After a nationwide search, the Office of the Provost has named Dr. Jennifer Friberg to the new position of director of scholarly teaching, created as part of a planned reorganization of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. In addition, Friberg has been reappointed to the Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, a position she’s held since 2016. She has been the interim director at CTLT since 2020.

“Through her leadership, CTLT provided exceptional support to Illinois State teachers during the pandemic,” said Provost Aondover Tarhule. “Dr. Friberg and her team brought a pragmatic approach to the sudden shift to remote learning and rallied faculty across campus to share solutions and support each other.”

Friberg earned her B.A. in Communicative Disorders from San Diego State University, her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from Indiana University, and her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction at Illinois State University. She joined the faculty of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2005, first as a visiting professor, then as a member of the tenure-track faculty. She was appointed to full professor in 2018.

Nationally recognized as a leader in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), Friberg has maintained an active research agenda since her arrival at Illinois State. To date, she has co-authored or co-edited four books related to various aspects of SoTL, in addition to publishing dozens of articles, book chapters, and blog posts. She has been an invited speaker or presenter for numerous conferences in the United States and abroad.

“The Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is the only one of its kind in the world,” said Dr. Craig C. McLauchlan, associate vice president for research and graduate studies. “It represents the pinnacle of a kind of scholarship critical to higher education yet often not fully understood by those of us who teach in higher ed. Dr. Friberg’s expertise and passion for SoTL makes her the perfect person to merge the scholarship of teaching and learning with the practice of teaching for student success.” 

The director of scholarly teaching position is a merger of many of the duties of the former director of CTLT with the Cross Endowed Chair. This will allow Friberg to concentrate on leading pedagogical support of Illinois State instructors with an emphasis on evidence-based teaching practices. Duties focusing on online learning and online program development have been split into a separate position. Friberg will work in partnership with Dr. Anthony Piña, who was recently announced as the new director of online education and chief online learning officer.

“I look forward to working closely with Dr. Piña as we make a re-imagined CTLT a reality,” says Friberg. “It will be a new approach to professional development and instructional support. By leveraging the lessons from the last few years with the outstanding talent we have at CTLT and among our many faculty partners, the path is open to some exciting possibilities.”    

Dr. Yojanna Cuenca-Carlino, assistant vice president for faculty development, diversity, and learning, sees both new director roles as essential to the concept of a professional development “hub,” a place that supports faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants holistically.

“This isn’t merely shifting responsibilities between positions,” said Cuenca-Carlino. “While the idea of scholarly teaching isn’t exactly new to Illinois State, how we’re using that phrase may be. Scholarly teaching is teaching with purpose, making decisions about how to teach based on evidence. It’s about recognizing the context of our instruction, recognizing that contexts change and that we, as teachers, must adapt. And we should be able to study our teaching, if we wish, to see it is working for our students. That’s why the duties of director of scholarly teaching and the Cross Chair are such a good fit, and why Dr. Friberg is the ideal teacher-scholar to make them one.”

Cuenca-Carlino also observes that, at the same time, the University’s needs change.

“Provost Tarhule has made it clear that quality online courses, which CTLT has long supported, and quality, fully online degree programs—something new to ISU—need to be important priorities,” she notes. “Hence the focus on a second director to be a partner to the director of scholarly teaching, someone who can focus on the unique and complicated tasks associated with supporting teaching with technology and online instruction.” 

Friberg and Piña both begin their new roles on June 1.