Academic challenge is seldom clearly defined. The authors’ center for teaching and learning collaborated with a faculty member to investigate the perceived meaning of academic challenge among faculty and student samples at a small liberal arts institution. Participants completed a questionnaire designed to reflect those perceived meanings. Qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed contextualized information and suggested that students’ perceptions are structured differently from faculty members’ perceptions. The amount of time spent on academics was more centrally positioned in the students’ perceptions than in the faculty members’. Future research approaches and directions for centers for teaching and learning are suggested.