babysitters to help their working parents get coverage when needed ( for example). Does UNM have such an affiliation? There are easy solutions to these problems that would help make life for working parents at UNM a little easier, but how can I push for these without stepping on toes politically? Thanks!

Mother of Dragons, PhD, Jan. 27, 2017

Dear Meta Mentor,
I want to apply for grants and have different ideas about research projects. Who on campus can help me figure out which funding opportunities suit my interests?

STEM faculty member, Jan. 22, 2017

Dear Meta Mentor,
How can I keep my classroom environment inclusive and civil, in spite of the tensions created by the recent election?

STEM faculty member, Nov. 29 2016

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