Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by the Professional and Organizational

Development Network in Higher Education, volume 13, 1994.


In recent years, a great deal has been said and written about the need to improve teaching in the academy, especially in large research universities. College presidents, national associations representing higher education, private foundations, and individual faculty scholars all have challenged faculty, chairs, deans, campus administrators, and faculty developers to work together to improve support for undergraduate teaching and learning (Bok, 1986; Bowen & Schuster, 1986; Boyer, 1987; Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1989; Diamond & Adam, 1993; Seldin & Associates, 1990). Despite such calls for collaborative efforts to improve undergraduate education, faculty developers still often feel alone in a milieu that does not value teaching and frequently perceive a lack of support from academic leaders, particularly the central administration. Administrators, on the other hand, often recognize the need to improve institutional support for teaching, but are at a loss as to how to effectively intervene to change the environment.