Campus News

Va. Tech administrator to lead UGA’s teaching, learning center

Edward (Eddie) Watson is the new director of the University of Georgia Center for Teaching and Learning.

Following a national search, Edward “Eddie” Watson has been named director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. 

Watson will begin his new position Sept. 17, filling the position previously held by Nelson Hilton, who stepped down after six years to return to teaching and research. 

“Dr. Watson has a proven record of leadership, innovation and faculty engagement related to teaching and learning,” said Laura Jolly, vice president for instruction. “I am confident this knowledge, experience and collaboration with faculty will take our Center for Teaching and Learning to the next level. His varied experience with faculty support, educational technology development and national leadership in advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning make him a strong advocate for excellence in this arena.” 

Watson had been in teaching, research and administration at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University since 1997, most recently serving as the associate director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, which is Virginia Tech’s teaching and learning center.

In collaboration with the center’s director, he provided strategic vision and contributed leadership to a number of Virginia Tech projects and committees, including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Quality Enhancement Plan First Year Experiences project, the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, the Pedagogy in Practice publication, the distance learning strategic planning committee, the provost’s instructional technology task force and an emerging “signature course” program. 

As the associate director of CIDER, Watson led collaborations with faculty engaged in educational research and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Additional strategic projects led by Watson included oversight of the selection, promotion, management and support of the university’s online tools; transitioning Virginia Tech to a new learning management system; launching iTunes U; and implementing an ePortfolio system for programmatic assessment and student learning.

“I see the Center for Teaching and Learning at UGA as the key institutional mechanism for fostering a culture of teaching excellence and innovation in the service of student learning,” said Watson. “Building upon what research tells us about teaching and learning, effective CTL practices and institutional change, a central goal for the CTL will be to elevate and extend discourse regarding effective pedagogy.” 

“Dr. Watson brings a depth of experience and strong, innovative ideas to UGA,” said Janette Hill, department head in the College of Education and chair of the search committee. “The Center for Teaching and Learning, as well as the university community, will benefit from his leadership.”

Watson is a four-time alumnus of Virginia Tech, earning a bachelor’s degree in statistics, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction.

He is currently the managing editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, the co-founding executive editor of the International Journal of ePortfolio and was elected to the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning’s board of directors in 2011. 

The CTL serves faculty, administrators and graduate teaching assistants in each of UGA’s schools and colleges by coordinating a variety of programs and activities aimed at supporting and promoting excellence in teaching and learning.