We’d like to start the new semester by honoring Jean Florman, director of the OTLT Center for Teaching, who will retire on Feb. 9, 2021. Jean is well known for her commitment and dedication to teaching and learning, and the University of Iowa community will miss her collegiality, leadership, and humor.  

Since joining the Center in 2004, Jean has led her staff in creating and sustaining professional development opportunities that have enhanced the teaching and learning experience for thousands of UI instructors and countless UI students. To celebrate her time with the Center, we’re highlighting some of the transformative work that has occurred on campus under Jean’s leadership. 

She has launched numerous collaborations with faculty, staff, and administrators, including two weeklong Service-Learning Institutes. With faculty members from several colleges and local members of Rotary International, Jean helped develop and teach a three-credit international, interdisciplinary service-learning course that enabled numerous UI students to partner with Rotarians from Iowa and Mexico to work on community-based projects proposed and led by residents of Xicotepec de Juárez, Puebla, Mexico. 

Under Jean, the Center collaborated with the UI Learning Spaces Executive Committee to develop and launch the TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) program, which has strongly influenced the design and delivery of student-centered active learning at the UI. The TILE faculty development program, led by the Center, has frequently received national and global recognition as a model for pedagogical best practice and faculty professional development.  

“UI faculty and students will benefit for decades to come because of Jean’s deep love of learning and her sincere care for instructors of all ranks,” Maggie Jesse, senior director of OTLT, said. “The positive impact she is leaving is evident, but immeasurable, in so many initiatives.” 

Anna Flaming, associate director of the OTLT Center for Teaching, will serve as interim director. “The entire Center for Teaching staff will miss Jean’s wisdom, creativity, and good humor,” Flaming said. “But we are committed to continuing the Center’s mission of supporting excellence in teaching and learning at the UI.” 

Congratulations to Jean on her well-deserved retirement. We wish her well in the many adventures yet to come.