Bradley Cohen

Bradley Cohen

Photo courtesy of: Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

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Provost names new OHIO Senior Vice Provost for Instructional Innovation

Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit has announced that Bradley Cohen will begin serving as the new OHIO Senior Vice Provost for Instructional Innovation in February.

"Inspired teaching that engages learners is at the philosophical center of the transformational educational experience at Ohio University,” said Benoit. “The Instructional Innovation Portfolio, which includes the Center for Teaching and Learning, Academic Technologies, and e-Learning, will be an additional resource for faculty who seek to enhance their effectiveness in the classroom. I am delighted to welcome Brad Cohen as the first OHIO Senior Vice Provost for Instructional Innovation.”  

Cohen received a doctoral degree in philosophy in 1997 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He forged his career path in instructional innovation while a philosophy professor at a small liberal arts institution, where he began integrating web-based teaching tools. Cohen recognized how interactive instructional methods had a substantial positive effect on his teaching and his students’ learning.

The experience ultimately led him to the University of Minnesota in 2001, where he worked directly with faculty as an instructional technology consultant to help improve student learning in technology-rich learning environments.

As an assistant director and then director of the academic technology team at U of M, he helped to advance a variety of initiatives across the institution. In his current role, he has two positions and a dual reporting relationship to the provost and the vice president and chief information officer.

As the U of M Associate CIO for Academic Technology and as a member of the Information Technology Leadership Team, he is responsible for working closely with senior leadership to develop strategic direction, ensuring that the university’s investment in academic technology aligns to the academic priorities of the institution, and works with IT colleagues in pursuit of the highest degree of service to the university community.

In his role working directly with the provost at U of M, he leads the Center for Educational Innovation, which brings the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of e-Learning together to advance curricular innovation in partnership with instructional support units across the University system.

During his interview at OHIO, Cohen stressed the role of technology as a tool, not as the outcome.

“Transformative learning happens when students have the opportunity to interact with one another, with course material, with their instructors, and with their community in meaningful and enriching ways,” he said. “Technology, thoughtfully integrated into these experiences, can have a powerful effect, but it is a mistake to start with the technology. The question isn't, ‘How can I use this technology?’ but rather, ‘What do I want to accomplish as a teacher, as a learner, that this technology might help me to achieve?’”

Cohen’s appointment is one part of OHIO’s investment in an innovation strategy that Benoit believes will help the University remain vibrant.

“We have a strong history as a teaching-focused University,” Benoit said. “Faculty reach out frequently to ask for assistance with incorporating new technologies and teaching methods in their classrooms. The three offices in this Instructional Innovation Portfolio have productive relationships with academic departments and are helping faculty every day. We believe the synergies created by joining these offices will be significant and will enhance the support that is available to all faculty on all of our campuses.”  

The information contained in this report was submitted by the Office of Executive Vice President and Provost.