The Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE), located on the ground floor of Wilson Library, was established in 2008 as the successor to the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Created in 1987 under the leadership of Professor Joel J. Schwartz (political science), the CTL supported the teaching mission of the University by providing faculty and graduate students with programs and services to improve instruction at Carolina. Professor Schwartz served as the CTL’s director from its founding until 1993, at which time Professor Lawrence G. Rowan (physics) stepped into the role.
The redesigned CFE serves broader goals than the CTL. As the campus’ pan-university faculty development center, the CFE provides holistic support to faculty members in all campus units across the spectrum of their professional responsibilities and activities: teaching, scholarship and research, leadership, and mentoring. The CFE began to make its new mission a reality in 2010 when it added two new coordinator positions – one with responsibility for leadership and the other for research.
Faculty leadership is key to the CFE’s success. The position of CFE director has been occupied by Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor Patrick Conway (economics), James Howard & Hallie McLean Parker Distinguished Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication Ruth Walden (journalism and mass communication), Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor in Jurisprudence and Ethics Eric Muller (law), and since January 2016, Professor and Director of Medical Student Education Erin Malloy (psychiatry).
Partnerships with other units supporting the teaching mission of the University are also integral to the CFE’s success. In particular, collaborations with the teaching and learning division of Information and Technology Services (ITS-TL) and OASIS in the College of Arts and Sciences have enabled the CFE to expand its staffing in important ways. Two current members of the CFE’s teaching and learning team are instructional technology consultants with ITS-TL serving as CFE liaisons, and a third is an instructional developer with OASIS serving as a CFE liaison. These partnerships help the CFE offer broader and deeper support to faculty members seeking to make innovative changes to their teaching.