About The Center

Vilas A. Prabhu Center for Academic Excellence

CAE Logo

On September 21, 2021, the Millersville University Council of Trustees voted unanimously to create the Vilas A. Prabhu Center for Academic Excellence. This makes us the first named center for faculty professional development in the PASSHE system. Not only does this designation honor the legacy of Dr. Vilas A. Prabhu’s more than seventeen years of distinguished service and leadership, it also recognizes the value faculty professional development programming brings to the campus community. 

During his time at Millersville, Dr. Prabhu was instrumental in the Open Educational Resources adoption project the Open Textbook Initiative. Dr. Prabhu’s support of the collaborative work between the Center and the OER Working Group helped us save students over one million dollars in textbooks fees between 2019 and 2021.

Additionally, Dr. Prabhu advanced the development of online programs, and advanced degree programs. He also championed civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, experiential learning, high-impact practices, service learning, and undergraduate research. His support of these approaches to teaching aided faculty in developing student-centered learning spaces.


The purpose of the Millersville University's Vilas A. Prabhu Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) is to:

  • provide professional development across the teaching-learning scholarship spectrum;
  • support campus wide learning communities;
  • fosters innovative instructional strategies to promote learning through evidence based practice;
  • examine local, state, and national trends and potential impact on the campus community;
  • respond proactively to university faculty needs; and
  • offer resources to support teaching, scholarship, and service endeavors.


The mission of Millersville University’s Vilas A. Prabhu Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) is to:

  • promote excellence in teaching and learning;
  • encourage an atmosphere of collaboration and scholarly inquiry as an integral part of teaching and learning;
  • provide resources and programs to assist faculty with their professional development as educators;
  • promote a campus environment that fosters scholarship;
  • encourage teaching practices that are grounded in scholarship;
  • enhance learning through support of interdisciplinary collaborations across the university;
  • develop services and programs for faculty members of all experience levels;
  • engage critical thinking and discussion through open forums; and
  • establish and maintain mutually supportive relationships with other institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania.

Types of Programs

The Vilas A. Prabhu Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) offers a variety of Professional Development Sessions, Instructional Technology Workshops and Sessions, Faculty Learning Communities, Pedagogy+ workshops, Pre-Tenure sessions, Faculty Fellows grant programs, CAE Professional Development Sessions, CAE Teaching & Innovative Education sessions, CAE Accessibility sessions, and CAE Inclusive Practices sessions. The CAE also facilitates special events, such as the Promotion and Tenure panel, the Assessment Luncheon, and the Spring Colloquium. These faculty-centered events and sessions are designed to support faculty building student-centered, engaging learning environments, growing as teachers and scholars, and growing in their professional career here at Millersville University. Suggestions for new topics and presenters are always welcomed. Please contact Dr. A Nicole Pfannenstiel if you have any recommendations.

Plan to attend the CAE events this semester! Check out our Professional Development Opportunities page to see what we have scheduled for this semester.

More Information on Types of Programs

CAE Advisory Board

In support of the CAE’s mission, the CAE Advisory Board serves to enhance, enrich, and support how the CAE programming supports and furthers the Center’s purpose and mission. Members of the Advisory Board are comprised of faculty representatives from departments across campus, and staff representatives from departments across campus that can provide diverse perspectives on student and faculty professional development needs. Advisory Board members not only advise the CAE on its programming, direction, and assessment, but they also facilitate the center’s programming, they support and advocate on behalf of the CAE ensuring the CAE continues to stay abreast and ahead of faculty needs across campus. This work ensures the CAE flexibly meets ever changing faculty and student needs in supporting faculty careers at Millersville University.  

Charge of the Advisory Board

  • Provide the CAE with advice and direction on its Yearly Activity Report
  • Advise the CAE on strategic directions, events, publications, and resources to support the purpose and mission of the CAE. Monthly Activity Reports and other documentation will support the Advisory Board Members in this charge. 
  • This work requires Advisory Board Members share CAE information with other groups across campus. This work requires Advisory Board Members bring information from across campus to the CAE in support of future programming and strategic direction development. 
  • Coordinate the preparation, planning, and assessment documentation for all CAE programming 
  • Carry out and facilitate sessions identified within the Yearly Activity Report 
  • Advisory Board members will facilitate sessions that align with expertise and interests 
  • Meet twice per Fall/Spring semester, once in late Summer to: 
    • Approve the Yearly Activity Report for the academic year 
    • Review Monthly Activity Reports 
    • Discuss the needs of faculty within Colleges across campus  
    • Discuss the needs for future programming  
    • Build the structure to offer new programming 
  • Review the charge and membership of the CAE Advisory Board on an annual basis 
  • Review the mission and purpose of the CAE on an annual basis 

Membership: Advisory Board Leaders

For the 2023-2024 Academic year the CAE Advisory Board Leaders will be Dr. Nicole Pfannenstiel and Marie Firestone. 

The CAE Advisory Boards Leaders prepare the Yearly Activity Report by August 1st of each year, then call the Summer Advisory Board meeting to discuss the proposed activities. The Advisory Board will prepare the Yearly Activity Report based on input from the Associate Provost for Academic Administration, input from the Provost, and input from the Advisory Board at prior meetings.  

The CAE Advisory Board Leaders support the professional development of the Advisory Boards members so they are well positioned in facilitating the programming from the Yearly Activity Report. This will include connecting programming facilitators with the structural and assessment practices prepared for the programming.  

The CAE Advisory Board Leaders coordinate reporting from the Advisory Board Members to accurately track and maintain data.  

The CAE Advisory Board Leaders prepare and share the Yearly Activity Reports (forecasting the year ahead) and the Monthly Activity Reports (document progress toward meeting outcomes).  

Membership: Advisory Board Members 2023-2024

Members will be selected based on demonstrated interest in and willingness to work toward faculty professional development. Applications will be reviewed by the Advisory Board Leaders.  

Interested members should submit applications in April to join the Advisory Board for the following Academic Year. Interested faculty and staff will apply to serve as Advisory Board Members for 1-2 academic years.  

Advisory Board Members are required to attend 5 required meetings. The Summer meeting will focus on discussion and approval of the Yearly Activity Report, including identifying changes, ensuring supporting materials are prepared and ready for use, offering suggestions for changes prior to the beginning of the new Academic year. 

Advisory Board Members are required to facilitate at least one CAE program per semester. This will be determined in discussion with the CAE Advisory Board Leaders, and will be selected from the Yearly Activity Report. Advisory Board Members are expected to facilitate their programming using the structural and assessment practices provided by the CAE.  

Yearly Activity Report 2023-2024

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