Communities Accelerating the Impact of Teaching

Communities Accelerating the Impact of Teaching (CAITs) bring faculty into small, compensated innovator groups to work on compelling problems and issues, which CAITs consider through lenses of both pedagogical and institutional change. CAIT fellows meet across multiple terms with facilitators from TEP, devoting time to community-building and activities like reading research on student learning, revising courses, developing resources for colleagues, and recommending policy and curricular changes.

The “CAIT network” launched in 2017-2018 with 34 fellows working on one of three topics—Teaching Online, Teaching High-Challenge Gateway Courses, and Teaching about Difference, Inequality, and Agency.

2018-19 CAITs

Teaching Excellence and Evaluation | Difference, Inequality, Agency: Training and Classroom Allies | Core Education

Teaching Excellence and Evaluation CAIT Charge

TEP, the Office of the Provost, and the UO Senate are partnering to form a Teaching Excellence and Evaluation CAIT to advance UO’s cutting-edge work to change how teaching is evaluated. Building on the Continuous Improvement and Evaluation of Teaching System developed last academic year and adopted in part by the Senate, this by-invitation group brings faculty leaders into conversation with one another, home units, and the body of research into teaching excellence. You can learn more about UO’s efforts to revise teaching evaluations on the Office of the Provost website.

The group of 10 fellows will help ensure UO’s new evaluation frameworks and instruments are practical in evaluation contexts and designed to mitigate bias and actually develop and enrich UO’s teaching culture. Four CAIT fellows will serve simultaneously on the Senate-legislated Continuous Improvement and Evaluation of Teaching Committee to shepherd the system toward full approval. 

The group will:

  • At an orientation meeting, share summaries of key research findings on teaching and learning and how those dovetail with their own teaching experiences and scholarship of teaching and learning in their discipline.
  • Compare research findings to teaching excellence frameworks developed at UO and other universities.
  • Finalize a customizable-by-unit Teaching Evaluation Criteria document.
  • Oversee the customization of the Teaching Evaluation Criteria by each member’s home unit by Spring of 2019.
  • Ensure that processes developed are also appropriate for graduate student instructors.

  A subset of the group (Peer Review Group) will:

  • Use TEP’s peer observation protocol and instrument to observe at least three courses across the curriculum including two in a home unit.
  • Oversee the customization of Peer Review Framework by their home unit.
  • Work with TEP to plan two unit meetings (their home unit plus one other) about the Peer Review Framework and observation tools. 
  • Present their experiences at a Spring unit heads training.  

A second subset of the group (Pilot Tools & Criteria Group) comprised of department heads, associate heads, assistant heads and unit-level review committee members will:

  • Coordinate the adoption by their unit of the midterm and a pilot end-of-term student experience survey (selected from a trio of options) and instructor reflections for each of fall, winter and spring terms.
  • Use data from the pilot instruments and the new Teaching Evaluation Criteria to develop a format for a report to replace the current “Promotion and Tenure course reports” issued by the Registrar, and evaluate at least four faculty files as test cases, assessing the usability of this new report. 
  • Present their experiences at a Spring unit heads training.


Sierra Dawson
Associate Vice Provost of Academic Affairs
Office of the Provost


Lee Rumbarger
Assistant Vice Provost for Teaching Engagement, Director of TEP
Office of the Provost


​​​​​Adell Amos
Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
School of Law

Tina Boscha
Senior Instructor II and Assistant Department Head of English 
College of Arts and Sciences

Diane Del Guercio
Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs
Lundquist College of Business

John Halliwill
Professor of Human Physiology and Incoming Department Head
College of Arts and Sciences – Natural Sciences

Jenefer Husman
Associate Professor of Education Studies
College of Education


Toby Koenigsberg
Associate Professor of Jazz Piano
School of Music and Dance

Rich Margerum
Professor and Head of School of Planning, Public Policy and Management
College of Design

