Published on October 22, 2014 by William Nunnelley  
Eric Fournier

Geography professor Eric J. Fournier has been named Director of Samford University’s Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CTLS). The appointment is part of the university-wide effort to strengthen and expand Samford’s commitment to faculty development and teaching excellence.

In his new role, Fournier will oversee CTLS initiatives such as the Faculty Mentoring Program and Faculty Workshop series, and will develop new programs that will expand the scope, reach and effectiveness of the CTLS.

He also will build an advisory board for the CTLS and create opportunities for other Samford faculty to serve as fellows of the center, supporting research related to effective teaching strategies.

Fournier received a “Connecting Across the University Faculty Fellowship” to work with the CTLS in the fall of 2013. As a faculty fellow, he developed a “Seminar for Teaching and Learning” for new faculty, covering such topics as “Time Management for Early Career Faculty” and “Seven Habits of Effective College Teachers.” That series continues this year.

“As a faculty fellow in the CTLS, Eric has played a vital role in reimagining and reenergizing the center’s commitment to faculty development and teaching excellence,” said Chris Metress, Samford’s Associate Provost for Academics. “Eric’s contributions to Samford, coupled with the national recognition he has received as an award-winning teacher, make him the ideal person to lead an expanded and more ambitious CTLS.”

Fournier has taught at Samford since 1997. His teaching has been recognized with awards from Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences, the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers and the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE). He serves currently as Board Chairman of NCGE.

Fournier serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Geography in Higher Education and the Journal of Geography.

He is interested in issues related to faculty development and training and has been a workshop leader for the Geography Faculty Development Alliance, leading numerous faculty development workshops at national meetings.

“Samford places teaching at the center of its mission,” said Fournier, “and I am looking forward to working with our faculty and administration to create more opportunities to promote effective teaching and learning across the university.”

Fournier holds the B.S. degree from Syracuse University and the Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.