Include mentoring skills in hiring and promotion criteria

California State University, Northridge, California, USA.

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As a recipient of a US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, I suggest that skills in mentoring should be made a condition for hiring faculty members. Mentoring success should also be included as a criterion for tenure and promotion. This would catapult mentoring to prominence (Nature 552, 5; 2017).

At the California State University in Northridge, we have shown how well this tactic works. When hiring dozens of faculty members (Nature 538, 171; 2016), we included rigorous evaluations of their teaching and mentoring skills as an essential requirement in addition to their publication records.

The initiative helped to put the university in the top 25 North American institutions classed as ‘Rising stars’ in 2016 (see

Nature 554, 31 (2018)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-01311-y

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