About Us

Where we are

Room 201, Watt Family Innovation Center
Phone: 864-656-4542
Email: OTEI@clemson.edu


OTEI envisions a focus on creating teaching excellence that positively influences student outcomes. OTEI aims to provide individual instructors, departments, and colleges with training and resources needed to implement successful teaching methods and create new courses and strategies through engaged, collaborative learning communities.


OTEI will provide leadership for the Clemson teaching community on teaching excellence and evidence-based teaching practices, foster community between teachers and learners, help instructors select the most effective teaching approaches for a diverse student body, support instructors in effectively addressing student learning outcomes, and support the community in offering valid and reliable assessments of teaching and learning.


Dr. Taimi Olsen is the Executive Director of OTEI, having joined Clemson University in 2017.  She has a doctorate in American Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill (1997) and is the former director of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Teaching and Learning Center.  Her higher education career spans over 30 years, encompassing developing and teaching general education and major courses in her discipline, leading a department and a school, and completing research in her discipline (E. E. Cummings and Modernism). She is an affiliate faculty member of Clemson's Department of English. 

OTEI reports to the Office of the Provost, to Dr. Amy Lawton-Rauh, Senior Associate Provost.


OTEI was founded in 1998 by Dr. Linda Nilson, who retired in 2016.  She is the author of Teaching at Its Best: a Research-based Resource for College Instructors.  As Clemson grows, so has OTEI, from a move to the Watt Center for Innovation, to establishing the Clemson Teaching Excellence Conference, Faculty Learning Communities, and other events and resources. What does it mean to be a "teaching center" at a high research activity university?  Read this snapshot.  We base all of our work with faculty and graduate students on evidence-based research, with an inclusive, community-building emphasis.

Our Staff


Taimi Olsen, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Shannon Stefl, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Educational Development

Claire Dancz

Claire Dancz, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Innovative Instruction


Miguel P
érez Montoro, Ph.D.
Teaching Consultant


Becky Tugman, Ph.D.

Sr Faculty Fellow
Sr Lecturer, Department of Public Health Sciences


Graduate research assistant: Sarah Otterbeck

PhD candidate, Department of Engineering and Science Education

Office Manager Janet Arnold



OTEI collaborates with a broad range of support areas on campus, including these key partners:
  • The Watt Family Innovation Center generously hosts the OTEI office and events.
  • Undergraduate Studies is a key partner in many teaching-related initiatives and OTEI supports General Education programs in particular.
  • Clemson Online provides faculty with support for teaching online courses, supports CANVAS, and teaching technology, along with CCIT.
  • Clemson Libraries supports teaching faculty with research expertise, assists with materials, and with open educational resources, among other services.
  • The Graduate School, through it’s Grad 360 program, supports graduate students and for graduate teachers and TAs includes teaching as one of it’s “Tiger 9” competencies.