Why is it critical for faculty development centers to reexamine their core mission today?
The core argument of this book – that a necessary and significant role change is underway in faculty development – is a call for centers to merge the traditional responsibilities and services of the past several decades with a leadership role as organizational developers. Failing collectively to define and outline the dimensions and expertise of this new role puts centers at risk of not only marginalization, but of dissolution.
When a TLC is busy and in demand, it is hard to believe that it may be, despite all the activity and palpable array of daily outcomes, institutionally marginalized. The actual and increasing potential of marginalization and center closings may help motivate this field to recognize the danger of complacency or remaining stuck in an old paradigm that exclusively defines itself as instructional development or supportive service.
Proposing a newly defined organizational development role for academic and faculty developers and directors of teaching and learning centers, Coming in from the Margins examines how significant involvement in broader institutional change initiatives is becoming a critical aspect of this work. Although undefined and unrecognized as a significant dimension of this work, the organizational development role increasingly demanded of developers is far more attuned with the demand for change facing higher education than ever before.
The book provides evidence-based research into what directors of centers are currently doing as organizational developers, and how they shape, influence, and plan institutional initiatives that intersect with teaching and learning. Directors of centers, their supervisors, and leaders in the field provide models, from a wide range of institutional contexts, as well as the strategies they have employed to successfully engage in significant organizational development. They also demonstrate how they handled the challenges that ensued. The strategies in each chapter provide a practical resource and guide for re-examining the mission and structure of existing centers, or for designing new centers of teaching and learning and, most importantly, to develop their role as change agents.
The book covers such topics as: Center mission statements; Center staffing; Center advisory boards; committee involvement; unique expertise, knowledge and skills; embedding Centers in strategic planning; Center vision; organizational change processes; collaboration and partnerships; institutional priorities and initiatives; relationships with upper administration.