Provost's office elevates teaching support, resources

Classroom scene

In a move designed to strengthen teaching excellence at the University of Oregon, the Teaching Engagement Program is now part of the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs.

The program, also known as TEP, offers activities and services for faculty and graduate employees looking to develop their teaching in conversation with one another and the program’s professional staff, and in national and scholarly conversations about higher education.

“TEP’s move gives us new, meaningful ways to recognize and support the important work of UO’s faculty and graduate educators,” said Scott Pratt, executive vice provost for academic affairs. “Bringing TEP into the provost’s office strengthens ties between frontline support for teaching and the policy and procedures that contextualize that work. This will be important, for example, as the campus develops a new teaching evaluation process that better serves both faculty and students.”

The Teaching Engagement Program is working on several initiatives that will be announced over the next several weeks, said Lee Rumbarger, assistant vice provost for teaching engagement and director of the program.

“More than just an organizational change, moving to the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs is a chance for us to enhance several promising programs such as the Teaching Academy, our network of faculty learning communities and a new Summer Teaching Institute,” Rumbarger said.

The program was formed in 1988 by Susan Lesyk, who now serves as associate vice provost for strategic academic initiatives in the Division of Undergraduate Studies. Its move is a part of the reorganization of undergraduate studies.

“I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to support the UO’s remarkable teachers with the same quality of warmth and care that has characterized TEP’s work over the past 30 years, while also helping to ensure high-quality teaching and learning is centered in our conversations about policy and curricular change,” Rumbarger said.