Press Release

AAC&U Announces Appointment of C. Edward Watson as Vice President for Digital Innovation

Washington, DC—The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the promotion of C. Edward “Eddie” Watson to Vice President for Digital Innovation. In this role, he will lead programming and a scholarly agenda focusing on the technological strategies higher education can employ to achieve its broad mission, including artificial intelligence (AI), digital equity, open learning, and ePortfolios. He will also continue to provide collaborative leadership for general education, faculty development, and teaching and learning practice. Watson previously served as Associate Vice President for Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation and Executive Director for Open Educational Resources and Digital Innovation at AAC&U.

“Eddie has emerged as a leading expert on the ways in which digital innovations can be leveraged to support both quality and equity in higher education,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “I’m thrilled that he will continue to develop and expand our work in this important area as a member of the senior leadership team.”

Watson directs the Institute on AI, Pedagogy, and the Curriculum; the Institute on Digital Equity; the Institute on Open Educational Resources; and the Forum on Digital Innovation. He co-directs the Institute on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment and the Conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment. Watson also leads an array of curricular and pedagogical improvement efforts.

“AAC&U has long demonstrated its commitment to innovation with technology through its support and promotion of evidence-based practices,” said Watson. “But now, with the rapid emergence of broadly adopted AI tools, both in higher education contexts as well as the world of work, we have indeed entered a new era of learning, thinking, and creating. Higher education has key opportunities to shape this new era to ensure it is ethical, equitable, and provides rich learning opportunities for all. I am deeply honored to contribute to these goals in this new role at AAC&U.”

Prior to joining AAC&U, Watson was the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia (UGA), where he led university efforts associated with faculty development, teaching assistant development, student learning outcomes assessment, learning technologies, media production services, learning spaces, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He also taught various courses on college teaching, student learning, and course design. He continues to serve as a Fellow in the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education at UGA.

Watson is the founding Executive Editor of the International Journal of ePortfolio and served as the Executive Editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a role he held for more than a decade. He is coauthor of five books, including most recently Teaching with AI: A Practical Guide to a New Era of Human Learning (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2024), which is currently a number one bestseller on Amazon.

About AAC&U

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is a global membership organization dedicated to advancing the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education. Through our programs and events, publications and research, public advocacy, and campus-based projects, AAC&U serves as a catalyst and facilitator for innovations that improve educational quality and equity and that support the success of all students. In addition to accredited public and private, two-year, and four-year colleges and universities and state higher education systems and agencies throughout the United States, our membership includes degree-granting higher education institutions in more than twenty-five countries as well as other organizations and individuals. To learn more, visit