In March 2022, Provost Dalton convened the Online Education and Academic Innovation Committee to analyze the College of Continuing Studies’ structure. This exercise was needed to ensure that its existing structure best supported the University’s online education and learning innovation goals. One of the most prominent themes identified through those efforts was UA’s need to formalize a support structure for advancing excellence in teaching and learning at UA. In addition to changing the CCS’ structure, the decision was made to invest in a center to drive instructional innovation, scholarship and excellence. In September 2022, the Board of Trustees approved Provost Dalton’s request to establish the UA Teaching Academy (UATA), a campus-serving entity within the Office of Teaching Innovation and Digital Education (OTIDE). In November 2022, Provost Dalton selected faculty members from among the recommendations of UA’s deans to serve on the UA Teaching Academy ad hoc committee.
The committee members, consisting of a representative from each of UA’s colleges, spent the Spring 2023 semester crafting a mission statement and determining the structure, staffing and pedagogical needs, and aims of the UATA. After the ad hoc committee’s proposal was accepted by Provost Dalton, work began to hire a faculty director, build the new UATA website and ready for the Teaching Academy’s launch in Fall 2023. Construction also began on the UATA offices and Innovation Lab, to be opened in University Hall in Spring 2024.
OTIDE commissioned a benchmarking research project with Hanover Research Inc. to identify best practices in teaching and learning excellence at peer institutions. In addition, OTIDE worked with various UA divisions to prepare the foundation for developing the UA Teaching Academy.
“The UA Teaching Academy is a vital new resource for faculty and instructors, fostering the implementation of cutting-edge learning and teaching practices and the professional development of everyone who teaches at UA. With our new general education core curriculum rolling out in Fall 2025, it will quickly become a foundational element of academic excellence at UA.”