New Director Supports Student Learning Initiatives - Humboldt State Now

New Director Supports Student Learning Initiatives

Edward Nuhfer, who was previously Director of Faculty Development at California State University, Channel Islands, was recently named Humboldt State University’s Director of Educational Effectiveness.

Edward Nuhfer.

As the university’s first such director, Nuhfer leads the university’s efforts to assess, document and improve student learning. With a strong record of supporting faculty and student success, he will be instrumental in developing approaches that invigorate campus-learning environments, Vice Provost Jena Burges says.

“Ed has a wealth of experience in helping people think effectively about learning. He brings a deep understanding of how humans learn and what can get in their way,” Burges says. “Most importantly, he connects with the curiosity that makes us a community of learners, improving our ability to help all of our students become full members of that community.”

Nuhfer replaces Sonya Hildreth, who was responsible for supporting assessment activities and supervising a range of efforts to improve student learning. Nuhfer was also Professor of Geology in the Environmental Science Resource Management Program and Assessment Coordinator at California State University, Channel Islands. He became interested in teaching science to adult students while on a summer Shell Merit Scholarship at Stanford University, and transitioned from geology professor to faculty developer between 1989 and 1992. Nuhfer has earned several national awards in both geology and faculty development, has served as a consultant to a range of educational institutions and at on review boards for several journals and publishers. He is known for developing innovative methods and conducting studies of unexplored areas.

Nuhfer has authored the Developer’s Diary column for the National Teaching and Learning Forum since 2002 and is highly active in the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education. He also played a pivotal role with his colleague at CSU Channel Islands, the late Dr. Stephen Lefevre, in the area of program assessment. His current work focuses on measuring science literacy, teaching metadisciplinary frameworks of reasoning as a way to improve general education programs, and teaching high-impact learning strategies to students.

“There is nothing quite so exhilarating as being around colleagues who are excited about their work and interested in how to provide their students with the gift of becoming ever more successful learners,” Nuhfer says. “ ‘Assessment’ is simply a way to get good information about how to do that better. It provides the data that makes informed effort possible. Humboldt State is a wonderful place for finding such colleagues.”

Before arriving at CSU-CI, Nuhfer directed teaching and learning effectiveness efforts at both Idaho State University and the University of Colorado at Denver. He earned his Ph.D. in Geology at University of New Mexico and his M.S. and B.S. in Geology at West Virginia University.