UO awarded $500K grant to advance inclusive teaching

Inclusive teaching efforts at the University of Oregon are getting a big boost with a six-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Evaluating effective and inclusive teaching at the UO will be at the center of the grant work. The award, which amounts to nearly $500,000, will fund projects that support teaching development, faculty leadership and the creation of new tools.

Acting Provost and Executive Vice President Janet Woodruff-Borden notes the grant will allow UO to advance its mission for inclusive excellence.

“As a university, we are unique in having a definition of inclusive teaching and folding it into our teaching development, evaluation and awards programs,” Woodruff-Borden said. “Doing so reflects a shared value to creating classrooms where all students feel welcomed and heard. These efforts are vital to growing our inclusive excellence as a campus community. The HHMI grant will be instrumental in amplifying and accelerating this work.”

Inclusive Teaching logo

UO was among 104 institutions awarded funding to support inclusive excellence work nationwide. This winter, a task force was launched to help decide how to make the most of the funding and to bring together faculty teaching leaders, the University Senate, United Academics and administrative leaders to amplify existing efforts.

Austin Hocker, the grant’s program director, said the funding is projected to go toward workshops and events related to inclusive teaching, including peer review of teaching, and other projects that faculty and departments propose. It will also help increase engagement with the new student experience survey and aid efforts to examine how inclusive teaching is recognized in review and promotion.

Starting this winter, a new podcast called “The Glass Apple” will offer a  window into inclusive teaching on campus. It will be hosted by Troy Elias, associate vice provost for diversity and inclusion, and Lee Rumbarger, associate vice provost for teaching engagement. Listeners will hear from faculty guests about what inclusive teaching looks like in their classes and how their inclusive teaching has evolved over time.

Project manager Katy Krieger with the Office of the Provost said students will notice the effects of the grant in their day-to-day lives. Not only will the university’s commitment to inclusion become more visible but students also will start seeing more inclusive teaching practices in their classes and feel like their voices are contributing to the learning environment.

A launch event will be held March 3 at 10 a.m. at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art with the option to attend via Zoom.

"We’re excited to welcome colleagues into a celebration of their efforts toward more inclusive teaching,” Rumbarger said. “UO faculty and graduate instructors take inclusive teaching seriously and look for ways to develop their practice in community. We’re proud to have new resources to fund and showcase that work.”

To learn more about the grant and how to get involved, RSVP for the Inclusive Teaching at UO Launch Event.