New chair program to drive excellence in teaching and learning

Jan 14th, 2015

Jennifer Batten

New chair program to drive excellence in teaching and learning

Teaching and learning. It’s happening all around us, every day. Across Memorial’s campuses, in classrooms and labs, study rooms and dorm rooms, at dining hall tables, in lecture theatres and faculty offices. It is the essence of work in higher education, and at Memorial, it’s about being engaged, supportive, outcomes oriented, responsive, inclusive and committed to discovery.

These qualities strongly reflect the teaching and learning community at Memorial. Since the development of the university’s first comprehensive Teaching and Learning Framework in spring 2011, Memorial’s dynamic teaching and learning community has continued to flourish, helping to guide faculty, students and staff in academic achievement and to provide knowledge and tools to realize the community’s greatest aspirations – both inside and outside the classroom setting.

The creation of the framework has been the foundation upon which the university has been steadily growing the teaching and learning community through projects, programs and initiatives that benefit students and educators at all levels, and to help further develop a community committed to excellence in teaching and learning.

Guided by the vision, values and principles of the framework, specific projects and initiatives for students and educators have successfully been undertaken across Memorial’s faculties, schools and departments and are ongoing, including the First Year Success Program, Project Engage and the Teaching Skills Enhancement Program, to name a few.

With the roll out of the framework, and the growth and success of the many teaching and learning activities happening across the university, came the need to identify the structures and people to keep the momentum going. That’s where the new Chairs in Teaching and Learning (CTL) program comes in.

The CTL program will provide a faculty-level structure to promote new initiatives in teaching and learning. The unique program is intended to enhance the student-learning experience by promoting the development of innovative approaches, teaching capacity and competence across the university, within academic and support units, and at the level of individual faculty members. The program will place one chair position in each faculty and school on the St. John’s campus as well as one chair at the Marine Institute and one chair at Grenfell Campus. Each chair will support teaching and learning in the faculties and schools, working with colleagues to advance Memorial’s teaching and learning objectives. Chairs will also work with each other, sharing best practices, promoting the scholarship of teaching and learning and developing strategies to address common challenges.

“We have been very successful so far in taking steps to address the recommendations identified in the Teaching and Learning Framework,” said Dr. Doreen Neville, associate vice-president (academic), planning, priorities and programs. “This fall, we created a strategic plan to support teaching and learning at Memorial that will take us to 2017, and a big part of that plan is the new Chairs in Teaching and Learning program. The chairs will enhance the capacity of the faculties and schools to respond to the recommendations of the Teaching and Learning Framework and promote excellence in teaching and learning at Memorial University. We’re excited to roll out this key program in 2015.”

Academic staff members holding full-time tenure track or tenured appointments and academic staff who hold regular full-term appointments (provided that the academic appointment covers the term of the CTL) are eligible to apply. Individuals interested in pursuing a chair position should contact the dean of their faculty or school to discuss. 

Applications for chair positions will be accepted until Feb. 15, and details on eligibility, funding, application procedures, workshops for potential applicants and the role of chair are available at The appointments are for a two year period and will begin on July 1, 2015.



Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

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Tel: (709) 864-8000