Dartmouth College founded the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning in July 2004. It helps Dartmouth faculty members develop new teaching tools and strategies, especially purposeful applications of digital technology and new media. The center helps orient new faculty members to Dartmouth's teaching environment, which encourages close teacher-student relationships and hands-on, discovery-based approaches to learning.
Principal funding for the center comes from two generous alumni gifts: one from Gordon W. Russell, Class of 1955, establishing the Gordon W. Russell Endowment for the Advancement of Learning; the other from R. Stephen Cheheyl, Class of 1967, to endow the position of the center's director, the Cheheyl Professor. Since 2011, DCAL has also enjoyed generous support from the Judith and Allen Zern 1965 Fund.
The first Cheheyl Professor and Director of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning was Thomas H. Luxon.