July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
After over 15 months of emergency operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAT returned to the Faculty Commons and re-introduced many of our longstanding programs and services in July of 2021. Our faculty had demonstrated remarkable flexibility and creativity in the previous year, but the exhaustion was real. We presumed we would have lower levels of engagement and even organized one of our reading groups around a book about burnout. Yet it quickly became apparent that we were ready to reconnect with one another about our teaching again. And by the time our year ended with our exceptionally successful (and long-awaited) Inclusive Teaching Conference, we had met and surpassed our pre-pandemic engagement levels.
What follows may seem to be a story about the CAT, but it is ultimately a story about Wake Forest faculty. Insofar as teaching centers insist on voluntary engagement, we are only ever as successful as the faculty we serve ask us to be. I am grateful to lead a talented team that works incredibly hard to meet the needs of our community, but I am most grateful to serve a community that keeps asking us for more. Like fish in water, we may not see the influence of the cultures in which we swim. But our engagement with faculty would not be possible without a thriving culture of teaching on campus. As we head into strategic planning for our 200th year, I hope this report will help make the invisible visible and remind us of the centrality of teaching to our institutional identity.