Teaching & Learning Center

Alfred University strives to offer academic and co-curricular programming that is both intellectually challenging and practically relevant. At the heart of this mission is the student experience in the classroom, which should be characterized by innovative teaching. Capitalizing on AU’s commitment to teaching excellence, the Teaching and Learning Center seeks to provide faculty the resources they need for continuous improvement—both as teachers and scholars; a forum to think through pedagogical issues; and a clearinghouse of concrete tips and exercises to bring directly into their classrooms. Faculty development programs enhance the AU community by helping teachers work on their craft and by modeling the intellectual community into which we hope to bring our students. The AU Teaching and Learning Center promotes:

  • Pedagogical Innovation
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Idea-sharing among an accomplished faculty
  • Community-building among faculty and staff

Faculty Observation Exchange

Would you like to participate in the Faculty Observation Exchange? Whether you are looking for a development opportunity or are willing to assist someone who is (or both), sign up for the exchange here.

Join the Faculty Observation Exchange

What is the Faculty Observation Exchange? One valuable part of the promotion and tenure process at Alfred is the feedback faculty receive from peer observations. However, P&T observations always have that element of evaluation attached to them. The Teaching and Learning Center would like to create opportunities for faculty to get the benefits of classroom observations without any of the evaluative baggage. We also need faculty who are willing to assist, either by observing and providing feedback to a colleague or by allowing colleagues to sit in on a class session or two. By signing up for the Faculty Observation Exchange, you will help the AU TLC match faculty who are seeking a development opportunity with those faculty who are willing to assist.

These observations are not connected to the Promotion and Tenure process in any way. This is just a chance for faculty to help each other become better teachers.

Pondering Pedagogy

Pondering Pedagogy Logo

Come discuss your latest thoughts and experiences in teaching. Propose an innovation you have read about but have not tried yet. Workshop with your colleagues on why a lesson did not go as you expected. Simply come and listen. This group is to be informal and a support for new faculty and established professors alike. Organized by the AU Teaching and Learning Center Committee, upcoming meetings will be listed on the AU events calendar. For the Spring 2024 semester, Pondering Pedagogy will meet the last Tuesday of each month from 4:30 to 5:30pm in Olin 400.

The AU Teaching & Learning Center is pleased to provide a curated list of resources to assist and support faculty on their teaching journeys. The following AU-provided resources have been gathered so faculty may access them easily:

Practical Teaching Resources

As the AU Teaching & Learning Center grows, additional resources will be added on the topics of philosophical support of teaching, and in support of teachers as individuals.

Live Deliberately

The Alfred University Teaching and Learning Center (AU TLC) invites you to participate in a new series of reading groups. These Live Deliberately discussions will provide a forum for the AU community to think about society and our roles in it. Among other benefits, taking some time each semester to live deliberately will help us reflect on our purpose, even as we help students realize theirs.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

--Henry David Thoreau

Fall 2023— Live Deliberately: The Tyranny of Merit: Can We Find the Common Good?

Tryanny of Merit Book Cover

The Fall 2023 discussion in this series will look at Michael Sandel’s book, The Tyranny of Merit: Can We Find the Common Good?, in which he describes the emergence of "meritocracy" as a guiding ideal in the United States and then delineates what he sees to be the ramifications of this phenomenon. Participants will receive a copy of the book and be placed in groups of 10-12 to meet a couple of times during the semester to discuss the book. If you would like to participate, please complete the sign-up form.

We hope that these groups will include students as well. If you know a student who might be interested in discussing Sandel’s claim that our emphasis on “merit” in the last few decades is eroding our capacity to live democratically (or interested in where our society is headed generally), please invite them to sign up along with you for these discussions.

If you are looking for a good book to read, members of the AU faculty and staff recommend the following titles:

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

The Trick is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway

The Young Team by Graeme Armstrong

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

The Power of Saying No by Vanessa Patrick

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber & David Wengrow

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kollk

Ministry of the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

Foster by Claire Keegan

Owls of the Eastern Ice by Jonathan Slaught

The Assignment by Liza Wiemer

First You Have to Row a Little Boat by Richard Bode

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Children of Time by Adrian Tchiakovsky


In order to promote Alfred University's mission of providing excellent quality and enduring value through academic and co-curricular programming that is both intellectually challenging and practically relevant, AU has created the AU Teaching and Learning Center.

The AU Teaching and Learning Center coordinates faculty development opportunities, creates channels of communication for faculty to express their pedagogical needs, and facilitates homegrown and external programming.

The AU Teaching & Learning Center promotes:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
  • Pedagogical innovation
  • Idea-sharing among an accomplished faculty
  • Community-building among faculty and staff

AU Teaching & Learning Center Committee

Robert Stein - Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Luis Rodriguez - Associate Professor of Law & Taxation, College of Business

Elizabeth Matson - Assistant Professor Mathematics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Samantha Dannick - Engineering & Scholarly Communications Librarian, Scholes Library of Ceramics

Mallory Szymanski - Assistant Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Colleen Wahl - Assistant Professor of Dance, Performing Arts Division

Christopher Gause - Director, Center for Academic Success

Meghanne Freivald - Manager of Instructional Technology & Virtual Education Support, Information Technology Services