by Adam Lord

LSUA’s Office of Academic Affairs has named Dr. Nathan Sammons as its first Assistant Vice Chancellor for Engaged Teaching and Learning. The newly created position will contribute to the university’s ongoing efforts to promote student success through innovative programs and initiatives.

Dr. Sammons currently serves as the chair of the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In addition to this work, Sammons will coordinate the efforts of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE); the Center for Opportunity, Research, and Experiential Learning (CORE); the Center for Technology Innovation; the Center for Career Development; and the Honors Experience.

The goals of creating a new position to foster engaged teaching and learning include promoting innovation in academic and co-curricular initiatives, identifying career pathways and incorporating career exploration into curricula, and working across campus to assess the goals and objectives of the LSUA Strategic Plan.

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. John Rowan explained that engaged teaching and learning are critical for student success, where “success” means not just graduating from college but doing so having already lined up an excellent job or admission to graduate school. Students, as well as their future employers, benefit from hands-on, experiential education opportunities as well as traditional classroom learning. The new position will coordinate various campus units that are focused on these efforts, which include student engagement in research, service learning, and leadership, as well as innovative teaching strategies for faculty.

Of the opportunity to serve in the new capacity, Sammons said, “The teaching and learning landscapes of higher education are changing faster than ever, and at LSUA we have the talent and the commitment to our students to be leaders in that change. I am most excited to be collaborating with campus and community members who are future-focused and have fresh ideas that will increase possibilities for our students and enhance the careers of our educators. LSUA has an exceptional roster of new programs specifically designed to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and skills that have been signaled by local industry heads as necessary for future growth. One of my biggest goals is to fully engage our students, faculty, and staff in those programs.”

“Dr. Sammons has established himself as an outstanding leader on campus,” noted Rowan. “He is very well-respected and brings to this position an ambitious vision, strategic thinking, and administrative experience as department chair of biological sciences. He is also a previous recipient of the prestigious Bolton Award for Teaching Excellence and a university-endowed professorship. I am excited about his appointment and what he will do as Assistant Vice Chancellor.”

Photo credit – Nathan Parish

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