Role of the Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship

Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty and serving on the Academic Affairs leadership team, the Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (CTLS) will provide dynamic leadership that fosters the growth of Southwestern University (SU) faculty through excellent teaching and research/creative work that supports SU’s diverse student body. Working collaboratively with the faculty and the Dean of Faculty, the Director will continue improving existing programming (e.g., new faculty orientation, faculty reading and writing groups, and diversity training for faculty hiring). The Director will assess faculty professional development needs and create, implement, and assess appropriate programming. The Director will oversee an endowed budget earmarked for programming and have the opportunity to hire two new positions defined in the University’s tactical plan: a Diversity and Inclusion Pedagogy Specialist and a Faculty Grants and Sponsored Programs Coordinator. Normally this is a twelve-month appointment with staff benefits and opportunities for professional development. The position requires onsite work; Southwestern is reviewing its hybrid work policy.

The Position

Qualifications and Characteristics

The Dean, professional staff, and faculty seek a thought leader in faculty development who can inspire the faculty and support faculty scholar-teachers in their commitment to student success through the continual improvement of their teaching and productive engagement as researchers and/or creative producers. The new Director must share Southwestern University’s commitment to cross-disciplinary liberal arts teaching and learning. In collaboration with the Dean, the faculty, department chairs, Academic Affairs Directors, and Associate Deans, the new Director will develop a wide variety of meaningful faculty development programming that encourages faculty participation. Candidates should demonstrate a commitment to enhancing diversity, inclusion, and equity across campus. Successful candidates must possess a combination of experience in faculty development leadership (e.g., as a center for teaching excellence director, assistant director, or fellow). Candidates with a record of scholarship and teaching in a liberal arts discipline or extensive work with faculty in a liberal arts context are preferred. Candidates must have an advanced degree and significant professional development leadership experience. A doctoral degree and accomplishment as a scholar and teacher of innovative and inclusive pedagogies within a liberal arts context are preferred. Candidates must share a commitment to Southwestern University’s core values and demonstrate the vision, dedication, and energy needed to pursue excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship.

History of the Position

Founded in 2016, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship supports Southwestern faculty as continuously developing teacher-scholars. The Center’s work with faculty is formative and voluntary. Confidential support is provided when requested. The founding Director successfully created workshops, resources, and individual mentoring sessions to support Southwestern University. The position has been vacant since the previous Director resigned in 2020. The Associate Dean, the Instructional Technologist, and a CTLS faculty fellow have provided ongoing programming to ensure continued CTLS campus presence and branding. The Dean, the faculty, and the Academic Affairs staff are anxious to hire a new Director who will continue essential programs, rebuild resources and workshops, and develop collaborative relationships to create new opportunities for new and continuing faculty.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

  • Southwestern University has committed to investing in the CTLS with expanded staffing, eventually increasing the direct reports to include a new position for grant writing and support of faculty research. A second position has been approved in the tactical plan but is not yet funded; it will focus on inclusive pedagogy and/or another area that will supplement the expertise of the new Director. Funding may also be available for faculty CTLS fellows, who may work on special projects or support CTLS programming.
  • While efforts were made to continue CTLS programming in the absence of a director and during COVID, there is a perception that some momentum has been lost, and the new Director will need to rebuild programming and resources.
  • The founding Director was highly regarded, creating high expectations for the incoming Director. But the Dean, faculty, and Academic Affairs professional staff are anxious to fill the role and have pledged their support to the incoming Director. All stakeholders are thoughtful about onboarding the new Director, and the Academic Affairs Directors are able and willing to play a central role in this effort.
  • There are many opportunities for collaboration across campus, including with the Smith Library Center, the Center for Integrative Learning, Paideia (Southwestern’s interdisciplinary approach to education), the Office of Advising and Retention, the Center for Academic Success, the Office of Study Abroad and Student Services, and the Debby Ellis Writing Center.
  • On campus, there is a shared recognition that the new Director cannot be equally expert in all aspects of teaching, learning, and scholarship. The Director must have extensive experience supporting best pedagogical practices and will need to partner across campus and sometimes outsource to meet the full range of faculty development needs.
  • The position offers faculty and professionals with a passion and expertise for teaching and learning the opportunity to support faculty at a highly-ranked institution.
  • This position demands administrative savvy, especially regarding the ability to develop new programs and resources consistent with the tactical plan of the Academic Affairs division and the Dean’s directives. At the same time, the Director will need to have teaching (and preferably some research or creative production) experience to garner the faculty’s respect on pedagogy issues.

Measures of Success

The new Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship must possess a broad and deep understanding of best practices in faculty development, particularly in the context of cross-disciplinary liberal arts learning and a culture of faculty teacher-scholars.

