Center for Teaching Innovation

Cornell U Merges Teaching Excellence, Academic Tech Units

Cornell University has recently reorganized part of its provost's office to bring together faculty development and instructional technology.

Over the summer the university merged its Center for Teaching Excellence with its Academic Technologies unit from Cornell Information Technologies to create the Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI).

Julia Thom-Levy, previously the provost's fellow for pedagogical innovation, is now the vice provost of academic innovation with oversight of CTI and the Office of Undergraduate Research. Matthew Ouellett, formerly associate provost and director of the Office for Teaching and Learning at Wayne State University, is the executive director of the CTI.

"Under their guidance, the Center for Teaching Innovation will be able to 'lower the energy barrier' for curriculum innovation, instructional design, teaching analytics and the embrace of new technologies, not only to enhance the learning experience for students but also to benefit from their colleagues' deep knowledge and how they think about teaching," said Cornell Provost Michael Kotlikoff in a prepared statement. "The center will serve a key role in meeting President [Martha E.] Pollack's challenge to enhance 'academic verve' at Cornell."

The two units previously collaborated and were housed in the same building, but merging them in one unit represents a more explicit relationship, according to Ouellett. "They've collaborated in the past, but this is a much more conscious and intentional desire to make the relationship as seamless as possible."

"We have this opportunity to be national leaders around innovation while not losing sight of the fact that, fundamentally, it comes back to the relationship between our outstanding faculty and our outstanding students," Ouellett added.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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