portrait of Gary Poole

One of the often-heard buzz phrases when I became President was “national voice,” as in “we must make STLHE a national voice for teaching and learning in higher education.” Thus, we embarked on a Strategic Planning exercise which has taken over two years of work. Over this time, have we become that “national voice” people were talking about? Not yet. However, we are now poised to take this on. We have four strategic goals that define the Society, and we have new structures in place that clearly define the working relationships with such groups as the 3M Teaching Fellows and the Educational Developers Caucus. Representatives from these groups now sit on our Steering Committee, and each is engaged in a range of activities with great potential.

And there is the emergence of the Institute for the Advancement of Teaching in Higher Education, with which STLHE is forging an important new relationship. With careful planning, STLHE will be able to work with the Institute to provide valuable support for effective teaching in Canada and around the world. Another important step has been the establishment of a permanent office for our secretariat. Up to this point in our history, the administrative work of STLHE has been handled on a volunteer basis by some very dedicated people. This will allow us to manage membership-related work more efficiently, as well as our publications and other projects to come.

My survival in this position is attributable to virtually everything else I have talked about—the people who have stepped forward to make a difference—those who have hosted conferences, written articles, made plans and presentations, attended long and demanding meetings, summarized those meetings and written reports, given up countless hours travelling across the country, taken on major positions within the Steering Committee, and on it goes.

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