The Office of the Dean of the Faculty sponsors the Teaching Innovation Fellows program, an initiative designed to facilitate new course development, creative team-taught courses, and/or courses that meet especially challenging pedagogical goals. The program’s purpose is simple: to infuse new teaching energies into our more established faculty.
Long-term faculty across the college frequently describe challenges that arise when their pedagogical goals and aspirations become difficult to achieve in light of their status as more ‘seasoned’ colleagues. Faculty at this career stage often are eager to develop new courses, substantially overhaul existing courses, explore new areas of study, or incorporate innovative pedagogies. But these goals can become more difficult to achieve while also shouldering the demands of unit-level curricular constraints and other complexities that come with increased institutional experience. The goal of this initiative is to provide some additional incentive for faculty to reconnect with these core pedagogical goals.
This program will provide faculty with a unique opportunity to develop brand new (and ideally collaborative) courses that stem from one’s disciplinary expertise and grow in directions that are not easily explored in our current curriculum. When necessary, and if possible, the Dean of the Faculty’s Office will work with academic units to provide limited visitor FTE to facilitate the offering of these courses.
Eligibility is limited to academic faculty with tenure, lecturers with more than six years of experience, and senior athletic faculty.
For courses to be offered in 2021-22, please submit a 1 to 2 page proposal by December 15, 2020 to the Dean of Faculty’s Office that identifies the course title and description (with an indication of whether this is a new or a substantially revised course) and a rationale for its development. In the event of team-taught proposals, priority will be given to cross-divisional teams, and in areas where team-teaching opportunities might be otherwise difficult to accomplish. When applicable, requests for short-term replacement FTE requests must be included in the initial proposal.
Proposals from senior faculty in all academic divisions and athletics, and representing a range of formats (e.g. discussion, seminars, labs, etc.) will be welcome, with the exception of tutorials, which have their own course development program. Participating faculty will each receive a $4,000 stipend. Additional funds to cover course development, materials and supplies may be provided, and budget requests should be included in the initial proposal submission.
The spirit of the program is intended to promote more than the customary course revision and/or update. Ideally, these full semester courses will be taught at least twice in the coming years, and initially within two years of receiving a stipend.
Priority will be given to courses that engage these niches in and across disciplines that may appear to be less obvious; within units that might seem surprising; and that foster atypical or unexpected faculty collaborations, especially across boundaries that have not been historically as easy to bridge given our current curricular structures. To facilitate teaching engagement with broad institutional interests, we would especially welcome individual or team-taught courses that intersect with one or more of the following areas:
- proposals for interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and/or “outside the box” courses.
- proposals that demonstrate for our students how seemingly disparate disciplines can inform one another.
- proposals for courses that fit within current curricular niches:
- courses that meet established requirements in less common ways such as Writing Intensive (W) courses in Division III, Quantitative Skills (Q) courses in Division I or II (separate from Economics or Psychology), or Difference, Power, Equity (DPE) courses in Division III
- courses that heavily incorporate experiential learning and/or community engagement (for partnership with the Center for Learning in Action [CLiA])
- courses that heavily incorporate design thinking principles or activities
- courses that heavily incorporate digital and new technologies as well as material and artistic sources (for partnership with staff colleagues in OIT, the libraries, and WCMA).
We anticipate supporting up to three proposals in a given year.
 This initiative harkens back to two previously successful initiatives: IPECS and CRAAS. IPECS, the Interdisciplinary Program for Experimental and Cross-Disciplinary Studies, provided stipends for individual or team taught interdisciplinary and experimental courses. CRAAS, the Critical Reasoning and Analytical Skills program, encouraged course and faculty development in the area of teaching critical skills.
 Where possible, priority will be given to faculty in the mid-career stage.