The Provost’s Teaching Academy is a key driver of UO’s teaching culture, advancing a vision of education that’s inclusive, engaged, and research-led—both inflected by the university’s research mission and connected to research on how people learn. Academy members are recipients of distinguished teaching, advising, and research mentorship awards; faculty who’ve participated in UO’s teaching development activities; and fellows in topical teaching and curricular innovation CAIT groups.
The Academy meets once a term to address timely issues with the Provost and Executive Vice Provost, offering senior leadership the chance to hear the advice and perspectives of UO’s teaching leaders. It seeks to ensure its members are informed ambassadors to home departments. It acknowledges and celebrates the value and dignity of great teaching. And it brings outstanding teachers into community to share ideas and with one another.
“The University of Oregon is an institution that will always seek creative ways to enhance the education of our students and promote the very best ways we teach. Our Teaching Academy plays a pivotal role in making sure our faculty work as a team to focus on, develop, and improve teaching practices that help students identify achievable paths to research and academic excellence.”
– Patrick Phillips, Provost and Senior Vice President at the University of Oregon
History of the academy
The Teaching Academy was launched in 2016 by a six-person advisory board from the Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success, UO Libraries, the Science Literacy Program, the Teaching Engagement Program, and the Office of the Provost.
The idea for the academy was informed by a Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching strategic planning session during which participants identified a campus-wide need to expand opportunities for faculty to connect about their teaching.
The Teaching Academy sought to harness the collective power of faculty who had won distinguished teaching awards (sponsored by Tom and Carol Williams, A.J. Ersted, and Thomas F. Herman ) or who had participated in UO’s premier professional teaching development activities, such as the Working Group on Active Teaching and Learning (sponsored by the Teaching Engagement Program, the UO Libraries Center for Media and Educational Technologies, and the Yamada Language Center) and Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching (supported by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Science Foundation, and UO Science Literacy Program).
In Winter 2018, the Office of the Provost offered additional support to the group and committed to engaging with the academy as an advisory body to executive academic leadership. This ensured that teaching faculty have every opportunity to weigh in on institutional initiatives with teaching and students in mind.