Center for Transformative Teaching Director Search
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln invites inquiries and applications for the inaugural director of the university’s new Center for Transformative Teaching.
This leadership role offers an exciting opportunity for an innovative and driven person to impact and advance the university’s commitment to teaching and learning.
The director will provide leadership for the Center, promoting pedagogical and instructional design principles to support instructors in creating learning environments in which all students can excel. The director will lead a team of dedicated instructional design staff, as well as have an opportunity to build a staff to fulfill additional outreach and Center goals. The director will join the university at a pivotal moment as it prepares to celebrate the institution's 150-year history and will have a direct impact on advancing its mission as a student-centered, public research university. The Center for Transformative Teaching is widely supported by administration, faculty, staff and graduate teaching assistants. The director will report to the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Education and is a member of the student success leadership team.
The Center for Transformative Teaching
The Center for Transformative Teaching, opening in spring 2019, will collaborate with educators across departments and programs to promote inclusive, innovative, research-informed and scholarly teaching for all learners. The Center will promote instructional strategies and pedagogical practices that further Nebraska’s institutional priorities to increase students’ learning and success, while providing an organizational structure for inventorying and coordinating activities.
The Center for Transformative Teaching will leverage existing college- and department-level programs to make opportunities available to a wider group of faculty, and supplement these programs with campus-wide activities to achieve the following:
- Provide a structure for coordinating communication around teaching and learning.
- Provide seamless support for all educators.
- Connect systematically with campus initiatives.
- Build community for educators across the campus.
- Provide leadership for initiatives encouraging innovative practices in engaged teaching and learning.
A variety of department, college, and university-led initiatives have been developed in partnership to support instructors’ professional development. For example, departments have created orientation workshops and graduate seminars to support graduate teaching assistants and lecturers in the teaching of high enrollment undergraduate courses (e.g. English, math, statistics). Others have hired Discipline-Based Education Research faculty, particularly in STEM fields, to study college-level STEM education through learning sciences and education research. These faculty meet regularly to engage in conversations about STEM education research and activities. The The National Science Foundation-funded ARISE program is another example of how faculty are working to enrich how STEM courses are taught and to facilitate departmental change on how teaching is valued, evaluated, and rewarded.
The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources annual winter symposium on teaching and the College of Education and Human Sciences faculty development program are examples of college-led programs. The College of Arts and Sciences implemented a teaching academy in 2016 that selects fellows for three year terms to engage in conversations about higher education issues, develop teaching expertise across disciplines, and recognize and reward exceptional teachers. In addition, the College of Business teaching and learning center recently opened to assist instructors in implementing writing and technology into high enrollment courses. Campus-wide, the Peer Review of Teaching Project has been in existence since 1996, working annually with cohorts of faculty to document their teaching through the creation of electronic course portfolios.
Various offices have disseminated small grants to support specific projects that enhance student learning. A campus-wide teaching and learning symposium has been offered each semester to promote campus conversations about teaching, learning, innovation, engagement, and evidence-based classroom strategies.
An electronic newsletter, Teacher Connect, was initiated in 2015 to inform instructors of events and activities related to supporting teaching and learning.
An advisory board for the Center for Transformative Teaching was established in fall 2018. The board is charged with helping coordinate information sharing and collaboration and providing counsel and feedback to the director. The advisory board includes instructors from all ranks, as well as representatives from academic support units that support teaching and learning, such as college teaching centers, the University Writing Center, Graduate Studies, Academic Learning Technologies (Information Technology Services), Libraries, and the University Teaching Council.
The director is a managerial/professional staff member whose credibility, creativity, communication skills, and consultative management style will develop and lead a new unit that supports all educators. The director will work in close collaboration with other campus units (college units that support teaching and learning, Libraries, Information Technology Services, Graduate Studies, the University Teaching Council and more) to ensure alignment of the Center for Transformative Teaching’s goals and priorities in support of university initiatives.
The director’s key responsibilities include the following:
- Develop, implement, monitor and assess programs and services that are informed by best practices in higher education to support excellence in teaching and learning and that lead to transformative educational experiences for students.
- Participate in campus leadership teams related to supporting excellence in teaching and learning and student success.
- Facilitate instructor awareness of available resources and programs to support their teaching.
- Coordinate project assignments and job expectations and provide ongoing project training, professional development, and evaluation for the Center for Transformative Teaching staff.
- Implement appropriate assessment tools to measure program impact and use available university data to guide and inform decision-making to improve programs and services continuously.
- Serve on university committees as assigned.
An earned doctorate or terminal degree plus five years of experience in progressively responsible positions within a teaching and learning center or related higher education program that supports the professional development of instructors for student learning is required.
