Teaching Center executive director Golden to step down | University Times

Teaching Center executive director Golden to step down | University Times

Cynthia Golden will step down as associate provost and executive director of the University Center for Teaching and Learning, effective June 30.

Golden came to Pitt in 2009 as leader of the teaching center’s predecessor, the Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education. In 2017, she led the rebranding, reorganization and relaunch of the University Center for Teaching and Learning to offer enhanced support for teaching at Pitt. She also serves as a center associate at the Learning Research and Development Center.

Michael Bridges, currently senior director of teaching support, will serve as interim executive director of the Teaching Center effective July 1. 

 In announcing the leadership transition, Provost Ann Cudd said Golden has “established herself — and the University Center for Teaching and Learning — as an invaluable resource for all things related to educational information technologies, teaching and learning, and faculty professional development for Pitt faculty and others in the community.”

Before coming to Pitt, Golden served for eight years as vice president of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit international association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. She also has held chief information officer and senior IT leadership roles at Duquesne University, MIT and Carnegie Mellon. She has an M.S. in information science from Pitt.

Cudd noted the many ways Golden influenced teaching, learning and scholarly activities at Pitt, “from learning space design and management to media production services, from maker spaces and educational technology labs to graduate student teaching support.”

The provost listed several of Golden’s accomplishments:

  • Developing and implementing an expanded strategy for effective assessment of teaching and ongoing support in that area. 

  • Establishing the nationally certified University of Pittsburgh Testing Center

  • Expanding the services of the Office of Measurement and Evaluation of Teaching (OMET)

  • Leading Pitt’s efforts in inclusive teaching and creating the Center for Diversity in the Curriculum, the Diversity Institute for Faculty Development, and the Provost’s Award for Diversity in the Curriculum.

  • Hiring the center’s first director of equitable and inclusive teaching

  • Working collaboratively with Pitt IT and faculty to mange the University-wide migration to a new enterprise learning management system, shifting campuses from Blackboard to Canvas.

  • Providing vital support for the rapid deployment of remote teaching throughout the University in the early months of 2020.

In conjunction with the University Library System, Cynthia and her team established the Open Lab as a resource for faculty and student experimentation with emerging educational technologies and as a makerspace venue to engage in exploratory learning. 

And she worked to build the Pitt Online unit within the center to support the schools’ online learning efforts for degree and certificate programs, professional learning, and Massive Open Online Courses.

Golden also has served as a member of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence, the Advisory Committee of the Institute for Clinical Research Education, and the Technology Accessibility Committee, as well as other academic committees and task forces related to education, information technology, online learning, diversity and accessibility.