Overview of Needs-Assessment:

Emory Faculty Development, Teaching, and Learning Center


October 2004



UACT (in addition to the CTC and the UTF) was created in response to the 1997 Report on Teaching at Emory.  One of this report’s recommendations called for the establishment of a university-wide teaching center; however, this recommendation has not yet come to fruition.



Given the many changes in leadership at Emory this year, we have decided that this is a good year to begin needs-assessment discussions about the possibility of a comprehensive faculty development, teaching, and learning center at Emory.  We have already begun preliminary discussions with faculty from across schools and disciplines.  A number of clear needs have emerged from these discussions:


  1. We need to bring together experts in teaching and learning to facilitate the guidance in both processes for Emory faculty and students.
  2. We need a home and catalyst for interdisciplinary and cross-school scholarship projects, facilitating and leveraging funding, buy-outs, seminars, and importantly monitoring and sustaining successful programs.
  3. We need better focus for new faculty orientation and development, which is currently lacking at Emory in terms of teaching and professional development guidance.
  4. We need a locus for requested teaching and professional development for all faculty, as few if any receive this prior to coming here.
  5. We need to better integrate faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral teaching and learning.
  6. We need professional evaluation of teaching and of education and training programs—something sorely lacking at Emory.



A variety of models exist for meeting the needs outlined above, both here at Emory and at other universities.  The Master Teacher Program, for example, is a project that UACT is currently making in-house and has been a successful example of cross-school interaction and development.  The Luce Seminars and other interdisciplinary models have also been successful, and we can certainly address the success of specific programs as needed, as well as their relationship to a possible comprehensive center in the future.  Centers at UNC-Chapel Hill and Stanford are additional models of successful programs, and we have visited and studied these centers and will continue to research external models in the coming year.


We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our findings of the needs of faculty at Emory and working with you to find the best way to meet these needs.