Confidential Position Specification
Center for Excellence in Teaching
"Promoting Knowledge Exchange within the Simmons Community"
Confidential Position Specification
|Position||Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching|
|Reporting Relationship||The Director reports to the Provost|
Simmons College seeks a dynamic individual to serve as the Director of its newly created Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET). The successful candidate will enhance and promote professional development initiatives that support the College's mission of providing student-centered and transformative learning. The Director will disseminate examples of teaching innovation, organize workshops and presentations for full-time, contract, and adjunct faculty members and other members of the teaching community, mentor and consult on an individual basis, and coordinate with relevant campus constituencies, among other duties. The Director will work closely with the directors of Assessment, Simmons Online, Sponsored Programs, and Library to identify needs and develop resources and projects that promote excellence in student learning and achievement.
Simmons College - Overview
Located in Boston's historic Fenway area along the Emerald Necklace designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Simmons College is a small, private university that has educated students for enriching careers and useful, independent lives since 1899. Simmons has a four-year, undergraduate women's college and five coeducational graduate schools. Decades before women in America gained the right to vote, Boston businessman John Simmons had a revolutionary idea—that women should be able to earn independent livelihoods—and Simmons College was the result. Today, Simmons continues to educate its students for successful careers and meaningful lives.
As a four-year, private non-sectarian undergraduate women's college with a comprehensive liberal arts and professional curriculum, Simmons offers a pioneering liberal arts education for undergraduate women that is integrated with professional work experience, interdisciplinary study, and a global perspective. Students receive a broad-based, liberal arts education strengthened by direct experience in their area of concentration through internships or independent studies, research, fieldwork, or theses. Simmons offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and programs, with minors in all departments and renowned co-educational graduate programs in health sciences, nursing, education, liberal arts, communications management, social work, and library and information science along with the first MBA program designed specifically for women.
Simmons enrolls 2,000 undergraduate women and over 3,000 graduate women and men. Twenty percent of the undergraduate women, and ten percent of graduate students self-identity as African American, Latina, Asian, Native American, (ALANA) or multiracial. In the past few years, undergraduate students have come from 40 states and 39 countries. The graduate programs have attracted diverse students from nearly as many states and countries as the undergraduate college.
Simmons has 254 faculty members of whom 43% are tenured. In addition, there are 360 part-time/adjunct faculty, many of whom are clinical faculty who work in schools, archives, libraries, hospitals, businesses, government, NGOs, and a variety of non-profit organizations. The undergraduate student/faculty ratio is 13:1 and about 70% of the faculty is female. Faculty participates actively in academic matters through a variety of governance structures such as an all-College Faculty Senate and a Faculty Fiscal Affairs Committee. Faculty also contributes to two Board of Trustees committees: Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.
Simmons is recognized as one of the "Best Colleges" by three national ranking groups. US News & World Report ranked Simmons in its 2012 edition of "American's Best Colleges." Simmons was in the top tier of schools in the Regional Universities North category. Simmons was also featured in The Princeton Review's 2012 "Best 376 College" guidebook and named by Forbes.com as one of "America's Best Colleges" in 2011.
Simmons alums have been appointed by President Obama to important national positions. David S. Ferriero, an alumnus of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS), is the Archivist of the United States at the National Archives and Records Administration. Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) alumni Winston Tabb is serving on the National Museum and Library Services Board, the advisory body for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
Alumna Ann Fudge was one of six members named by President Obama to a bipartisan commission charged with recommending ways to reduce the U.S. national debt. Fudge was the chief of Young & Rubicam Brands, and a senior executive at General Mills and Kraft. The commission included 12 sitting members of Congress. Finally, the President designated alumna and Simmons College Trustee Carol Waller Pope as chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
Simmons is a member of the Colleges of the Fenway, a voluntary collaboration among six colleges within a five-minute walk from the Simmons campus. This partnership allows cross-registration, social events for students, and faculty collaboration, as well as coordination on back-end technology and administrative functions. The College's other neighbors include renowned museums and cultural institutions (such as Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), major libraries (such as the Massachusetts Historical Society and The Boston Public Library), other large university campuses (such as Northeastern University and Boston University), and a number of hospitals and medical research facilities (such as Beth Israel Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Children's Hospital), clustered around the nearby Harvard Medical School.
Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges
Simmons is in a very strong position. Attention to infrastructure over the last ten years has led to beautiful and highly functional Academic and Residential campuses in the heart of Boston with state-of-the-art technology and classrooms and attractive renovation of many areas of the Residence campus.
