Shirin Deylami named director of new WWU faculty mentoring program

WWU Associate Professor of Political Science Shirin Deylami, has been appointed director of Western’s new mentoring program, designed to help new faculty thrive and succeed at Western.

“I am enthusiastic about leading the New Faculty Mentoring Initiative.  It is my goal to help facilitate a sense of community and belonging among new faculty so that they can thrive in their positions and make connections across their colleges and campus,” Deylami said. “My long term goal for the program is to help new faculty achieve success and see them become future leaders at the university. ”

An expert in comparative political theory, Deylami’s research and teaching focus on contemporary Islamic and comparative political theory with a specific emphasis on issues of modernity, globalization, and the construction of gender and sexuality in the context of the Islam/West relationship. She is an affiliated faculty member with Western’s Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies Program.

The new faculty mentoring initiative arose out of a Faculty Senate workgroup appointed to explore how Western can better support the retention and success of underrepresented faculty. After reviewing current research on the topic, the workgroup recommended a university-wide mentoring initiative modeled on an evidence-based program successful at universities similar to Western.

The workgroup’s recommendation resulted in a strategic planning proposal to the UPRC that was funded by the administration for a two-year pilot period. The proposal also provided funds for a limited number of new faculty to participate in programs offered by the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity.

I’m very pleased to see this important initiative realized,” said WWU Provost Brent Carbajal.  “Mentoring, broadly conceived, is critical to the success of new faculty.  I appreciate the work of all the people who did the research and planned approaches to faculty retention and success, and I’m pleased that Prof. Deylami has agreed to lead our efforts.  Prof. Deylami’s perspective and experience prepare her very well for this work and I’m excited for her and the faculty as they get started!"

Deylami is currently reaching out to second-year faculty interested in having a mentor, and tenured faculty who wish to serve as mentors. Interested faculty can contact her directly at