For over five years Ithaka S+R has successfully developed large-scale research projects through our Research Support Services program to study the research support needs of scholars in disciplines including history, art history, chemistry, religious studies, agriculture and public health. We are now launching a companion program to understand the pedagogical support needs of faculty. We are excited to announce that our first project in the series will focus on the field of business and the instruction of undergraduates.

Why examine teaching support needs?

From our triennial survey of US faculty we know that faculty are increasingly interested in the library supporting their teaching and undergraduates more broadly. Academic libraries are in the process of re-imagining how to best support their institutions’ mandates to prioritize student success more widely. This work may be complementary to or in collaboration with other units responsible for pedagogical and technological support, such as teaching and learning centers and IT, and institutions are currently in the process of determining which models work best for configuring these services. Emerging technologies provide further opportunity for re-envisioning how to best support pedagogy.

Why focus on how business is taught?

Business represents one of if not the most popular undergraduate majors, and it often incorporates dynamic pedagogical approaches through experiential learning, technological experimentation, and partnerships with industry and communities. Ongoing transformations and disruptions in the business sector, including artificial intelligence, automation and analytics, are driving innovations in how business is taught.

How will the Ithaka S+R’s business project work?

Building on the unique collaborative model we developed through our Research Support Services program, we are developing a cohort of higher education institutions to serve as research sites, each assembling a team of local researchers. Ithaka S+R will host a 2 day training session in Fall 2018 focusing on the project’s methodology and effectively leveraging the collected data. The participants will then interview instructors and produce a report on their findings for Fall 2019. Ithaka S+R will review the interviews and findings from the participating institutions and develop a public capstone report identifying recommendations for relevant stakeholders to be released in late 2019. Ithaka S+R will also facilitate follow-up dialogue among interested participants to consider possible cross-institutional collaborations.

Looking forward

The Teaching Support Services project in business will officially launch this fall and we are excited to share that Baruch College (CUNY), Bowling Green State University, Georgia Tech, Grand Valley State University, Kansas State University, Michigan Technological University, Murray State University, North Carolina Central University, Providence College, Queens College (CUNY), Santa Clara University, University at Buffalo (SUNY), University of St. Thomas, and the University of Texas at San Antonio will be among the participating institutions. 

As we proceed with the Teaching Support Services program, we plan to develop future projects on teaching needs of faculty in other areas, including quantitative social science and history. If you are interested in having your library participate as a research site for the business project or a future project, please email me at:


Editor’s note: This blog post was updated on June 13, 2018 to reflect the names of the institutions who signed on to the project following the post’s original publication.