A successful Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship will:

  • Provide a smooth transition and continuity for essential CTLS programs, such as the new faculty orientation.
  • Increase and renew the presence of the CTLS.
  • Show a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness through actions, interactions, and communications with others.
  • Listen well and communicate effectively.
  • Collaborate with faculty, the dean, and other academic affairs directors to develop a plan for CTLS programming and future growth.
  • Bring cross-disciplinary liberal arts experience and knowledge or have learned it in the first year.
  • Engage all departments and disciplines by addressing common and discipline-specific needs.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer faculty learning across the disciplines.
  • Be trusted among the faculty for advice and support on faculty development.
  • Demonstrate flexibility and be responsive to change and changing needs.
  • Be resourceful in providing support to meet faculty needs.

Institution & Location


Founded in 2016, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship supports Southwestern faculty as continuously developing teacher-scholars. The Center’s work with faculty is formative, confidential, and voluntary. It seeks to:

  • Promote intentional, evidence-based, and inclusive teaching and learning practices.
  • Support faculty as they develop their scholarly and creative work and professional activity.
  • Explore the integration of scholarship and teaching that will enrich the education of Southwestern students.
  • Support the professional formation and success of faculty across their career stages at Southwestern.
  • Assist Southwestern faculty and staff in developing courses and curricula, scholarly projects, institutional initiatives, and collaborations across disciplines.


Established in 1840, Southwestern University is a selective undergraduate residential liberal arts institution located in the greater Austin area. SU enrolls approximately 1,500 students and maintains a student-faculty ratio of 11 to 1. SU provides a highly interdisciplinary and holistic education that values high-impact learning experiences, such as study abroad, internships, and faculty-student research. As of the fall 2021 semester, 40% of students enrolled at Southwestern are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. The University is committed to increasing the diversity of SU students, faculty, and curriculum and strengthening its support for all. A member of the recently formed Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance, Southwestern University is committed to fostering a diverse educational environment and encourages applications from members of groups traditionally underrepresented in academia.

Mission, purpose, and values


Laura Skandera Trombley – President

Laura Skandera Trombley, a gifted scholar, proven leader, and passionate advocate for liberal arts education, is Southwestern University’s 16th President. She is the first woman chosen to lead Texas’s first university. Trombley’s leadership has earned praise for her ability to raise sustainability awareness, establish best-in-class university operations, and drive exponential growth in fundraising. Under her leadership, both Pitzer College and the University of Bridgeport experienced transformational change, realizing a dramatic improvement in the schools’ national rankings and fundraising capabilities.

Alisa Gaunder – Dean of Faculty

Alisa Gaunder received her doctorate in political science, specializing in comparative politics and Japan, from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. Her research interests include comparative political leadership, campaign finance reform in Japan and the United States, and women in politics. She is the author of Political Reform in Japan: Leadership Looming Large (Routledge 2007) and the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics (Routledge 2011). Her current research focuses on the obstacles women face running for national office in Japan.

Gaunder’s goal as a professor of political science is to motivate students to think critically – to teach students to have opinions, to ground these opinions with evidence, to express these opinions, and thereby to take an active role as responsible citizens. This goal has guided her as she has developed many courses at Southwestern. All her courses emphasize critical thinking through writing, class discussion, and creative activities.


Southwestern was founded on the western frontier in the 19th Century as Texas’s first institution of higher education, and today is located in one of the country’s most racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse states.  These circumstances necessitate a fundamental commitment to diversity.  Today, Southwestern seeks to expand upon that mandate by redressing the historic social exclusions that have characterized higher education in the U.S. In responding to the increasingly heterogeneous population of the U.S. and creating a socially just community; Southwestern makes real core values: fostering diverse perspectives, respecting the worth and dignity of persons, and encouraging activism in the pursuit of justice and the common good.

Click here to read Southwestern University’s statement on diversity in its entirety.


Total Enrollment: 1483

Male: 45.2%

Female: 54.8%

AI/NA: 0.3%

NH/PI: 0.1%

White: 60.6%

African American: 5.4%

Asian: 3.8%

Hispanic: 23.3%

Two or More Races: 4.2%

Race Unknown: 0.9%

Non-Resident: 1.5%

Benefits Overview


As part of the University’s overall compensation package, employees may also be eligible to participate in the University’s various benefit programs or other fringe benefits.

To learn about the benefits offered by Southwestern University, click here.

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position and questions about the status of the search may be emailed to Sharon Meagher at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

The salary range for this position is $80,000-95,000.

 Visit the Southwestern University website at

Southwestern University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer EOE/M/F  All offers of employment are contingent on successful completion of the University’s Background Check Policy process.