Regents exploring professional development for educators

Study will ask what's needed to strengthen teaching excellence

The University of Colorado Board of Regents has asked President Bruce D. Benson to call for a study and recommendations on professional development for educators in the areas of teaching and learning.

The board unanimously approved the request Thursday, Sept. 16, during its meeting on the University of Colorado Denver campus.

"At a minimum," the request reads, "the provosts and associate vice president for academic affairs shall work with faculty council and faculty development directors to determine what teaching and learning professional development opportunities are currently available on each campus for new and experienced teachers, to identify current best practices and gaps, and finally, to offer recommendations for further strengthening the ways in which CU supports its teachers for the benefit of students and student learning."

The report and recommendations are to be complete by June 2011.

The effort was initiated by Chairman Kyle Hybl, R-Colorado Springs, and Vice Chairman Stephen Ludwig, D-Lone Tree, who met in August with a group that included faculty development directors Laura Border, Mary Ann Shea, Carole Capsalis, Kathryn Andrus and Ellen Stevens; associate vice chancellors for faculty affairs Laura Goodwin and Jeff Cox; UCCS Provost Peg Bacon; Past Faculty Council Chair John McDowell; and Associate Vice President Kathleen Bollard. They discussed faculty development resources and needs for teaching and student learning.

"We have to demand a commitment to excellence in teaching," Hybl said at last week's board meeting.

Also at last week's meeting:

  • The regents honored three faculty members of the University of Colorado Boulder as Distinguished Professors. See story here.
  • The regents recognized Eamon Aloyo, a doctoral candidate in the CU-Boulder political science department, as a winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award. The award was announced in January, but Aloyo was unavailable to receive it at previous board meetings.
  • The board's academic affairs committee discussed a proposal for a new doctorate of telecommunications degree program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU-Boulder. The full board is expected to vote on the resolution at its November meeting. Regent Monisha Merchant, D-Lakewood, a director of a Broomfield communications company, said the new degree program "is really timely and important for us to have. ... We are at a point in the industry where we need younger blood. After being in the industry 10 years, I'm still one of the younger faces."