Special Feature: CTL Directors Need to Be Centered


Dr. Todd D. Zakrajsek began his career as an adjunct professor, teaching at a small private college, a technical school, and distance education classes for a large university. Securing a tenure-track position at a small regional college in the Pacific Northwest in the fall of 1994, Todd started a center for teaching and learning in his third year at that institution. For his efforts, he received a budget of $500 his first year. The following year his budget went to $5,000 and a one-course release. In year three, the budget was $20,000 with additional release time. While at that small regional college, he was promoted to associate professor and tenured, partly for his campus-wide faculty development work. In 2001, Todd resigned tenure to accept a position as the founding director of a center for teaching and learning at a research university in the Midwest. With an office consisting of himself and an office professional, he began to develop resources for a campus with approximately 650 full time faculty members. In 2003, the provost merged the faculty development center he was leading with the learning technologies group. Todd became the director of the combined office, with a large staff and a budget of approximately $800,000. He also served as Co-PI on a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant to provide resources to distance and adjunct faculty. In 2008, Todd resigned from his job as faculty development director to become the Executive Director of a large research extensive university in the South. There, he successfully assisted with the transformation of a long-standing and successful teaching center into a center providing support in teaching, research, and leadership; he was responsible for hiring six positions and managed a budget of $1.2 million. In 2012, Todd began working in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and in the Academy of Educators to assist in building resources for faculty in the School of Medicine. He is still at the UNC School of Medicine. Concurrent with his institutional work, over the past 20 years, Todd has been directing Lilly Teaching Conferences and publishing extensively in the area of effective teaching and learning.

Given Todd’s extensive experience in faculty development for 25 years in various types of institutions, regions, and faculty served, we have asked him to write a series on essential issues needed by directors of faculty development efforts. This series suggests areas for faculty developers to consider, along with tips and techniques Todd has found helpful along the way. In this issue, Todd describes CTL director’s workload challenges and offers advise for avoiding burnout. If there is a specific topic you would like Todd to address, contact JCTL’s incoming Editor-in-Chief at tony.cimasko@miamioh.edu.