Dr. Ray Purdom, current director of the University Teaching and Learning Center, has announced his retirement at the end of February. Dr. Steve Roberson, dean of Undergraduate Studies, praised his great stewardship of TLC. With his retirement, the university is looking at the future of what has been the TLC.
The newly envisioned Faculty Teaching and Learning Commons will have three components:
- Promote faculty development, including new-faculty orientation, Lilly Conference, and other offerings
- Serve as a tech wing of the university, by continuing to install and maintain technology in the classroom. For example, Blackboard and Starfish will continue to be the responsibility of FTLC.
- Substantially expand faculty development. “We’ll change how we’ll do business,” says Roberson.
The FTLC will be that, a commons, he explains. A place to commune, to research issues, and share and learn how to better teach different types of courses. “Not a place of service delivery, but of getting faculty together.”
The different title is symbolic of the new focus, he says, and it is intended to help the university be competitive for national talent – as is the new position title, “executive director.”
Roberson hopes the new FTLC will link faculty with other faculty. The experiences of great proven teachers, such as those who’ve received the Alumni Teaching Excellent Award, can benefit others. He also envisions a much more protracted new-faculty development function, in addition to support and development for new department heads – a way for department heads with more experience to share their experiences.
The search committee for the executive director is narrowing the list of candidates. John Sopper is chair of the committee, and he says there will be opportunities for the campus community to meet the candidates.
By Mike Harris