New Faculty Excellence Endowment Established

Carole BlandThe Carole Bland Cultivating Faculty Excellence Endowment has been created at Augustana to honor the life and work of Carole Bland, longtime Board of Trustee member, alumna and great friend of the College.

Established by her husband, Dick Bland, and other friends and loved ones, the endowment recognizes and furthers Carole’s pioneering work in creating and formalizing faculty development programs in higher education. “It is my hope that Carole’s passion for teaching and learning, and her pioneering work in faculty mentoring, will continue to advance through the outcomes of this endowment,” Dick said.

A bold advocate for women in education, Carole served as assistant dean for faculty development at the University of Minnesota Medical School before her death in August, 2008. She was a national leader in her field and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished Career Award and the Outstanding Research Publication Award from the American Educational Research Association.

“Throughout Carole’s service on the Augustana board of trustees, she was a tireless champion of our faculty,” said President Rob Oliver. “Her life’s work was in the area of faculty development and she clearly had a passion for Augustana’s faculty and, through them, the quality of the academic program.”

The endowment provides annual awards to faculty through an application/nomination process with the first awards being made in May 2009. The grants will fund:

  • Teaching projects focused on cultivating excellence in teaching, and the intersection between research or creative work and classroom teaching.
  • Faculty mentoring at Augustana, with outstanding new and mid-career faculty being paired with senior faculty members. These awards will afford joint attendance at career-building conferences and shared learning resources.

Mark Braun, former academic dean, said the awards are rooted in shared beliefs of Carole and the Augustana community. “Among the more significant contributions a small, teaching-oriented institution can make is to create and advance knowledge related to successful teaching and learning. Our small class size and special attention to student learning make Augustana a perfect laboratory for testing best practices in higher education.”