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Timmes named vice provost for educational technology

Francis (Frank) Timmes, a professor in Arizona State University’s School of Eart
June 27, 2013

Francis (Frank) Timmes, a professor in Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, has been named vice provost of educational technology, a new position designed to help meet the growing use of educational technology at ASU. In this position, Timmes will be encouraging and enabling faculty to use the best-suited technology for their courses.

“Professor Timmes has a unique combination of demonstrated excellence in digital teaching and a deep understanding of advanced computing,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, ASU executive vice president and provost. “He is the perfect person to help realize the university’s vision of leadership in academic excellence and accessibility by innovative use of educational technology to improve teaching and learning.”

Timmes’ experience includes teaching the largest online science lecture and laboratory courses at ASU. He also serves on the Provost’s Committee on Excellence in Digital Teaching, the Informational Technology Leadership Council and is director of the ASU Advanced Computing Center. In this new role, Timmes will work closely with faculty and instructional technologists across the university and will lead the UTO Academic Technologies group’s efforts to build additional capacity to support faculty use of technology.

“I am thrilled to be working in this new position at ASU to help the university excel in digital teaching,” Timmes said. “The rapid evolution of educational technologies such as streaming video, social networking and interactive gaming are a few examples that can aid students and instructors in offering a more collaborative, active-learning online experience.”

Timmes added that currently there is a vast array of educational technologies being evaluated or used by different academic units, so one need is providing an aggregation point where faculty and staff can experiment with the technologies and learn from other faculty and staff what works best for a given course. Another goal is providing the tools needed for instructors to offer students an active-learning online environment. 

Timmes said he will draw from his experiences in his own online teaching methodologies, from hybrid courses to streaming video courses, to green room recorded courses and addressing online academic integrity. In addition, Timmes said his experience with scientific computing technology – including hardware, software and community support – provides useful, related background knowledge.

Timmes came to ASU in 2008 as a professor and associate director of graduate studies in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. His research is in astrophysics with a focus on supernovae, cosmic chemical evolution and their impacts on astrobiology. He is a scientific editor of The Astrophysical Journal.

Timmes received his doctorate and master's in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of California Santa Cruz and his bachelor's in physics from the University of California Santa Barbara.