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10/11/2017 10:57:00 AM
Indiana University to intensify focus on teaching, learning

Michael Reschke, Herald-Times

INDIANAPOLIS — To ensure Indiana University is fulfilling its mission of providing excellent teachers, the university will be conducting several reviews over the next year and possibly create a new academic rank.

IU President Michael McRobbie outlined the plans for these initiatives, as well as a new position for managing the university’s various collections, during his State of the University address Tuesday afternoon.

With regard to quality instruction, McRobbie asked for a review of all campus and universitywide programs that support teaching and learning.

“This review should examine what we are doing now, what is working well, what can be improved, what opportunities are there for leveraging and restructuring these programs to make them more effective and efficient, and what new resources, including space, might be needed,” he said.

He asked that a review committee — to be comprised of faculty, staff and students — submit a report to the university’s executive vice presidents no later than May 31, 2018. Once that review is complete, McRobbie asked that the deans of all schools or regional campuses conduct similar reviews of their own programs in the following year. These reviews should specifically detail the measures taken to assure first-generation and at-risk students receive the support needed to persist and complete their degrees.

Another aspect of the plan called for the university’s executive vice president and the University Faculty Council to explore the creation of a new academic position to recognize “the very finest of IU’s teachers.” McRobbie compared this new position — which he suggested calling master teacher — to that of distinguished professor, adding it could carry with it some of the same funding benefits.

Other suggestions included a review of IU’s teaching awards and the establishment of grants for experimentation in new teaching techniques.

Finally, he asked the University Faculty Council to consider developing new pathways for tenure and promotion based on excellence in teaching.

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