Pioneering New Models of Education
Outstanding teaching has always been a hallmark of the University of Virginia, and it remains so today. This year, Timothy Beatley, the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities; and James Ryan, the William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law, were among a dozen faculty members from Virginia's public and private colleges and universities selected to receive 2011 Outstanding Faculty Awards. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia presents the award, funded by the Dominion Foundation.
Two other professors, John L. Colley, Jr., the Almand R. Coleman Professor of Business Administration and a member of the Darden School of Business faculty for forty-three years; and Dr. Richard L. Guerrant, the Thomas Hunter Professor of Medicine and director of the Center for Global Health, were honored with 2010 Thomas Jefferson Awards. The Jefferson Award is the highest honor the University bestows on its faculty. Mr. Colley, the first Darden professor to receive the award, was also selected to live in Pavilion VIII on the Lawn, at the heart of the Academical Village.
In April 2011, President Teresa A. Sullivan hosted an annual banquet in the Dome Room of the Rotunda to honor twenty of the University's best teachers, one way of underlining the close faculty/student relationship that distinguishes U.Va. from other research universities. Each of the twenty faculty members received recognition for their mentoring or teaching during the year.
Efforts to Improve Teaching and Learning
In her coauthored book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, Josipa Roksa, assistant professor of sociology, argues that undergraduates at many American colleges learn little during their four years. Under the leadership of Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas, associate professor of education, the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is building on the University's tradition of excellence in teaching to improve undergraduate, graduate, and professional education around the nation and at the University. The center is applying evidence-based assessment to the relationship between college teaching and student learning.
President Sullivan's inauguration week underscored the University's commitment to this approach, with the University hosting a symposium titled "Using Evidence to Improve Teaching and Learning in Higher Education." The symposium featured a keynote address by Lee S. Shulman, president emeritus of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, as well asa wide variety of presentations on such topics as preparing graduate students for professional careers and using video to improve teaching and learning.