Washington and Lee University (W&L) seeks an innovative and collaborative leader to join the university as its next director of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning. This on-site administrative position may qualify for faculty (non-tenure-track) rank and status. The anticipated start date for the director is January 2024.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
The director of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning (director) will lead a dynamic, comprehensive teaching and learning center at a top liberal arts university. As a member of the provost’s leadership team and in collaboration with various campus partners, the director will advance teaching excellence and student academic success. Reporting to the associate provost for faculty development, the director will oversee a state-of-the-art center that opened in fall 2021 and provide management and operational oversight of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning (Harte Center), including budgeting, communications, and facilities.
The successful candidate will possess a leadership style that fosters a culture of collaboration and idea-sharing across disciplines to capitalize on W&L’s vibrant liberal arts tradition. To this end, the director will assess, create, and implement professional development opportunities for faculty and professional staff at all career stages to ensure the advancement of knowledge and skills necessary for teaching excellence and creating inclusive learning environments. Further, the director will manage Harte Center staff and partner with colleagues across the university to actively engage with students to provide resources, including writing, reading, math, learning strategies, study skills, test-taking, and time management.
The director oversees an operating budget of approximately $135,000 and a team of three full-time professionals and three faculty teaching scholars. This group works closely with W&L faculty, staff, and students to support meaningful, inclusive, and data-informed teaching, learning, and student development innovations.
Additional duties of the director include the following:
- Collaborate with academic leadership, faculty, and campus partners to refine the center’s mission by assessing current programs and initiatives and developing clear priorities.
- Lead, organize, and participate in workshops, seminars, forums, and other forms of professional development in teaching.
- Serve on relevant campus committees and task forces as a teaching and learning expert.
- Provide consultation on course design projects, curricular development and innovation, pedagogy, and instructional technology.
- Share expertise and maintain current knowledge of pedagogical excellence grounded in research and learning through professional reading, attending professional development opportunities, and maintaining and building relationships with colleagues in teaching and learning.
- Oversee initiatives focused on differences in learning styles—acknowledging such differences as both pedagogical and learning issues.
- Encourage and facilitate collaboration with existing offices and services to support teaching and learning, particularly among staff within the university library; academic technologies; student affairs; the College (home to the university’s core liberal arts programs); the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics; and the School of Law.
- Communicate and collaborate with stakeholders external to W&L, including but not limited to other institutions of higher education and philanthropy.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
A doctoral degree, or a combination of experience and education from which a similar background would be acquired, experience with teaching in higher education, and a strong record of excellent teaching and scholarship are required. The search committee is particularly interested in candidates with knowledge and experience with innovative pedagogy, the science and scholarship of teaching and learning, inclusive and equitable student support, and an established record of successful academic administrative experience. The successful candidate must have strong written and oral communication and presentation skills.
Washington and Lee University actively promotes a dynamic and inclusive environment that allows students and employees of multiple backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives to learn, work, and thrive together. Successful candidates will contribute to this environment and demonstrate excellence in their areas of expertise.
In addition to the qualifications stated above, key stakeholders indicated that the successful candidate should be someone who:
- Has experience developing, implementing, and assessing new programs.
- Is a strong collaborator with faculty, staff, and students across all academic disciplines.
- Effectively champions and garners support for new initiatives.
- Consistently demonstrates excellent listening skills.
- Is attuned to the needs and concerns of teachers, scholars, and learners at a liberal arts institution.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
Opened in August 2021, the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning arose from the university’s 2018 strategic planning process, where it enjoyed strong support from several strategic planning task forces. The center, named in memory of Houston H. Harte ’50, whose generous bequest supports the initiative, offers faculty the opportunities and resources they need to be the best educators they can be. Additionally, the center provides students access to experts and resources that will enhance the skills they need for success in a rapidly changing world.
