To advance our college’s mission in supporting world-class educational experiences, in Dec. 2019, Dean James W.C. White convened an ad hoc committee on teaching, co-chaired by David Brown, divisional dean for social sciences, and Noah Finkelstein, a physics professor and CU President’s Teaching Scholar. He asked them and their committee to recommend ways to foster and assess teaching quality.

The charge and committee membership are included below.

The committee report has resulted in: 

While a department-centric exercise, the college will provide the resources and consultation necessary to help departments articulate how they will address the college’s specification of teaching quality and its assessment. To be concrete, this effort can be accomplished by convening a small committee of colleagues for roughly eight meetings (or fewer) between January and September to articulate a plan and to give the department the following academic year to enact it. Furthermore, departments can adopt existing examples (provided by the college) that serve their needs. The college will provide written materials that lay out a step-by-step process, and associated tools and models of evaluation, as well as provide help from experts well-versed in pedagogical practices and their evaluation. Departments will be free to customize and adopt approaches that work for them. Our asks of academic units or departments in the College of Arts and Sciences: 1) by September 2021, have conducted the work to identify the framework and approach for teaching evaluation and preliminary approaches that meet the newly specified approaches to evaluation, and, 2) by May 2022, each unit codifies those practices into department by-laws, policy statements, and enact these in their promotion and tenure (and hopefully merit) cases that are sent to the college.

Message from the dean to the community

Dean White’s charge to the ad-hoc Committee on Teaching

New pedagogical techniques along with evidence-based and inclusive practices are becoming essential components of our teaching environments and student success. These developments create the need for individual faculty at an R1 university to both remain current with developments in their disciplines and to engage and remain current as effective educators. 

While the College of Arts and Sciences puts a premium on education, a clear statement on the college’s expectations of teaching practices and the implications for reappointment, tenure and promotion has not been recently articulated. 

The Ad-Hoc Committee on Teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences is charged with writing a policy statement on teaching that will set scholarly standards and expectations, clearly articulating how to measure these in order to help provide a world-class education for our students. 

Dean White asks that the committee provide a concise and clearly written document for my evaluation by May 1, 2020.

Membership of the Ad Hoc Taskforce:

  • Leilani Arthurs (GEOL)

  • David S. Brown (PSCI, co-chair)

  • Babs Buttenfield (GEOG)

  • Noah Finkelstein (PHYS, co-chair)

  • Jennifer Fitzgerald (PSCI)

  • Vicki Grove (GSLL)

  • Teresa Nugent (ENGL)

  • Pei-San Tsai (IPHY)

  • Phoebe Young (HIST)