From the Provost's Desk
Leadership Transition for the Teaching and Learning Center
April 10, 2019
After serving as director of the Teaching and Learning Center, or TLC, for the last seven years, Dr. Jana Fallin has announced she will retire in June 2019. We greatly appreciate Jana's passionate contributions to the teaching and learning community and thank her for the creative programs and many partnerships she developed that enhanced teaching excellence. We will celebrate her more than 30 year career at K-State this spring. More details will be shared later this month.
As we think about new leadership for the TLC, we also need to think about the future mission of the TLC itself. Increased reliance on new and enhanced teaching technologies, innovative program and course design, and increased online course offerings, along with the broadening expectations of faculty and the complexities they face, are but a few important considerations as we think about staffing an effective teaching and learning center for the academy of the future.
Given these and other considerations, I believe that the opportunity exists to examine the current TLC mission and reimagine a new mission, strategy, and structure going forward that befits future needs. The TLC has been quite effective in its current level and offerings of programs, workshops, and faculty/graduate assistant teaching skills. As we move forward, we should consider how its mission might be broadened to support the full range of faculty development needs.
This reimagining of the TLC should occur before a new permanent director is hired so that we can be more focused in our search process to find the best fit for the future mission of the center. It is for this reason that I have decided to pause the hiring of a new director and use the next year to design the new TLC.
With this context, I have made the following decisions.
- Brian Niehoff, associate provost for institutional effectiveness, will serve as the interim director for the coming year. Brian has overseen the activities of the TLC for the past 10 years, and will provide overall leadership for the operation of the TLC.
- We will conduct an internal search for a part-time — 0.5 FTE — assistant director term position to assist in the facilitation of the programs and activities of the center in the coming year, as well as teach the EDCI 943 Principles of College Teaching fall 2019 course.
- A cross-disciplinary advisory committee will be formed to assist in the reimagining of the TLC and its future mission.
- All other personnel within the TLC — administrative support, coordinators, graduate assistants and student workers — will remain in order to maintain the current level of support for programs, workshops and events that the TLC has so effectively facilitated in prior years.
- All current programs — Spotlight, New Faculty Institute, Faculty Exchange for Teaching Excellence, Peer Teaching Initiative, etc. — will be maintained for the coming year with the possibility of adding more programming and workshops.
We believe that creating opportunities for all faculty to develop to their fullest is the mission of the TLC. We are excited about what the center has accomplished and where we can take it in the future!
Provost and executive vice president