Paul Hanstedt served as the inaugural director of the Harte Center from July 2019 -June 2023. Hanstedt left W&L in summer 2023 to assume the role of vice chancellor for academic affairs and innovation at the University of Minnesota Rochester.
Leslie Wingard Cunningham, associate provost for faculty development, is serving as the interim director of the Harte Center while this national search is being conducted.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
The next leader of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning will find a campus community deeply invested in the director’s success and committed to supporting the center’s move to its next best iteration. Building a cohesive team within the Harte Center while simultaneously developing collaborative and respectful relationships with faculty, academic affairs, and administrative colleagues is vital to success in the position.
In transitioning to Washington and Lee University, the director of the Harte Center will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key campus stakeholders:
- Support W&L faculty at all points of their development and professional lifecycle.
- Develop critical relationships through engagement with university committees such as the general education implementation committee, student perceptions of teaching committee, and university assurance of learning committee.
- Conduct a thorough scan of the various student academic support services at W&L and work with colleagues in the College, the Williams School, and the School of Law to leverage opportunities and synergies among these services.
- Engage with faculty across all disciplines to explore and adopt holistic and inclusive pedagogical approaches to help students develop their identity and sense of belonging in the classroom.
- Assess the Harte Center’s programming and align the offerings with the specific needs of W&L faculty and students while continuing the center’s training and events that highlight emerging issues in higher education.
- Strengthen collaboration and partnerships with the university library, academic technologies services, office of institutional equity, and office of fellowships.
- Conduct an assessment of the faculty teaching-scholars program to identify strengths that need continued support and areas where the role can be better defined.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
The new director will work with the associate provost for faculty development to determine specific success measures and their respective timetables. Campus stakeholders offered the following general metrics for initial success in the position:
- The director has made the connections necessary to have a thorough appreciation and understanding of W&L’s mission, distinguishing characteristics, and unique liberal arts identity, as well as the university’s organizational structure.
- The director has created or taken advantage of multiple opportunities to collaborate with a broad set of key partners on initiatives that strengthen and elevate inclusive and equitable practices in teaching, research, and learning across the university.
- The Harte Center is trusted among faculty for advice and support on faculty development matters and is well-regarded by the university community as an engaged partner in student success initiatives.
- Participants in the center’s activities represent W&L’s full range of academic disciplines and units, and all academic departments and programs are engaged in addressing general and discipline-specific needs.
- The Harte Center continues to innovate and expand its services that support and elevate student learning and development.
- A compelling vision for the Harte Center is communicated, and the director has crafted an outline of strategic priorities and an operational and implementation plan.
OVERVIEW OF THE HOUSTON H. HARTE CENTER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
The Harte Center is a state-of-the-art teaching and learning center with two complementary functions: supporting faculty development towards becoming ever better teachers through workshops, experimental classrooms, presentations, practice space, and uses of new technology and techniques in teaching; and supporting student learning through academic coaching, a writing and communication center, executive function support, group and individual learning sessions, and uses of new technologies for learning. Key functions and activities of the Harte Center include the following:
Academic Coaching: Through a dialogue tailored to the student’s needs, interests, strengths, and goals, coaching provides students with a space to enhance their academic practices and confidence as learners.
Consultations and Classroom Observations: One-on-one consultations and formative classroom observations are available to all W&L faculty and teaching staff; both are entirely confidential.
Faculty Teaching and Development Workshops: The Harte Center provides an ambitious array of workshops and events focused on new developments in teaching and learning. Recent topics include artificial intelligence, writing pedagogies, instruction in the STEM fields, course design, managing trigger warnings, and mid-career faculty burnout.
Faculty Teaching Scholars Program: The program is designed to enhance student learning and enrich campus culture by creating a network of faculty capable of supporting colleagues as they respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by changing student demographics, changing technologies, and evolving research in the science of teaching and learning.
Harte Center Advisory Board: The board advises the director on the center’s two-fold mission to support faculty and student development.
