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Center for Faculty Innovation

Promoting effective teaching and transformative learning



Mission Statement

The Center for Faculty Innovation fosters excellent teaching and learning at BHSU. Guided by sound evidence from research on learning, the Center provides professional development opportunities to BHSU faculty, promotes innovative teaching approaches, collaborates with faculty to design effective teaching assessment, and promotes a culture of engaged, transformative learning across the University.


BHSU Community

The community site offers more information about recent and upcoming activities in the Center, including archives of events, select recordings of past workshops, a calendar, and more.

Users will need to authenticate using their BHSU username and password to access the website.

Community Site Access

Our Initiatives and Programs

CFI services include:

  • Faculty development workshops: built by Center staff and inspired by ongoing research in higher education, workshops are designed to give participants brief, interactive encounters with evidence-based teaching strategies and their underlying values.
  • Intensive summer training events: each year, the Center staff collaborates with BHSU faculty partners to build an intensive summer professional-development series for BHSU faculty. Guided by the University’s Strategic Plan, summer training events identify and explore high-impact practices that have been shown to improve student engagement and persistence across the curriculum.
  • New-faculty teaching series: each year, the center hosts a monthly meeting with new faculty, supporting new faculty as they adapt to BHSU and providing introductory exploration of effective teaching and course design.
  • Faculty learning communities: because faculty – like students – learn best in community, the CFI hosts and provides support for faculty learning communities. From year-long, project-focused working groups to informal book clubs, learning communities form when faculty see value in ongoing collaboration and mutual support.
  • Consultations: Center staff provide on-demand consultations and research support for BHSU faculty or staff designing a learning experience for the BHSU community.


Director, Center for Faculty Innovation

Nick Van Kley, PhD

Nick Van Kley is the inaugural Director of the BHSU CFI. Nick brings to BHSU a decade of experience in educational program design and administration and fifteen years of experience as a teacher in higher education. Nick graduated with a BA from BHSU in 2005 before spending seventeen years in New England, receiving a PhD in English and American Literature from Brandeis University, and serving in a number of program-administration and faculty roles at Brandeis University and Dartmouth College, where he helped to launch ambitious faculty development initiatives focused on writing across the curriculum and digital portfolios for education. Nick is passionate about engaging, inclusive learning design and overjoyed to be back at his alma mater, collaborating with BHSU faculty, staff, and students.

Contact Us

All inquiries can be sent to the CFI Director. Email:

Phone: 605.642.6000

Contact Info

Nick Van Kley, PhD
CFI Director
Phone: 605-642-6000

Center for Faculty Innovation
Black Hills State University
1200 University St.
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799