Nugent named first dean of McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning

Associate Provost Georgia Nugent has been appointed the first dean of the Harold McGraw Jr. Center for Teaching and Learning following action by the trustees to create the new position at their meeting on Sept. 28.

"Creating the deanship will appropriately recognize the academic character of the center and its mission to work closely with faculty and students to foster the most effective methods of teaching and learning at Princeton," said Provost Amy Gutmann. "As its first dean, Georgia will bring to the center a reputation at Princeton and beyond as a gifted teacher and an innovative administrator who has served in senior positions in both the president's office and the provost's office."

The recipient of several teaching awards, Nugent has been involved in many aspects of teaching and learning at Princeton. She oversaw the planning process for the McGraw Center and helped develop important initiatives in online learning with the creation of the Educational Technologies Center. As chair of the Alumni Education Strategic Planning Committee, she worked to expand educational opportunities for alumni, and she co-founded the Community Auditing Program through which more than 700 area residents attend lecture courses each year. With President Harold T. Shapiro, she co-taught freshman seminars on the history of American higher education, and she has offered her own freshman seminars on war and on narrative. She also teaches seminars for middle and high school teachers through the Teachers as Scholars Program of the Teacher Preparation Program.

Nugent's appointment as dean is effective Oct. 1. Her office will be at the McGraw Center in the Frist Campus Center, and she will report to Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel. The center's founding director, Jacqueline Mintz, will devote this year to ongoing research and writing projects that will be of interest both here and nationally.

As dean of the McGraw Center, Nugent's initial goals will be to increase awareness of the resources and assistance available to faculty and students through the center, to expand its services, and to enhance the center's contributions to national discussion of teaching and learning in higher education. In addition to providing information, consultation and opportunities for discussion with colleagues and peers, she believes the center should examine issues such as the optimal deployment of electronic technologies in teaching, the appropriate balance between traditional content-centered pedagogical strategies and contemporary interest in learner-centered strategies, and the identification of meaningful methods of assessment that contribute to learning.

"I am both honored and excited to be named dean of the McGraw Center," Nugent said. "In my experience, Princeton students and faculty are continually seeking ways to become even more effective in their teaching and learning. The McGraw Center provides a tangible home for the conversations, research and experimentation that contribute to great teaching and successful learning. My goal is to provide a wide variety of resources that are truly useful to faculty and students in achieving their highest potentials. Most of all, I hope that the center will be a catalyst for a lively, stimulating, ongoing campus conversation about our educational purposes in which many take part -- and learn from one another."

A member of the Princeton class of 1973, Nugent earned her Ph.D. in classics from Cornell University in 1978 and returned to Princeton a year later as an assistant professor. From 1985 to 1992 she was appointed to the faculty of Brown University, where she won that institution's highest teaching award and was awarded tenure. In 1992 she again returned to Princeton as assistant to the president and a lecturer in classics. She has written more than four dozen articles and papers. Her book, "Allegory and Poetics: Structure and Imagery in Prudentius' Psychomachia," is a study of the first allegorical poem.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601