Laval launches ambitious
teaching chairs program
University plans to create 50 chairs over five
years to foster innovation in teaching
université laval unveiled an ambitious new
program that will create 50 academic chairs
devoted to fostering leadership in teaching.
“Teaching is what universities are all about,” said
Éric Bauce, the university’s executive vice-rector
and vice-rector for development. “Having chairs
that provide teachers with an opportunity to
develop new tools and approaches that are in
tune with the modern generation strongly upholds
our mission and our values.”
Announced in May, the new Programme de
Chaires de leadership en enseignement is a joint ven-
ture between the university, business and gov-
ernment. The program, which the university calls
the biggest initiative of its kind for a Canadian
university, aims to create 10 new chairs a year
over five years with $20 million in funding from
private-sector partners and $15 million from
Laval’s existing budget.
In reference to the private sponsorships, Dr.
Bauce said, “It is important to note that we have
put a system in place that protects the autonomy
of the university. We, not the sponsor, define the
curriculum of each chair. They are investing in
the program, not controlling it.”
That independence was a guiding principle
in discussions that began a year ago between
faculty, alumni and students to find a novel way
to increase the financial participation of private
and public partners in the teaching and training
of undergraduates, he added. “We considered
several approaches,” said Dr. Bauce. “There was
overwhelming consent for [the jointly funded
teaching-chair program] since our partners
benefit directly from our efforts.”
The corporate response has been encouraging.
Six chairs have been created so far in a variety of
fields – mining, social sciences, religion, admin-
istration and agriculture – and several more are
in the works.
Though he hadn’t heard about Laval’s new
program when contacted by University Affairs,
University of Alberta chemistry professor and
3M National Teaching Fellow Glen Loppnow
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