Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost, has issued this letter to the University community:
I am writing to inform you of recent developments around the enhancement of teaching and learning at York University, particularly as they relate to the Centre for the Support of Teaching.
In July of 2011, Professor Sue Vail took up the position of associate vice-president teaching & learning in the Provost’s Office, with a mandate to work with colleagues, Faculties and other offices across the University to promote and support teaching and learning and student experience/success, which are identified as key academic priorities in both the White Paper and the new University Academic Plan (UAP). Following approval of the White Paper and the UAP, I established the Academic Innovation Fund, which currently supports 39 projects to advance our priorities in these areas. In addition to working with the leads of the AIF projects, Professor Vail is leading the consideration of initiatives and opportunities arising from the reports and recommendations of the working groups on teaching and learning and the student experience that contributed to the development of the White Paper.
An important organizational change in this regard is the movement of the Centre for the Support of Teaching (CST) into the portfolio of the AVP Teaching & Learning. This change reflects the fact that the CST will be a key resource to foster innovation in teaching and support teaching and learning initiatives going forward, particularly in relation to the incorporation of more e-learning and experiential education initiatives into the educational opportunities we offer our students. In line with its expanded mandate, the centre will be led by an executive director. I have asked Professor Vail to serve in this capacity on an interim basis and to lead a revisioning of the centre in order to clarify and support its role and ensure that it is serving the needs of the community in relation to teaching and learning. Further details regarding this revisioning process will be available in the near future.
Ros Woodhouse will continue her work at the CST in the capacity of educational developer in support of instructors through the design, delivery and facilitation of professional development opportunities, the development of new teaching and learning resources for instructors, and continued support for Faculties and departments in the implementation of undergraduate degree level expectations. In addition, the CST anticipates hiring an additional educational developer to assist AIF project leads and faculty members in transitioning their courses to e-learning formats and in integrating experiential education opportunities for students into their course design and delivery. The CST hopes to announce this appointment soon.
As we begin a new academic year, I wish all faculty, staff and students the very best for a stimulating and successful term.