Associate Dean, Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement, Faculty of Arts

Dawn Johnston, PhD

The associate dean, teaching, learning and student engagement provides strategic leadership in areas related to faculty teaching and undergraduate student learning and engagement in arts.

Her position is housed in the Arts Students’ Centre, where the associate dean, teaching, learning and student engagement has an office and administrative support. 

Leadership activities include developing, promoting, implementing, and evaluating initiatives that advance these areas. She builds and maintains relationships between arts and other faculties and units in the University of Calgary to develop and advance initiatives related to teaching, learning and student engagement.  

She oversees the Faculty of Arts’ Co-operative Education Program and administers the Arts and Science Honours Academy.

  • Oversees all areas of teaching support, including workshops/colloquia, mentorship, instructional technologies/active learning;
  • Administers faculty-level interdisciplinary academic programs, including the Arts and Science Honours Academy.
  • Oversees faculty-level awards, nominations, and grants to recognize effective teaching and other contributions to the learning and teaching environment.
  • Responsible for curriculum renewal and flexibility across departments, programs and units in the arts faculty.
  • With vice-dean, establishes and maintains indicators of faculty teaching performance for merit and promotion. Works closely with departments to review and evaluate existing indicators, and ensures that they are clear and transparent.
  • Assists associate dean, undergraduate programs and student affairs as needed, on matters including advising, discipline and appeals.
  • Stays current with pedagogical approaches, technologies, policies and ideas by attending conferences and reviewing literature.
  • Initiates and maintains communications (including social media) between the Arts Students’ Centre, heads, faculty, staff, and students for teaching support and consultations on issues and initiatives.
  • Oversees the arts faculty's contributions to university-level plans and priorities for teaching and learning, including the Eyes High goals; the Academic Plan; and the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.
  • Works with the office of the provost (vice-provost teaching and learning), the Teaching and Learning Centre and representatives of other faculties on teaching-related initiatives, programs, and committees outside the arts faculty.
  • Advises the dean on resource needs for the development, promotion, and evaluation of teaching-and-learning-related initiatives and programs.
  • Oversees the arts’ Co-operative Education Program.
  • Leads the student engagement team and mobilizes efforts to support and energize student activities, both academic and extracurricular
  • Provides leadership and operational liaisons with student organizations, including Faculty of Arts Students' Association and the Students' Union Arts reps
  • Collects and analyses quantitative and qualitative data on student engagement, through instruments such as NSSE surveys, workshops, focus groups, etc.
  • Develops a strategic plan for improving student engagement, including experiential learning
  • Works with departments, including heads, to analyze these data and to develop and implement this plan
  • Performs other ad hoc duties and responsibilities as assigned by the dean
Dawn Johnston headshot

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Committee service

The associate dean, teaching, learning and student engagement chairs or sits on the following committees:

Faculty of Arts strategies and plans

Strategic Plan 2024-29

Explore strategic plan

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Arts

Explore EDI

Research in Arts

Explore Arts research