Currently, there are over 10 open positions at Berry for new faculty and staff members. Due to this imminent increase in new faculty and staff soon, now seems like an appropriate time to discuss and emphasize a value that is very important at Berry: the culture of mentorship.
Berry is a different type of college than most. Faculty and staff members go above and beyond for their students and are always willing to lend an extra hand to them. People at Berry take the role of being a mentor very seriously. Many members of faculty and staff strive to be the best mentor they can possibly be.
When a new professor comes in from a different college, whether it be a large public university or private school with a culture similar to Berry, they might be a little surprised or even taken aback at how things are done. It is completely understandable that it might take some time for new faculty and staff members to learn the ropes of Berry and what is expected of them as a professor at this mentor-driven college.
However, new faculty and staff members should be aware of what the standards are for them as a Berry professor or staff member and they shouldn’t try to push this core value of Berry aside or act like it’s not important. New faculty and staff members must embrace the culture of Berry and realize that at Berry, they go above and beyond for the students. Just as when someone transfers jobs from one company to another and learns to acknowledge the culture and embrace it, new hires at Berry need to do the same. Change can be hard, especially when someone is so used to doing something one way for a long time, but if new hires at Berry put their best foot forward and step onto Berry’s campus with an open mind, they can easily embrace the culture of mentorship at Berry that students, faculty and staff hold so dearly.
Being put in a new environment can be scary and a person might be thrown off by how close the relationships between students and faculty and staff are here. It may seem easier for new hires to ignore this important value of Berry and operate as if they were at their previous job However, going about it like this is not beneficial for students or the new hire.
For example, office hours are very important here at Berry. When a student comes into a faculty member’s office during their offices hours to ask for help the faculty member is expected to provide guidance to the student who took time out of their day to come ask questions about the content of the class they teach. It is completely unacceptable and disrespectful and completely against the culture of Berry for the faculty member to criticize the student for coming to their office for help and to claim that they are distracting them from their work.
All members of the Berry community are family and they look out for each other. They help each other. They are always willing to listen to each other’s problems and be there for each other. When someone becomes a member of Berry’s faculty and staff, they become part of this family. Someone who applied to work at Berry and went through the entire application process should be well aware of this value that is held so dearly here. While it’s understandable that it might take some time to really embrace this value and become comfortable with it, new faculty and staff members should not try to change the way Berry mentors other students, and they definitely shouldn’t try to go against the grain and refuse to embrace the culture of mentorship. Doing that is like traveling to a new country that has a different culture than the United States and refusing to respect the culture because it’s not what the person is used to, and expecting the people of this country to brush it off, say “oh well” and not get offended that someone just refused to embrace their culture. If you disrespect someone’s culture, people are going to get offended and wonder why a person isn’t respecting their culture. And one thing is for sure, they definitely are not going to stay silent about it.