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AAU to Establish Learning Community on Effective Teaching Evaluation

The following is a statement from the Association of American Universities about a new award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute that will support the creation of a learning community among STEM departments at 20 AAU member universities to create better systems for teaching evaluation:

The Association of American Universities (AAU) has received a $403,163 award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to develop better methods of teaching evaluation in undergraduate STEM departments. The funds will complement previous work AAU has done on creating more effective and equitable methods of undergraduate STEM teaching evaluation at research universities.

“The AAU project is exciting and promising; it nicely complements HHMI’s Inclusive Excellence initiative,” said HHMI Senior Director for Science Education David J. Asai. “An essential element in the creation of equity-centered STEM education is the ability to reliably measure and then reward inclusive teaching.”

The funds will support the creation of a learning community among STEM departments at 20 AAU member universities that previously submitted proposals for teaching evaluation demonstration projects. The community will explore what broad institutional structures, policies, practices, and norms must be addressed to:

  • Influence the way faculty members view their teaching responsibilities; and

  • Create better systems for teaching evaluation that foster the full inclusion of students from diverse backgrounds.

“This project is an important next step for AAU’s Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative and our work to integrate the concepts of justice and equity into the faculty rewards system,” said AAU President Barbara R. Snyder. “We are grateful to HHMI for underwriting these groundbreaking efforts to transform how teaching is assessed in higher education and to ensure undergraduate STEM instruction is more equitable and effective.”

The project will be led by Dr. Emily Miller, AAU’s Deputy Vice President for Institutional Policy. It is part of AAU’s Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative, which seeks to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM fields at America’s leading research universities.

Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 66 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.

Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.

AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

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