Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence
Status of Projects (May 2001)
The Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE) has awarded 15 Innovation in Education project grants for 2001-2002, the second year of the program.
“ACIE is a program to support innovative approaches to teaching. It goes beyond simple course development and redevelopment. We’re looking for interesting, unique, and sustainable efforts,” comments Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Dr. Andrew Blair, who chairs ACIE on behalf of Provost James Maher. “The program sends a clear message that the University of Pittsburgh puts a high value on teaching, even though we’re a comprehensive research university,” he adds.
“We’re feeling quite positive about the program because we’re getting favorable responses from all over the University, and we’re pleased with the number of proposals submitted,” Blair said. He continued that ACIE is especially gratified with the number of applications this year because programs like this tend to attract significantly fewer applicants in the second year, reflecting growing awareness of the high selection standards and rigorous evaluation process. A total of 53 projects submitted by faculty from throughout the University competed for the $215,000 awarded this year. Last year 68 projects competed for a total allocation of $209,000.
He attributes faculty enthusiasm to the Provost’s sponsorship and to ACIE, which oversees the award process. Noting that ACIE is comprised of “a blue ribbon group of faculty who are fine teachers and researchers,” Blair praises council members’ commitment and objectivity in reviewing project applications. The awards program is among a number of programs that ACIE undertakes in its efforts to promote the highest possible quality teaching at the University of Pittsburgh.