Gabe Paquette
Clark Honors College

Brett Rushforth
Associate Professor and Department Head of History
College of Arts and Science – Social Sciences

Kim Sheehan
School of Journalism and Communication

Difference, Inequality, Agency: Training and Classroom Allies CAIT Charge

In advance of the Fall 2019 launch of the new Difference, Power, Agency undergraduate course requirement, TEP will invite back into community a group of faculty leaders who have participated in developing ideas for this curricular change and outlining, delivering, or participating in the UO Summer Teaching Institute “DIA” pathway. This group will offer proactive faculty development, working with TEP to contact departments that teach courses in the current multicultural requirement and to support interested faculty in revising those courses and preparing to teach DIA classes. The group will:

  • Finalize student-facing learning goals and a syllabus statement for all DIA courses in coordination with the Core Education Council.
  • Offer at least three trainings, which can be divided by fellows, in each of winter and spring terms and offer follow-up consultations with faculty.
  • Finalize training materials as a UO: Difference, Inequality, Agency Guide to be available online for UO faculty.
  • For an additional stipend, interested DIA fellows will have the opportunity to be among UO’s first “Faculty Classroom Allies” offering in-class support to colleagues who are working toward particular goals or facing challenges related to DIA teaching.


Jason Schreiner
Assistant Director
Teaching Engagement Program



Michael Hames-Garcia
Professor of Ethnic Studies
College of Arts and Science – Social Sciences

Michelle McKinley
Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law and Director of the UO Center for the Study of Women in Society
School of Law


Avinnash Tiwari
Instructor of English
College of Arts and Science – Humanities

Core Education CAIT Charge

TEP, the Office of the Provost, and the Division of Undergraduate Studies have selected 13 faculty fellows to develop—with an eye toward offering in AY19-20—UO’s first core education “runways.” Fellows will recieve a $1K stipened.   

Runways (a tentative name) are meant to enhance the intellectual coherence and sense of community of students’ first year at the university by focusing on a big question that runs through several core education and writing courses. 

The runways are held together by faculty-led year-long seminars (one credit in fall and winter, two credits in spring) about the big question—questions students explore in the seminar, informed by their work in existing core education courses identified by seminar faculty as opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills required to pursue their question. The seminars support students’ social belonging, enhance their “college knowledge” and metacognitive capacities, and give them a chance to integrate concepts, examples, and skills from other courses into a more cohesive learning experience. They culminate in a final project and count for core education credit. 

Big questions are linked to one of six broad themes, currently called: industry and innovation, identities and social structures, sustainability and the natural world, healthy communities, human stories and expression, and global connections.

The fellows will develop the seminar curriculum along with a standardized syllabus template, identifying shared learning goals—and even pedagogies like, say, collaborative learning—that should be common across seminars. Fellows will work with writing composition faculty to develop how a writing course can connect with the big question. They will learn teaching strategies proven effective for teaching first-year students and develop each fellow’s own big question, course cluster, syllabus, and final project in collegial conversation. Finally, fellows can inform how these runways are named and presented to students.


Peter Alilunas
Assistant Professor
School of Journalism and Communication

Melissa Baese-Berk
Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences – Linguistics

Eric Boggs
Director of the Honors Program
Lundquist College of Business 

Edward Davis
Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences – Earth Sciences (Core Ed Council)

Caitlin Fausey
Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences – Psychology

Steve Fickas
College of Arts and Sciences – Computer and Information Sciences

Jeanne Hall
Field Experience Coordinator
College of Education


Anne Laskaya
Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences – English

Mike Price
Senior Instructor II
College of Arts and Sciences – Math

Nick Recktenwald
Associate Director
College of Arts and Sciences – Composition Program

Tricia Rodley
College of Arts and Sciences – Theatre Arts

Emily Simnitt
Associate Director
College of Arts and Sciences – Composition Program

Mike Urbancic
Sr Instructor
College of Arts and Sciences – Economics