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Teaching and learning: everybody's business

The new teaching committee in the Faculty of Business Administration is (L-R) Prof. Darragh McManamon, Dr. Alex Faseruk, Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, Prof. Pauline Downer and Dr. Wayne King. Missing from the photo is Dr. Jianyun Tang.

By Heidi Wicks

For Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean, Faculty of Business Administration, exceptional teaching is a faculty must.

"Teaching is a core function; alongside scholarship it is the heart of the university," stressed Dr. Zerbe. "This faculty has had a standing committee on research for quite some time. We are increasing the emphasis on quality scholarship and we believe excellence in teaching and learning is just as important."

Commitment to this ideal has led the Faculty of Business Administration to create a new committee dedicated to teaching excellence. The committee will be responsible for establishing and implementing policies and procedures to develop, recognize and reward excellent teaching within the faculty. It will also support several areas including the development of teaching skills, innovations in instructional design and delivery, research in the scholarship of teaching and mentoring for teachers.

Faculty members who are well known for being effective teachers developed the terms of reference.

In October the first members of the committee were named. Beginning soon, Prof. Pauline Downer, Dr. Alex Faseruk, Prof. Darragh McManamon, Dr. Wayne King and Dr. Jianyun Tang will meet to plan how they will meet the committee's objectives.

"One specific task will be to invite applications for and eventually select the first recipients of the newly created Faculty of Business Administration Dean's Teaching Fellowships," said the dean. "These fellowships, up to five of which may be presented in any year, are designed to recognize commitment to teaching. They honour faculty members and per course instructors who, through innovation and commitment, have significantly enhanced the quality of learning for students."

The fellowships are also intended to provide recipients with the opportunity to develop innovative teaching and learning projects or to enhance their own teaching skills. Recipients will be publicly recognized and will receive $2,500 to use in support of developmental activities such as teaching support materials, conferences or other professional development opportunities.

Dr. Zerbe said the Faculty of Business Administration has excellent teachers who have been recognized in the past for their contributions to student learning.

"Through the creation of this committee and its work, the business school is signaling the importance we place on teaching excellence in every classroom. Combined with a future state-of-the-art teaching environment and clearly articulated learning goals and processes to achieve them — such as the new teaching committee — we are committed to enhancing the teaching and learning experience for all."