Senior Fellow, Office of the President, AAC&U
Dr. Linda Slakey is a graduate of Siena Heights College (B.S. in Chemistry), and the University of Michigan (Ph.D. in Biochemistry.) She was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1973. She was Head of the Department of Biochemistry from 1986 until 1991, and Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) from 1993 until 2000. From 2000 through 2006, she was Dean of Commonwealth College, the honors college of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
As Dean of NSM and of Commonwealth College she was active in supporting teaching and learning initiatives throughout the University, with particular attention to engaging undergraduate students in research, to faculty development activities that promote the transition from lecturing to more engaged pedagogies, and to the support of research on how students learn.
From 2006 through 2011 she was Director of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation. In that context she came to view the challenge of bringing about good pedagogy as national and cultural in scope, and was also afforded the opportunity to come to know many of the people working on this agenda. At present she has a consulting practice in Washington, DC, with appointments as Senior Advisor at both AAU and AAC&U, focused on bringing about a shift in the culture of undergraduate teaching from one in which lecture is an acceptable norm toward one characterized by personal and institutional expectations of more student-centered teaching practices.