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The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) was established in 1998. It was developed by the faculty through the leadership of the Committee on Excellence in Teaching, at the time chaired by Loretta Morris, Ph.D. and with the support of then Academic Vice President Joseph G. Jabbra, Ph.D. and the late University President Thomas P. O'Malley, S.J.  Funding for the CTE is endowment based thanks to a generous donation.

Mel Bertolozzi, Ph.D. (English) became the first Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence in December 1998. In its inaugural year, the Center received the Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Faculty Development. In 2000 the CTE moved to it current location in University Hall, hired an administrative assistant, and expanded its programs, services, and grants. R. Patricia Walsh, Ph.D. (Psychology) became Director of the CTE in 2001 and served until 2006. In 2003, the CTE was integral part of a major Irvine Foundation grant supporting intercultural campus initiatives, faculty development and course transformations to integrate diversity and inclusive teaching. From 2006-2010, Jackie Dewar, Ph.D. (Mathematics) served as Director of the CTE. Dr. Dewar strengthened and expanded CTE's work on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Community-Based Learning, and played a key role in developing new teaching-related guidelines and policies. 2010 Suzanne Larson, Ph.D. (Mathematics) served as Interim Director of the CTE for one semester. As of the summer of 2011, Dorothea K. Herreiner, Ph.D. (Economics) is Director of the CTE.

Since 2009, the CTE has selected Faculty Associates to support its mission of helping faculty achieve excellence in teaching and disseminating information about pedagogy. The first two Faculty Associates were Dr. Deena Gonzalez who worked on Inclusive Pedagogy and Dr. Cathy McGrath who focused on Community-Based Learning. In 2011-12, Dr. Vandana  Thadani serves as Faculty Associate concentrating on reflective, engaged learning.

Past CTE Directors