CTLs as Genre: A Message From the Editor-in-Chief


I attended my first Association of University Regional Campus of Ohio (AURCO) Conference a few months after I’d begun my first semester as co-coordinator of our campus’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Our CTL itself was, relatively speaking, still in its infancy. Over its two-year existence, the Center had established a core set of functions: deciding on faculty awards and grant proposals, overseeing small-group instructional diagnoses, supporting regular faculty/student lunches, publishing a newsletter, and—in what has become our signature activity—organizing a series of “Conversations,” sessions devoted each year to a particular theme, such as “Access and Empowerment” or “Why U?: The Relevance of the University Today.” This period was (and still remains) an exciting time for our CTL, as we were (and remain) tasked with the work of constructing our identity, discovering what we can accomplish given our resources and our situation on a two-year, open-enrollment campus of a public ivy university. During this same time, however, members of what we call our CTL’s “leadership collaborative” and I often felt some anxiety about what we ought to be accomplishing. What, for instance, were we supposed to be doing during our staff hours? Was there more we should be doing in terms of outreach? Were we at any point stepping onto others’ territories? Were we really having any effective impact?