The latest result of the University community's ongoing attention to enhancing teaching is the Provost's funding of the Faculty Senate proposal for a University Teaching Initiative (UTI) Program: $100,000 per year for a pilot three-year period (1998-2001). Designed and administered by the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee, the UTI Program received 58 applications from across the University for a variety of projects. Many of these ideas grew out of the Senate University-wide Conversation about Teaching (1996-97), which itself followed on recommendations from the University Self-Study Committee on the Improvement of Teaching: provide incentives for superior teaching, improve evaluation of teaching, enhance the apprenticeship teaching of both graduate teaching assistants and junior faculty members.
During 1998-99, the UTI Program will support 39 initiatives that target program goals in a variety of ways. On November 4, the entire University community is invited to an afternoon UTI Forum, designed to enable project directors to share their ideas and accomplishments and interested colleagues to consider future possibilities for their own departments and schools.
For more about the University Teaching Initiative, including application information for the 1999-2000 awards (deadline for applications is February 1, 1999), contact Richard F. DeMong, Chair, Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee (email@example.com). Website information is available at http:// www.virginia.edu/~teachinginitiative/
Technology: The UTI funded an impressive variety of technology-related proposals. Some focus on developing web-based enhancements to existing classes or new course offerings. Others concentrate on developing pedagogically useful software or improvements to existing resources.
Student Evaluations: Several awards went to projects to improve existing procedures for gathering, interpreting, and disseminating student evaluations of teaching.
TA Training: Numerous proposals emphasize discipline-specific preparation for TAs before they enter the classroom and several envision discussions continuing throughout the year.
Course Enhancement: Several initiatives deal with redesigning and improving pedagogy in existing courses or course sequences, often required for introductory classes.
New Courses: A few proposals fund creation of new classes, often with an interdisciplinary focus.
all UTI projects are available on the web at: http://www.virginia.edu/~teachinginitiative/