From the academic trade paper, Inside Higher Ed.

Dear Kerry Ann,

Im worried about my faculty mentee. Shes the only African-American professor in our large department, and even though were only a month into the new academic year, I can see that shes exhausted from student protests, community protests and the weight of this current political moment. I saw her yesterday, and it looked like she hadnt slept in days. She couldnt stop to talk because she was coming from a teach-in and heading to a die-in. When I briefly asked how her writing was going, she told me, Great! I just finished an op-ed.

Im her department mentor, but Im unsure how to support her. I share her politics, so Im actively working for policy change and trying to be an effective ally, but I feel like I should be doing something to support her directly. I see the additional labor she is doing (meeting with students seeking support, writing for a popular audience and being a leader in difficult campus conversations), but Im worried about her physical health and the impact that these activities are going to have on her third-year review next year.

While I value her activity, the hard reality is that none of this work will count when she gets reviewed next year, and I have serious concerns about her research productivity. Im not sure what to do or what to say.


A Concerned Mentor and Ally