University News

Takayama to step down as Sheridan Center executive director

Takayama joins Columbia as assistant provost with focus on Center for New Media Teaching and Learning

By
Senior Staff Writer
Saturday, July 11, 2015

Kathy Takayama, executive director of the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, will leave the University to become associate provost, executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and adjunct professor of biological sciences at Columbia, she told The Herald.

At Columbia, Takayama hopes to “create the vision for the best teaching learning center in the world” for the newly expanded Center for Teaching and Learning, which will encompass the existing Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, she said. The center will combine experts in “media technology and online and digital support with professional staff in teaching and learning and pedagogy to think about how we can support Columbia students and faculty,” she said.

The interim director of the Sheridan Center will be announced in an upcoming community-wide email, said Dean of the College Maud Mandel. “My hope is that the Sheridan Center will continue to build on its core missions but also extend its reach” to undergraduates through teacher’s assistant training and core competency programs, she said.

“The Sheridan Center has been a place where (Takayama) has invested tremendous energy and made really important contributions,” Mandel said. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning has invested resources, particularly on the side of digital learning, that make it an exciting place to join, she said.

Takayama came to the University in 2007 and engaged in a complete overhaul of the Sheridan Center to make Brown a national leader in both name and number of graduate student training programs, Mandel said. She also led the University’s digital laboratory initiatives and oversaw the launch of massive open online courses through Coursera, she added.

Takayama’s departure comes at a time of administrative turnover. Vicki Colvin stepped down as provost June 30 after just one year in the position. She was succeeded July 1 by Richard Locke, director of the Watson Institute for International Studies, creating the need to identify a new director of the Watson Institute while Locke temporarily fills both posts. This fall, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn will also leave to become vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Her departure also comes amidst the start this summer of an $8.9 million project to renovate the Sciences Library to house the Laboratory for Educational Innovation — a part of the Sheridan Center — as well as the Instructional Technology Group, the Language Resource Center, the Social Sciences Research Lab and the Laboratory for Educational Innovation. The Laboratory for Educational Innovation has overseen the development of digital education efforts including MOOCs and flipped classrooms.

“What I loved about Brown and what I think is exemplified in everything we do here … is that we really do believe in the mission of learners being at the center of everything we’re doing,” Takayama said. “Even though we are a very competitive research university, there is an undergraduate voice. We embrace and expect undergraduates to be a part of that, and the center carries that ethos.”

A previous version of this article misstated that Takayama will become assistant provost at Columbia. In fact, she will become associate provost, executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and adjunct professor of biological sciences at Columbia. The Herald regrets the error.

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  • Timmons Roberts

    Kathy will be sorely missed, and I wish her all the best at Columbia for this exciting opportunity.

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