Attention to financial and operating matters over the last three years has led to financial stability in a challenging marketplace for all higher education institutions. The last capital campaign, "Imagine," exceeded its goal. The College has undertaken a new campaign, "Making Education Work" with the largest goal ($85 million) in its history to support financial aid and academic priorities. The Faculty Policy Manual was completed and approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2010. NEASC (New England Association of Schools & Colleges) re-accreditation was completed in January 2011.
The College recently completed two critical strategic projects — an Academic Business Review (ABR) and a Strategic Plan. President Helen Drinan and Provost Charlena Seymour led the Academic Business Review (ABR) during Fiscal '10 with analytical assistance from the Deloitte Higher Education & Academic Restructuring team. The ABR was a comprehensive, data-driven evaluation of Simmons's academic structure and offerings undertaken to better leverage the College's strengths, to align the academic structure and curriculum offerings with the College's Mission, to carefully review academic resource allocation and to assess opportunities for additional revenue generation. Recommendations have been implemented under the leadership of the Provost's Office.
The strategic planning process was a community-wide effort that energized faculty and staff. Over 150 people participated in various steps of the strategic planning process during the spring, which led to the development of the Simmons Strategy Map. Under the leadership of President Drinan and with the assistance of Bink Garrison, an outside consultant, the core purpose, values, vision, strategy and tactics that will take Simmons College to the next stage of success were identified. The Strategic Plan, "Strategy 2015," was approved at the October 2010 Board of Trustees meeting. Specific plans and detailed supporting budgets have been prepared and implementation is underway.
The five core objectives of "Strategy 2015" are:
- Strengthening the Undergraduate College
- Collaborative and flexible undergraduate-to-graduate school opportunities
- Substantial expansion of non-traditional undergraduate student programs
- Increased Opportunities for online graduate education
- Creating a Student-centered culture
Among FY13 priorities are:
- Advancing the financial health of the college
- Addressing the financial aid needs of our students
- Ensuring that Simmons is student-centered in all we do
- Continuing a successful "Making Education Work" Campaign
- Implementing the strategic plan - "Strategy 2015"
- Focusing on recruitment & retention
- Ensuring the high quality and relevance of a Simmons education
Center for Excellence in Teaching
The Center for Excellence in Teaching at Simmons College is driven by and flows from the central mission of Simmons and the five core objectives of "Strategy 2015." The Center supports the faculty and the entire Simmons teaching community. This support is focused on the College's core purpose of student-centered and transformative learning that links professional commitment with continuous improvement.
The Center supports the implementation of teaching innovations and best practices, fosters the scholarship of teaching and learning, enables and promotes collaboration across campus, and provides a supportive environment for growth, experimentation and reflection.
- Provide pedagogical support for all members of the teaching community
- Promote the effective use of technology in teaching
- Foster and share teaching innovation
- Support the scholarship of teaching and learning
- Assist with reflection and self-evaluation as it relates to teaching
- Support and assist in the use of best practices in teaching
- Develop and maintain resources to advance teaching skills and expertise
The Director is responsible for providing:
- exemplary service to faculty and other members of the teaching community, and
- superior value through effective and efficient use of resources and staff.
The Director will foster:
- trust in the Center, and
- a culture of ongoing innovation.
The Director will develop a strategic and operational plan that aligns with the overall college Strategy 2015 initiative, ensure start-up of the Center and implementation of the plan, and provide ongoing Center leadership. The Director will develop, deliver, and maintain a portfolio of successful professional development initiatives, such as workshops, seminars, summer teaching institutes, teaching communities, web-based resources, and mentoring programs that generate campus-wide interest and participation leading to ongoing improvement of student learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels.The Director may also teach a course during the academic year in her/his area of expertise.
- Develop and implement a strategic and operational plan for the Center building on the initiatives begun in the Center's first year under its interim director and its Associate Director.
- Support the successful integration of technology into teaching.
- Coordinate with the department of Simmons Online to meet teaching needs regardless of modality.
- Hire, train, and manage staff and faculty fellows.
- Serve as a confidential source of consultation on teaching-related issues.
- Envision and develop new faculty orientation programming.
- Promote and oversee internal grants and awards that highlight innovation in teaching.
- Seek internal and external funds (grants, etc.) to support the growth and development of the Center.