Candidates must have teaching experience at the collegiate level; experience with creating and implementing professional development programs or consulting for instructors on effective student-centered teaching and learning; knowledge of curricular design, learning theories, and technology related to teaching and pedagogy; and knowledge and advocacy for inclusive and universal design pedagogies. In addition, excellent communication skills; the ability to collaborate effectively with diverse groups of faculty and staff; and demonstrated managerial experiences, including supervision, the ability to set and manage a budget, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and delegate responsibility is required.
Highly competitive candidates will have the preferred qualifications:
- a record of active participation in and contribution to national and/or international professional organizations in teaching and learning
- demonstrated experience with strategic leadership around teaching and learning in a university setting
- a record of scholarship on teaching and learning
Nebraska offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with the successful candidate's background and experience. This position is a full-time 12-month managerial/professional appointment. Candidates with faculty rank and appropriate scholarly or research accomplishments may be appointed to the faculty.
How to Apply
The Search Committee will begin reviewing candidates January 2, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants should go to employment.unl.edu and search positions using requisition number S_180934, click on "Apply to this Job" and complete the form. Required application materials are: 1) a letter summarizing motivation, relevant experience, and qualifications, 2) a detailed resume, and 3) the names and contact information for at least three professional references.
Questions can be sent in confidence to:
Tawnya Means, Search Chair
Assistant Dean and Director of the College of Business Teaching and Learning Center
Assistant Professor of Practice in Management
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
A Strong Foundation
Always a place of high ambition, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was the first institution west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees–the first was granted in physics in 1896. Nebraska established the world's first undergraduate psychology laboratory. The discipline of prairie ecology also was born here and the campus's botanical gardens and arboreta reflect that tradition. An early institutional interest in literature and the arts provided the foundations for today's Prairie Schooner literary magazine, University of Nebraska Press, and Sheldon Museum of Art, which houses one of the world's most significant collections of twentieth-century American art.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s nine colleges - Architecture, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, Hixson-Lied Fine and Performing Arts, Journalism and Mass Communications, and Law are on an upward trajectory, with record student enrollment, student diversity and sponsored research funding.
Excellence in Undergraduate Education
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a research-extensive institution with an extraordinary focus on undergraduate education. Undergraduates learn from faculty who create new knowledge, who are leading scientists, artists, and scholars, and who care about students' success. The general education curriculum, Achievement-Centered Education (ACE), is built on student learning outcomes that answer the fundamental question, "What should all undergraduate students — irrespective of their majors and career aspirations — know or be able to do upon graduation?"
Several signature programs exemplify this commitment to undergraduate success. The Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences Program (UCARE) connects faculty with more than 400 students annually who work collaboratively on research and creative projects that advance new knowledge. The University Honors Program, with more than 2,000 students across all undergraduate colleges, provides an intense intellectual experience for top students in a major research university setting. The Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management develops leaders in information technology and business globalization while fostering professional skills in leadership, communications and collaboration.
Nebraska is regularly named a top research institution whose students are awarded Fulbright scholarships and consistently succeed in prestigious national scholarship competitions.
Student success initiatives are designed to systematically and aggressively improve undergraduates’ graduation and time-to-degree rates. These initiatives focus on developing enriching curricular and co-curricular opportunities and eliminating institutional barriers to degree attainment.
Some examples include:
- The Office of First-Year Experience and Transition Programs provides individual success coaching, free academic workshops, and programming for transfer, commuter, and first-generation students.
- The Military and Veteran Success Center supports students' academic transition, including benefits certification, transfer credit processing, counseling, and peer mentoring.
- First Gen Nebraska is an initiative designed to connect first-generation students with faculty and staff who share a similar academic experience.
Nebraska is committed to increasing the excellence of its student body through diversity. The Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center provides a home away from home for underrepresented students, while welcoming all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. The Gaughan Center houses the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services, which promotes and facilitates academic excellence, diversity awareness and social engagement through study support, workshops, and bias training.
Husker Dialogues, an extension of new student enrollment, introduces first-year students to tools that can be used to engage in meaningful conversations to help create and foster an inclusive community. The Women’s Center and LGBTQA+ Resource Center provide welcoming spaces, resources, and ways to get involved.
Within its curriculum The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers many opportunities for students to explore issues related to diversity and inclusion from individual courses to various degree programs. Programs in the Institute for Ethnic Studies, Women's and Gender Studies and Global Studies are some examples.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also fosters community partnerships and works directly with minority student populations through the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, Diversity Leadership Symposia, and a committed Diversity and Community Outreach Team. Learn more at diversity.unl.edu
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is located in an up-and-coming and safe city of nearly 300,000 people. It has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community and consistently ranks among the highest US cities for livability.
As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination.