To: Potential PFF Faculty Mentors

From: Hugh Crumley, PhD, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, PFF Director, (919)660-5975


Dear Potential PFF Faculty Mentors,

This letter is provided only to ~20 advanced PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows who have been selected to participate in the annual Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Fellows program in The Graduate School at Duke University, so that they may include it in their initial outreach to their faculty mentors. The current list of PFF Fellows is posted online.

What is PFF?

The PFF program is an annual program in which each PFF Fellow can freely choose a faculty mentor from any of our PFF partner institutions: Durham Technical Community College, Elon University, Guilford College, Meredith College, NC Central University or NC State University. The purpose of PFF is to help Duke PFF Fellows learn broadly about faculty roles and responsibilities, academic cultures, faculty governance, and the balance of teaching, research, and service or outreach. While there is no guarantee of teaching opportunities for PFF Fellows and they are not funded to do so, we hope each PFF Mentor will allow opportunities to teach a lecture, lab or more during the year, especially since nearly all are completing Duke’s Certificate in College Teaching. As your department has adjunct teaching opportunities, please share those with your PFF Advisory Board representative who can contact us as appropriate. We greatly appreciate the time, experience, and enthusiasm that you may share with the PFF Fellow and your mentee.

PFF Mentor Responsibilities

If you have been contacted by a PFF Fellow, we invite you to talk by phone or video chat with the PFF Fellow to determine if this is a good fit. We recommend that each PFF Fellow meet with the Mentor to identify key learning goals. Also, we hope that Fellows will meet with their faculty mentors a few times per month (plus or minus, as suits the Mentor and the Fellow, and as appropriate given current conditions) for a variety of activities that may include teaching observation, attending faculty or department meetings (as Chairs permit), observing you with student advising, participating in special events (lectures, undergraduate research days, faculty development activities), offering occasional guest lectures or labs, and/or simply discussing academic career steps and the preparation of their materials. Some have held mock interviews, while others have been guests at current faculty search processes. The formal PFF mentoring relationship lasts August through May each year, and often lasts for years to come informally as emerging colleagues in the field.

PFF Mentor Benefits

Each PFF Mentor is appointed as a Visiting Scholar to The Graduate School at Duke University for ~12 months and is provided with a modest $500.00 honorarium in the Spring for this professional mentoring and service. We also strive to provide a DukeCard with access to Duke Libraries as a benefit. Many PFF Mentors have served for several years and often report personal benefits of engaging in critical reflection and discussion as they prepare their own materials for appointment, promotion, or tenure review. Most PFF faculty mentors have found this to be a rewarding and reciprocal relationship.

PFF Advisory Board

We have a PFF Advisory Board of leaders from each institution as noted below who help to identify faculty mentors, provide annual reviews of our PFF program, and plan and prepare a half-day site visit (likely virtually this year) to their respective institutions. 


We hope you will consider serving as a PFF Faculty Mentor. The heart of Duke’s PFF program has been the one-on-one mentoring that you and other faculty colleagues have provided. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time at, or contact your Advisory Board representative. Thank you for considering participation as a Faculty Mentor.