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New leadership, energy evident at IU academy for teaching excellence

July 20, 2016

FACET, IU’s multi-campus faculty initiative to promote outstanding teaching and learning, has a new name, a new strategic plan, new leadership and a new website, and it is gearing up for a busy academic year of events, publications and other activities.

FACET retreat

A faculty member takes notes at the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching's annual retreat at the end of the spring semester. | PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FACULTY ACADEMY ON EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING

Formerly the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching, FACET is now the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching. The change more accurately reflects the organization’s identity as an academy where faculty share expertise and learn about teaching, said director Michael Morrone.

The new strategic plan, titled “Inspiring Innovation and Excellence, Continually Learning and Sharing Best Practices in Teaching, and Supporting Colleague and Student Success,” was developed by both longtime and new FACET members from all IU campuses and was completed in May 2016.

The first update to the plan in a decade, it aligns with the IU Bicentennial Strategic Plan and provides a strong focus on disseminating and evaluating best practices in teaching and learning, unifying faculty around a culture of excellence and strengthening the impact of FACET publications.

“As a vibrant community of scholars focused on teaching and learning, FACET helps meet the university’s first priority, a commitment to student success,” said Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs John S. Applegate. “The new leaders are bringing energy and creativity to continuing and expanding on the progress made by their predecessors. I’m pleased that so many faculty, on all IU campuses, are participating in this essential work.”

Founded in 1989, FACET honors and supports faculty from IU’s eight campuses for outstanding teaching and promotes exemplary teaching and learning practices through meetings, lectures and other programs. It sponsors faculty teaching awards and promotes the sharing of resources and expertise.

Morrone, a senior lecturer in the Kelley School of Business at IU Bloomington, became director on Jan. 1. His goals include building on connections with campus teaching centers and UITS, attracting the best IU teachers to FACET, engaging with students to promote a culture focused on learning outcomes and strengthening ties with faculty governance organizations.

“FACET as an organization is branching out across the university to provide leadership and support for strengthening a culture of teaching excellence,” Morrone said. “All of us at FACET are looking forward to developing new synergies and connections on all Indiana University campuses.”

In another leadership change, Andrew Gavrin, an award-winning professor of physics at IUPUI and a FACET member since 2000, became director on July 1 of FACET’s Mack Center for Inquiry on Teaching and Learning, which promotes research and collaboration on teaching and learning through its Mack fellow program, its support of the FACET/Mack Center travel grant program to support faculty travel to present research on the scholarship of teaching and learning, its support of FACET’s two journals, the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, and other activities.

Over 600 faculty are part of FACET, having become members through a process of nomination, application and approval by a campus selection and a state selection committee with representatives from each IU campus. Approximately 20 to 25 new members are added each year. Once selected, members contribute their experience and skills to advancing the university’s teaching mission through participation in FACET activities and programs.

In addition to publishing two journals, FACET produces brief Quick Hits publications in which experienced and award-winning teachers share tips for effective teaching.

Activities and programs include an annual retreat at the end of the spring semester, the FALCON conference in the fall for lecturers and adjunct faculty members, leadership institutes centered on themes related to effective teaching, travel grants for faculty who present at conferences on teaching and learning, and fellowships to support teaching-related research, leadership and mentoring.

The work of the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching aligns with several priorities in the university's Bicentennial Strategic Plan, including a celebrating a community of scholars and a commitment to student success.

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