rlappimageRobert Lapp became President of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) in June 2014 at the end of his term as President-elect. The term of office is three years, with an overlapping third year to mentor the President-Elect.

My desire to serve the STLHE was first kindled at the 1998 Conference at Mount Allison, in my first year as a faculty member there. As has been the experience of so many others at their first STLHE Conference—including those I spoke to at the recent 2014 Conference in Kingston—I was immediately struck by the rare atmosphere of open-hearted collaboration among such a strikingly interdisciplinary community of teachers, Educational Developers, students, and administrators, all fervently motivated by the ideal of transforming the learning experiences of post-secondary students across Canada. This motivating ideal—and that spirit of collaboration it generates each June—is the core that binds us into a community of practice. My goal is to keep this core vision firmly in view as we move forward into a rapidly shifting landscape of higher education, and as we work through the many healthy differences amongst us that arise from our diverse commitments, motivations, histories, and contexts.

To sustain this core vision and carry it brightly forward to future generations of EDs, teachers, and administrators, I look forward to consolidating and celebrating the many strengths of the Society by developing such fundamentals as grass-roots consultation and engagement, transparency and accountability in governance, a diversification of member-driven services and opportunities, and, in particular, an expansion of our presence and relevance to College sector educators and graduate students.

De plus, je déploierai mes propres compétences en français et soutiendrai les efforts de notre président du portfolio sur la protection du bilinguisme pour que notre Société soit réellement bilingue. Au coeur de tout cela, je ne perdrai pas de vue notre vision fondatrice – nos valeurs de base qui sont à la fois inclusives et diverses, coopératives mais qui honorent également les intérêts particuliers, consensuelles mais aussi décisives – alors que nous nous efforçons de faire en sorte que notre chère SAPES reste le coeur et l’âme de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage au Canada.

To these challenges I bring my experience on the STLHE Board, first as Conference Chair, then as Vice-President overseeing Membership, Conferences, and capacity-building. I am also a 3M National Teaching Fellow, with 17 years experience in the undergraduate classroom at Mount Allison University and most recently as Head of a busy Department of English. During these years I have had the pleasure of working closely with our Teaching & Learning Centre under the able leadership of our Educational Developer, Eileen Herteis. I also bring the strong support—both in-kind and financial—of Mount Allison University, an institution deeply grounded in the value of post-secondary education as something that includes but exceeds the metrics of economic growth.

Indeed, it is said that Higher Education is the single greatest force for both social and economic good in the world. If this is true, then each member of the STLHE in is an enviable position to change the future for the better. I am honoured to be entrusted with the leadership of such an inspiring community.