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Photo of the Old Well in summer, with spring flowers in the foreground. (photo by Donn Young)
(photo by Donn Young)

UNC-Chapel Hill has joined the Bay View Alliance, an international network of research universities exploring strategies to support and sustain the widespread adoption of instructional methods leading to better student learning.

Lorne Whitehead, program director of the Bay View Alliance, said “UNC is an excellent addition to the BVA because of its dedicated efforts to improve inequities in higher education. It has been especially effective in helping a diverse student body succeed even as it has maintained stable tuition rates. Its programs to improve learning and bring more equity to gateways courses in STEM, promote inclusive teaching practices, use disaggregated demographic data to inform faculty, and modernize the evaluation of effective teaching are all primary goals of the Bay View Alliance.”

“UNC’s efforts to build a more diverse, equal, and inclusive community attracted the BVA’s attention,” Whitehead said. “Our campuses look forward to learning from UNC’s inclusive teaching initiative, which is closing achievement gaps between underserved students and their peers, especially in gateway STEM courses.”

At UNC, the membership further enhances collaborations between administrators and faculty working with the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Erin Malloy, director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, said, “We’re excited to partner with BVA to further research on effective teaching and student learning. Our recent campus initiatives to enhance the peer review of teaching, to help faculty review student achievement through a course analytics dashboard, and to engage in critical reflection on diversity, equity, and inclusion will benefit from the BVA partnership.”

Abigail Panter, senior associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Arts & Sciences, also acknowledged the mutually beneficial nature of the relationship for UNC and the Bay View Alliance. “We know a lot about how college students learn best. It’s important to combine well-designed curricula and intentional course design with an eye on what students should know and be able to do. To foster student engagement, learning, and inclusion, we need to self-examine, regularly, using actual data and trends from our own classroom, our programs and departmental data. We’re eager to work collaboratively with the campuses in the BVA to allow for rigorous research about broader-scale implementation of effective teaching and learning practices in higher education settings.”

In addition to UNC, the member institutions of the Bay View Alliance include the University of British Columbia, Queens University and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada; and the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Colorado Boulder, Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Kansas, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of South Florida in the United States.

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