BIDDEFORD — The University of New England has announced the establishment of a new Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Susan Hillman has been selected as the founding director of the center. Hillman has extensive experience in higher education with a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Indiana University, and more than 30 years experience in public and private universities. A full professor at UNE in the education department, Hillman recently led the effort with other university educators to develop the fundamentals of this new Center of Excellence.

The center will be the hub of activity for faculty development activities across the university, providing opportunities for faculty and other educators to learn from one another and move toward best practices in contemporary pedagogy. The ultimate goal of this strategic initiative, highlighted in UNE’s Vision 2017 strategic plan as a crucial step forward, is to enhance student learning through optimal and varied approaches to teaching, according to university officials.

Over the past year, a faculty-driven process created a framework for the center and clarified its mission.

“The work of the center going forward this fall will be to provide connectivity to our UNE community of scholars and learners,” Provost James Koelbl said. “UNE has outstanding faculty and dedicated educators who deserve the support of this center. It is a wonderful step forward in the academic life of the institution.”

Faculty will have many opportunities to explore, practice and introduce contemporary pedagogical methods into their teaching that can result in excitement for the teaching process and enhanced student learning, university officials said.