A High-Quality Teaching Environment
A great university not only advocates and discusses good teaching, but it also provides an environment that facilitates excellence in instruction.
Recommendation 1: Hire at least 175 new tenured and tenure-track faculty (and the complementary support staff) in order to bring our student-faculty ratio to 15:1, as at our peer institutions. Overly large classes, bulging majors, and the other stresses of increased enrollment can promote neither good teaching nor good research. Although this report focuses on classroom instruction, many other aspects of good teaching (advising, supervision of independent research and internships, etc.) would be facilitated by sufficient faculty and support staff.
Recommendation 2: Make almost all classrooms hi-tech or tech-ready at Storrs and the regional campuses. Faculty should not have to compete for classrooms or scale down their lesson plans due to a lack of technology. Provide support for the maintenance of these classrooms and for the training and assistance of faculty in using the technology for pedagogical excellence.
Recommendation 3: Provide resources in personnel, equipment, and time for helping faculty to develop their teaching, to try new methods, and to use various methods of gathering evidence of teaching excellence, such as an improved instrument for student ratings of instruction, teaching portfolios, and peer observations of teaching.