Peer Tutoring: Upper-division student tutors assist lower-division students with their courses’ academic content.
Writing Center: Professional writers and instructors, as well as students from various major and minor fields chosen for their superior writing and teaching skills, provide individual and group tutorial assistance on any college writing or presentation task, from papers and lab reports in any stage of completion to resumes, application essays, and oral presentations.
The Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning fosters deliberative, innovative, and inclusive conversations among students, faculty, and staff about meaningful ways to learn and teach in an equitable liberal arts environment, with the goal of developing more engaged citizens prepared to face the challenges of a complex world.
The Harte Center aims to:
- Ensure all faculty and staff have access to opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create inclusive and productive learning environments.
- Create numerous, varied opportunities for faculty and staff to engage in continuous discourse about student learning and development through workshops, experimental classrooms, book clubs, practice with instructional technology, consultations, and other year-round programming.
- Foster a culture of collaboration and idea-sharing among various disciplines and constituency groups that support meaningful, data-driven innovations in teaching, learning, and student development.
- Facilitate opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to collaborate as co-learners and co-instructors to capitalize on the tradition of the liberal arts by deepening learning and a sense of shared agency and impact.
- Provide a central location with opportunities that are responsive to a changing world and the mission of the liberal arts for students to optimize the development of skills vital to their success, life-long learning, and ability to solve complex problems.
- Provide rigorous and ongoing training for peer tutors and other student educators, focused on supporting the unique needs of individual learners and on engaging the members of a diverse student population so that every student can fully access a comprehensive liberal arts education.
Leslie Wingard Cunningham, Associate Provost for Faculty Development
Leslie Wingard Cunningham was named associate provost for faculty development at Washington and Lee University in December 2022. She is a scholar whose interests include African-American film, literature, and religion, and her faculty appointment is in the departments of English and Africana Studies.
As associate provost for faculty development, Wingard Cunningham is a member of the provost’s leadership team, working to cultivate a coordinated, intentional, and robust effort to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion across academic affairs. She brings a collaborative approach to providing professional development to faculty, strengthening the focus on inclusive pedagogy, supporting the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, and collaborating on special programming and projects. Wingard Cunningham also serves on the President’s Council, co-chairs the university committee on inclusiveness and campus climate, and oversees the directors of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning, the DeLaney Center, the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics, and the Office of Community Based Learning.
She received a BA in English from Spelman College and an MA and PhD in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She spent her undergraduate junior year as a domestic exchange student at Stanford University and was a visiting research fellow in the departments of English and African American Studies at Princeton University and the Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to her start at Washington and Lee, Wingard Cunningham served as chair of the department of English; dean of faculty development; interim vice president for equity, inclusion, and diversity; and the Mildred Foss Thompson Professor of English at the College of Wooster.
Washington and Lee University (W&L) is a top-ranked private institution in Lexington, Virginia, where the rigorous inquiry and critical thinking of a liberal arts curriculum are integrated with nationally accredited undergraduate programs in business and journalism and a graduate School of Law. One of the hallmarks of the W&L experience is the accessibility of its faculty. With an eight-to-one student-to-faculty ratio and 96 percent of classes enrolling fewer than 25 students, students can immerse themselves in courses while benefiting from the faculty’s personalized attention and guidance.
W&L is the ninth-oldest institution of higher education in America, and its historic campus, situated in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, is home to a vibrant, welcoming university community. With an enrollment of 1,867 undergraduates and 376 law students (Fall 2022), Washington and Lee’s small size enables students to find mentors and develop personal relationships across campus. W&L students hold each other to the highest standard of integrity, united by the student-run honor system. And when they graduate, they do so with a network of support, lifelong friendships, and a degree that opens doors.
