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Creating Academic Leadership through a Fellowship Programme Elizabeth Noonan Professor Bairbre Redmond University College Dublin.

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Presentation on theme: "Creating Academic Leadership through a Fellowship Programme Elizabeth Noonan Professor Bairbre Redmond University College Dublin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating Academic Leadership through a Fellowship Programme Elizabeth Noonan Professor Bairbre Redmond University College Dublin

2 This paper: Examines the background factors leading to the creation of a Fellowship scheme Looks at the guiding principles behind the scheme Charts the development of the Fellowships so far.

3 Context 1: Internal Structures Major re-structuring of university within 3 years ( ) 11 Faculties into 5 Colleges; 80+ Departments into 35 Schools Full modularisation of all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes Strong institutional focus on research

4 Context 2: External & Internal Factors Change in student demographic Drop in student attendance Academic difficulties arising from introduction of modularised/semesterised curriculum Clear rewarding of research output Unclear benefit for being involved in teaching.

5 Context 3: University approaches to T&L Teaching Support Unit working with individual enthusiastic teachers, little change/movement in this population Unrelated small T&L projects in existence, little general dissemination New Heads of Teaching appointed in each school (department) to support new structures.

6 School Teaching Heads

7 Head of Teaching Roles Chores Timetabling, updating module descriptor forms, other tedious admin chores Admin side very burdensome due to teething problems with computer systems T&L overwhelmed by the mechanics of modularisation rather than the substance And lack of authority Absolute lack of authority combined with absolute responsibility

8 Frustrations: Were overwhelmed by the mechanics of modularisation rather than the substance We havent had time to devote more time to sharing experiences and insights about teaching Absolute lack of authority combined with absolute responsibility This work wont get me promoted

9 Combined to Create: Working in a time of significant change Significant T&L issues needing to be addressed: assessment, engagement etc Motivated staff but either dispersed or focused on chores Lack of clarity as to how teaching-focused effort would be rewarded.

10 Philosophy and Opportunity National strategic fund (SIF) for Higher Education Key concept to join up emerging leaders and find a way of connecting them & their interests to the institutions agenda Emphasis on rewarding current and future contributions Developing the Learning University (Martin, 1999) Wengers (2002) concept of communities of practice Fellowships in Teaching and Academic Development

11 Disciplines Teaching Fellows Science & Engineering Human Sciences Health Sciences KEY STAFF IDENTIFIED WITHIN A DISCIPLINE SPECIFIC/THEMATIC SKILLS MATRIX Life Sciences Arts/ Humanities Business & Law First Year Experience Developing the modular system Post- graduate education Curriculum Innovation Research Focused Teaching Assessment & Feedback Possible Thematic Areas for Development

12 Fellowships in Teaching & Academic Development 2 year funding stream to support 8 Fellows Communications strategy snap effect: high visibility and high quality branding Project commenced May 2007 A hybrid model incorporating: –Teamwork on institutional themes –Individual activity in subject area –Institutional link: University of Limerick

13 Fellows Chosen in 2 Areas Geography & PlanningSpanish SociologyPsychology Architectural Engineering Chemical Engineering LinguisticsComputer Science

14 Fellowships in Teaching & Academic Development: Progress Two project teams and 10 individual projects established Colloquium with University of Limerick scholars Initial dissemination of projects: Universitas 21 Conference February 07 Future conference papers identified: FYE Experience, EAIR, SRHE Website established to promote internal/external visibility

15 Fellowships in Teaching & Academic Development: Benefits Collaborative working: crossing the discipline boundaries Increased visibility of the Fellows as a group of experts within the University Purposeful relationship between practice research and future policy Strengthening of individual identity Future benefits?

16 Contact: Fellowship website:


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