Lauren Ingraham is excited about the next chapter in her University of Tennessee at Chattanooga career.
Ingraham, who is starting her 25th year at UTC, has been named vice provost for curriculum and new program development, effective Aug. 1. The announcement was made by Jerold Hale, UTC provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Ingraham has been a faculty member in the Department of English since 1996, serving as director of composition from 1998 to 2011 and from 2015 to 2016. She spent the last three years as the University’s director of General Education, leading a coordinated, campus-wide discussion on how courses fit with current and emerging issues and trends.
“I feel like my entire career has positioned me really well for this position in curriculum and program development,” Ingraham said. “As director of composition, I worked hard to build that program, and we were able to improve the quality of the instructors by offering more full-time positions.
“Then, as director of General Education, I have been working on program development and reimagining what the program would look like.
“There has been a lot of really engaging work and I’m excited about how it’s coming along.”
In making the announcement, Hale called her “the perfect person for this position.” As UTC continues to look at ways to offer classes and degree programs for both traditional and non-traditional students, he said, Ingraham would play a vital role as the Academic Affairs liaison to the Faculty Senate curriculum committee and college-wide curriculum committees as they begin to imagine new degree programs.
“As college-going demographics change, a regional comprehensive university of our size needs to do more to offer curricula to different core groups of students,” Hale said. “For example, the curriculum provided to 18- to 22-year-old traditional students should look different from non-traditional learners who don’t seek a conventional brick-and-mortar, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. experience.
“Those learners are looking for enhanced online degree programs and accelerated academic semesters, and those experiences look very different to students who started—and stopped—their college careers,” Hale continued. “We should offer opportunities to bring them back to UTC to help them complete degrees and open new career doors.”
Ingraham would work with deans, department heads and curriculum committees to connect with populations UTC previously hasn’t been able to reach, he said. She also will continue to be part of the University’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation efforts.
Ingraham has played an integral role with numerous committees on campus and within the higher-education community during her academic career, including the UTC strategic plan implementation committee. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi and a Ph.D. from the University of Louisville, serving as a faculty member with both institutions.
Ingraham pointed to numbers that show fewer 18 year olds are headed to college as vital in redesigning programs and curriculum to attract different types of students.
“We want to make it flexible to accommodate students who arrive on this campus at different stages in their lives—both the first-year, first-time freshman who comes in at 18 or 19 years old up to the single mom or dad who is trying to navigate childcare, college coursework and a job beyond that,” she said.
The idea of taking UTC in a new direction has come up a lot in terms of reimagining General Education, Ingraham said.
“I feel like I’m really embracing innovation as we truly reimagine what curriculum looks like,” she said. “If you talk to our employers—the people who put our graduates to work—they tell us about the skills that they want students to have. They want them to be effective communicators. They want people who can think in flexible and adaptable ways and then act on that.
“That balance of knowledge building and skills building is important for all our students, regardless of their major program of study.
“It’s a real challenge, and it’s what I’m excited to do. I like working on difficult problems and finding really innovative solutions.”