William C. Dudley – President
William C. (Will) Dudley became the 27th president of Washington and Lee University on January 1, 2017. Under his leadership, W&L has made significant progress in attracting highly qualified and increasingly diverse students, faculty, and staff to Lexington. The university has implemented curricular and capital initiatives from the strategic plan, bolstering its commitment to interdisciplinary programs with new minors in legal studies, entrepreneurship, and data science. Dudley has also overseen the campus master plan update, which includes the opening of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning; expanded facilities for the sciences and the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics; a museum of institutional history and culture; and a center for admissions and financial aid.
Before joining W&L, Dudley was a member of the faculty at Williams College for 18 years and served as provost from 2011 to 2016. In this role, he oversaw the operations supporting the college’s academic mission, allocated budgets and positions, and undertook strategic initiatives. He also established priorities for Teach It Forward: The Campaign for Williams, which launched in October 2015 and raised more than $750 million.
A Virginia native, born in Charlottesville and raised in Arlington, Dudley received his BA in mathematics and philosophy, magna cum laude, from Williams College in 1989, where he was the recipient of a Herchel Smith Fellowship to study at Cambridge University from 1989 to 1990. Dudley worked for AES Corporation from 1990 to 1992 before pursuing graduate studies at Northwestern University, where he earned an MA and a PhD in philosophy.
Lena M. Hill – Provost
Lena M. Hill began serving as provost in July 2021 after serving as dean of the College at W&L since 2018. She received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and her PhD from Yale University, and she completed postdoctoral work at Duke University.
Hill’s scholarship and teaching focus on African-American literature and visual culture, and she is known internationally as a scholar of Ralph Ellison. In addition to publishing numerous articles and essays, she has published three books. She authored Visualizing Blackness and the Creation of the African American Literary Tradition (Cambridge, 2014), co-edited Invisible Hawkeyes: African Americans at the University of Iowa during the Long Civil Rights Era (University of Iowa Press, 2016) and co-authored Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man: A Reference Guide (Greenwood, 2008). She serves on several boards, including the National Humanities Alliance Board and the Modernist Studies Editorial Board.
At W&L, Hill has prioritized the support and growth of interdisciplinary programs, the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, and faculty mentoring and development. She is a passionate advocate for the liberal arts curriculum, and as the chief academic officer, she is focused on delivering an academic experience to students that prepares them to flourish after graduating from W&L.
Washington and Lee University offers 36 majors and 41 minors and programs often found only at larger schools, including business, journalism, engineering, and a top-tier graduate law school.
The university’s academic programs are offered through the College, the Williams School, and the Law School.
The College: The College departments and programs represent the liberal arts core of the university, ranging from fine arts, humanities, certain social sciences, journalism and mass communications, natural and physical sciences, computer science, and mathematics.
The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics: W&L is the only top liberal arts college in the United States to claim a nationally accredited undergraduate business program. The Williams School is distinctive among its peers—offering a business education within a liberal arts curriculum—and most students take some classes there, regardless of major.
School of Law: One of the smallest of the nation’s top law schools and W&L’s only graduate program, the Washington and Lee University School of Law seeks to cultivate broad-minded, highly skilled, and honorable practitioners of law. Its law professors also teach undergraduate students alongside law students in courses affiliated with W&L’s interdisciplinary Law, Justice, and Society program.
Statement of Commitment to Diversity
Washington and Lee University affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance the community and is committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, Washington and Lee University seeks to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue.
See here for more information on diversity, equity, and inclusion at Washington and Lee University.
Student Enrollment, Fall 2022
Total enrollment: 2,243
Men: 49 percent
Women: 51 percent
Underrepresented students: 19 percent
U.S. States: 49
SALARY AND BENFITS OVERVIEW
The anticipated hiring salary range for the director is $115,000-$125,000, commensurate with education and experience.
See here for information on the full range of comprehensive benefits offered at Washington and Lee University.
Review of applications will begin Friday, October 13, 2023, 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 may be emailed to Michel R. Frendian, Senior Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email email@example.com.
In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, Washington and Lee University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status, or genetic information in its educational programs and activities, admissions, and with regard to employment.