Professional Experience / Qualifications
- Substantial teaching experience in higher education working with diverse learners including non-traditional learners
- Extensive experience creating faculty development programming
- Ability to create a vision for the Center
- Proven knowledge of educational pedagogy, technologies and strategies for their successful integration into teaching
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
- Commitment to promoting diversity
- Prior experience in creating a center for teaching and learning
- Administrative and supervisory experience
- A proven track record of successful grant writing
- Evidence of scholarly production regarding issues related to teaching in higher education
An earned doctorate is required.
Understanding the focus of the Center
Knows the mission-critical technical and functional skills needed to do the job; understands various types of operational/service propositions and understands how organizations operate in general; learns new methods and technologies easily.
Making Complex Decisions
Can solve complex problems; is able to glean meaning from whatever data are available; is a quick study of the new and different; adds personal wisdom and experience to come to the best conclusion and solution, given the situation; uses multiple problem-solving tools and techniques.
Creating the New and Different
Is creative and visionary and can manage innovation; is an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; sees multiple futures; has broad interests and knowledge; can both create and bring exciting ideas to fruition; is comfortable speculating about alternative futures without all of the data.
Keeping on Point
Can quickly separate the mission-critical from the trivia; is effective in establishing and maintaining priorities; focuses on the critical few tasks that really add value and puts aside or delays the rest.
Is well organized and resourceful; is effective and efficient at marshalling multiple resources to accomplish goals; lays out tasks in sufficient detail to mark the trail; is able to get things done within established budgets and timeframes; can work on multiple tasks at once without losing track; foresees and plans around obstacles.
Getting Work Done Through Others
Manages people well; gets the most and best out of the people s/he has; sets and communicates guiding goals; measures accomplishments, holds people accountable, and gives useful feedback; delegates and develops; keeps people informed; provides coaching for today and for the future.
Managing Work Processes
Is an effective process, work flow, and systems designer; is good at determining what to measure to track progress; sets up systems that can almost manage themselves; is a master at the effectiveness and efficiency of work systems; can quickly diagnose and fix a work flow problem; always seeks incremental process improvement.
Dealing with Challenges
Thoughtfully takes on issues, challenges, and situations; comfortably confronts and works through conflict; deals promptly and fairly with faculty and staff; lets everyone know where they stand; is energized by tough challenges; is not afraid to make difficult decisions and take action; challenges the status quo.
Evaluating and Deploying People Accurately
Reads people accurately; can diagnose strengths, weaknesses, and potential; knows what skills are required to fill a job or role; hires the best.
Focusing on Action and Outcomes
Approaches everything with drive and energy with an eye on effectiveness and value; is not afraid to initiate action before all the facts are known; finishes everything he/she starts.
Being Organizationally Savvy
Maneuvers well to get things done; knows where to go to get what s/he needs; politically aware and agile; knows what the right thing to do is; presents views and arguments well.
Writes and presents effectively; adjusts to fit the audience and the message; strongly gets a message across.
Skillfully relates to management
Knows how to relate effectively with top management and is effective in advocating for resources.
Warm, friendly, and interpersonally agile; easy to approach and talk to; relates well to all kinds of people; makes a pleasant first impression and builds solid relationships.
Caring About Others
Helps others; demonstrates concern; goes out of her/his way for others; makes time to listen; makes allowances for those in trouble.
Managing Diverse Relationships
Treats everyone with dignity and respect; treats differences fairly and equitably; builds diverse networks; seeks common ground.
Is skilled at motivating individuals, teams, and an entire organization to perform at a higher level and to embrace change; negotiates skillfully to achieve a fair outcome or promote a common cause; communicates a compelling vision and is committed to what needs to be done; inspires others; builds motivated, high-performing teams; understands what motivates different people.
Is a person of high character; is consistent and acts in line with a clear and visible set of values and beliefs; deals and talks straight; is direct and truthful but at the same time can keep confidences.
Being Open and Receptive
Operates at ease and in a relaxed manner; easy to talk to and get to know; listens attentively; has a positive sense of humor; deals calmly with stress and gives people a chance to catch up.
Demonstrating Personal Flexibility
Open to continuous personal improvement; aware of self and impact on others; is responsive to feedback; is very flexible; can act in ways that seem contradictory and is adaptable to characteristics of different situations.
David Mead-Fox, Ph.D.
Senior Client Partner
265 Franklin Street, 17th floor
Boston, MA 02110