The Office of the Provost promotes the intellectual vibrancy of the Teachers College community by ensuring that the College hires and retains the most diverse, dynamic and innovative faculty across all its departments and disciplines; that it maintains cutting-edge excellence in its academic programming; and that it supports research addressing the most important questions in education, health and psychology. During the past year, the accomplishments of the Office of the Provost included work in the following areas:
Strengthening TC’s Academic Expertise
The College hired three new faculty members in Education Leadership. Associate Professor Sonya Douglass Horsford focuses on the intersection of race, inequality and the social context of education leadership, particularly at the district and state levels; Professor of Practice Jeffrey M. Young is the former Superintendent of Schools in Cambridge, Massachusetts and recipient of the President’s Award of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents; and Mark Gooden, an authority on the principalship, anti-racist leadership, urban educational leadership and legal issues in education, will hold TC’s Christian A. Johnson/Endeavor Chair. (See the Organzation & Leadership Year In Review page for more.)
New Academic/Online Programming
The Office of Digital Learning & New Program Initiatives held a series of meetings with faculty to showcase its support of online teaching and learning, share new technologies and discuss future online programming at TC. The Office of Digital Learning, together with Academic Computing Services, is partnering with Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) to strengthen TC’s capacity to create digital content for online courses. Together with the staff from Professor Kathleen O’Connell’s Nursing Education Online Doctoral Program, the two Offices are designing a model for the support of faculty who are creating online courses.
This past summer’s Reimagining Education workshop, which focused on teaching for diverse classrooms, incorporated a strong online presence, facilitating student discourse outside traditional learning spaces. (See the President's Message for more.)
In collaboration with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Department of Counseling & Clinical Psychology has announced an online continuing education training program for school counselors, focusing specifically on college advisement, a significantly underdeveloped arm of the school counseling profession. Led by Riddhi Sandil, Assistant Professor of Practice in Counseling Psychology, the program will provide specialized curriculum, increase professional competence and expand college opportunities for underserved high school students.
Beginning in February 2017, the Cowin Financial Literacy Program will be taught online to 126 Cowin Fellows who are generously funded by Trustee Joyce B. Cowin (see the Year In Review for the College for more).
Faculty are starting to work to develop new online degrees and advanced certificates across the College, including efforts in medical education, bilingual speech/language pathology, reading specialists, statistical methods, bilingual/bicultural education, developmental disabilities, teachers knowledge for reading instruction, teaching artists and digital technology for the K-12 classroom.
The Gottesman Libraries
TC continues to redefine the role of an academic library, particularly in developing next-generation services to support larger-scale collaborative knowledge projects being developed by TC faculty, students, and administrators. This spring, the library will open its new Smith Learning Theater on the fourth floor, a reconfigurable experimental and demonstration space made possible by an $8 million grant from TC Trustee Camilla Smith (M.A. ’72) and her husband, George.
The Provost’s Investment Fund
The Provost's Investment Fund nurtures the vision and creativity of the TC faculty. Awards from the Fund continue to unite faculty across disciplines to address the most pressing challenges facing society. Among projects seeded this past year:
- Professor Victoria Marsick is developing a blended Medical Education Certificate, which will be targeted to health care professionals and leaders.
- Philanthropy & Education, a new journal edited by Professor Noah D. Drezner that grew out of a Provost’s Investment Fund grant. The journal published its inaugural issue in November 2016.
- Professor Sandra Okita hosted the 25th Anniversary International RO-MAN Conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, on robot and human interactive communication.
The Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Teachers College’s Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship program celebrated its 20th anniversary by convening 21 of 30 former fellows for a weekend of conversation with TC’s board, faculty, students and one another. Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad gave a keynote address on relations of power and equity in the academy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo read from his work.