Mary Wright, Ph.D.

Photo of Mary C. Wright
Mary Wright, Ph.D.

Associate Provost for Teaching and Learning Executive Director, Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning Professor (Research) of Sociology

[email protected] 401-863-1141

Please contact me:

  • If you do not know the best contact at the Sheridan Center for your question. I can help!
  • With any questions about and ideas for strategic directions of the Sheridan Center.
  • For media inquiries about the Sheridan Center.

Mary Wright is Associate Provost for Teaching and Learning, Executive Director of the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, and a Professor (Research) in the Department of Sociology. She is also a former president (2017-18) of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, the U.S. professional association for educational development.

Prior to arriving at Brown, Mary was Director of Assessment and an Associate Research Scientist at the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT). She earned an A.B. in sociology from Princeton University, an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in higher education administration from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at U-M. Mary's research interests include evaluation of teaching and learning innovations, measuring the impact of educational development services, graduate student professional development, and curricular assessment of student learning. She is a co-author on the ACE-POD Center for Teaching and Learning Matrix (2017), which created operational standards for Centers for Teaching and Learning, as well as Defining What Matters (2018), which established guidelines for Center for Teaching and Learning evaluation. In 2021-22, she served on the commission (co-chaired by Barbara Snyder, AAU, and Peter McPherson, APLU) that authored The Equity/Excellence Imperative: A 2030 Blueprint for Undergraduate Education at U.S. Research Universities, a report which can be accessed at:

Mary's second book, Centers for Teaching and Learning: The New Landscape in Higher Education (2023, Johns Hopkins University Press), is a study of aims, strategies, tactics, organization, and evaluation approaches for 1200+ CTLs. Her first book, Always at Odds?, focuses on the development of cultures of teaching and was published in 2008 by SUNY Press. She is currently collaborating with a cross-institutional team to write a third book about course design institutes, to be published by Routledge in 2024, and fourth cross-institutional team on a national survey of educational developers.

Mary is a co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development, the journal of the International Consortium for Educational Development, which seeks to enable academic developers in higher education across the world to exchange ideas about practice and research, and to extend the theory of academic development, with the goal of improving the quality of higher education internationally.

Select Recent Publications

Centers for Teaching and Learning: The New Landscape in Higher Education (September 2023). Johns Hopkins University Press.

Boyer 2030: Designing a 2030 Blueprint for Excellence & Equity in Undergraduate Education at U.S. Research Universities. Commission member, 2021-2022.
(Chaired by Barbara Snyder, AAU, and Peter McPherson, APLU. Other commission members are: Michael Crow, Andrew Delbanco, Roger Ferguson, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth Loizeaux, Gary May, Sarah Newman, Lynn Pasquerella, Deborah Santiago, Claude Steele, Holden Thorp, & Eric Waldo). Available: