Ted Needham   2010 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Professor Ted Needham has been a passionate advocate for the importance of teaching and learning and student success at UNB.  His enthusiasm and dedication to the scholarship of teaching and learning has helped other faculty members consider their teaching in new and different ways. Of equal importance, his passion about forestry, forest lands, and finding the best ways to sensibly manage forest lands is well known and respected around campus and across Canada.

Dr. Needham was recognized for his dedication to teaching and scholarly engagement when he received the University Teaching Scholar award in 2005. It was this same commitment to teaching and learning that propelled him to become Coordinator of Teaching & Learning Services at UNB. In recent years, his influence has been demonstrated in the growth of the l UNB Kaleidoscope teaching conference, which has morphed from “an idea” into a much anticipated annual event. This same passion for teaching and learning inspired Ted to advocate for UNB to host the 2009 STLHE conference (Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) at our campus last spring. That conference attracted nearly 600 international delegates who share similar passion and dedication for the scholarship of teaching & learning.

Ted is rarely satisfied with the status quo, a tendency that is demonstrated in every project, every committee, and every effort he engages. He is able to work with big ideas and to propose novel approaches that take us “outside the box.” And then he is willing to roll up his sleeves and work to make dreams become reality.

A recent collaboration between CETL and the Faculty of Nursing was the product of Professor Needham thinking with the Faculty about a way to better support an academic unit in a moment of growth. As the Faculty of Nursing increased enrolments by nearly one third, hiring new instructors and building new facilities, this collaboration has supported new approaches to the assessment of student learning. Ted’s involvement has been crucial in providing a framework for evidence based practice so that we maintain the quality of teaching and learning in the Faculty.

Ted is also involved in a number of university committees, often taking a leadership role. For many initiatives he has created ad hoc committees to take on specific challenges, such as the recent learning outcomes recording group, and the student advising ad hoc group. These initiatives demonstrate his faith in faculty and student governance at UNB. In his role as Teaching & Learning Services Coordinator, Ted has been a strong leader, providing direction for that team and motivating them to consider fresh approaches in promoting and supporting teaching excellence at UNB.

While Professor Needham has demonstrated an impressive grasp of ‘big picture’ vision and passion, he often takes time to meet with an individual professor or instructor who is struggling with a specific issue. This may involve designing a course for the first time, dealing with inattentive students, looking to breathe new life into an old course or other realities of teaching and learning. With great patience, insight and sensitivity Ted comes alongside, encouraging members of the UNB Faculty to discover their own passions and inspiring the UNB community to weave each person’s unique teaching approach into courses that work and learning experiences that truly make a difference for students.

Janice El-Bayoumi (CETL)
Don Floyd (Forestry)
Janice Thompson (Faculty of Nursing)