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TU creates new Office of Academic Innovation

The Towson University Office of the Provost has established the Office of Academic Innovation, a new unit tasked with coordinating campus programs in faculty teaching and leadership.

Housed in Cook Library, the TU Office of Academic Innovation, or TU-OAI, will be led by Jane Neapolitan, professor of education and interim associate provost for academic affairs.

Jane Neapolitan

Jane Neapolitan

Neapolitan has been teaching at Towson for 13 years, and recently served as chairperson of the Department of Instructional Leadership and Professional Development.

“The mission of this office is to develop the talents of university faculty as leaders in teaching, scholarship and service,” says Neapolitan.

“The OAI will use a research-based approach and provide multi-dimensional support to sustain innovation and academic success. When you have innovations in the curriculum and you want students to have a world-class education, you have to put resources into faculty in order to produce that.

“So to start, we’re going to examine existing resources—by that I mean time, space, people and money already in place across the campus—and begin to house some of those things under the umbrella of this office so it’s a more integrated, one-stop approach for faculty,” she continues.

Scheduled to open in January, the Office of Academic Innovation will contribute to the newly created Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching, a University System of Maryland-wide effort to further education modernization, expand course redesign and improve teaching models for the benefit of students. Recently named a USM Fellow, Neapolitan will also represent Towson University in this endeavor.