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As the Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning, I am proud to play a leadership role in promoting and supporting innovation to ensure that our students have the highest quality learning experiences. We work closely with the Faculties and the Division of Students to create welcoming environments for our new and returning students that will facilitate their learning and overall satisfaction with their time at York.

The mandate of the AVP Teaching and Learning is to support University priorities addressing the enhancement of teaching and learning by strengthening our degree programs through the integration of such learning tools as eLearning and experiential education, as well as improving the first year student experience. Working groups have been established and are currently developing high level plans and strategies  eLearning, experiential education and the first year student experience. The Academic Innovation Fund, established by the Office of the Provost in 2010, has allowed us to move ahead with these priority areas much more quickly by encouraging the incubation of a number of curricular and co-curricular initiatives, many of which are already having an impact on the student experience.

We cannot effectively embed new curricular innovations without the provision of needed support services for full and part-time faculty members. In September 2012, the new Teaching Commons opened its doors and is providing both virtual and face-to-face programming and activities for all faculty members.   We hope that over the coming years, the Teaching Commons will continue to develop close working relationships with Faculties, responding to their needs for customized teaching support and assisting with the recognition of outstanding teaching and teaching scholarship.

Welcoming our new faculty members to York is something in which we take pride.  Our two day pan-University faculty orientation provides an overview of the institution and a better understanding of the challenges of integrating teaching, research and service responsibilities. We are also renewing our focus on leadership development for academic administrators. It is clear to us that to sustain the curricular changes that we are championing, leadership is key.

Please explore our website and take this opportunity to learn more about our commitment to teaching and learning at York.

All the best,

Susan Vail

AVP Teaching and Learning