Yakut Gazi, Ph.D., a veteran educator and administrator, has been appointed as Duke’s first vice provost for learning innovation and digital education, Provost Sally Kornbluth announced Tuesday.
She will oversee the offices of Learning Innovation and Continuing Studies, with responsibility for the development and execution of pedagogical innovation and digital education strategies, youth academic enrichment programs, and continuing education and lifelong learning offerings.
Gazi will join Duke July 29 from Georgia Tech, where she currently serves as associate dean for learning systems at Georgia Tech Professional Education, the university’s lifelong education arm and global campus.
“Yakut has a tremendously exciting vision for the future of teaching innovation, digital education, and lifelong learning at Duke, as well as a demonstrated commitment to building diverse and inclusive teams,” said Kornbluth. “I am confident she will be a creative and collaborative partner for faculty and administrators throughout the university as we build toward Duke’s second century.”
Gazi has nearly three decades of experience as an educator and university administrator in the United States, Spain, Turkey, and Qatar. Her scholarly interests include affordable learning at scale, the future of work and learning, science education, and educational technology.
“I am honored to be joining the Duke community,” said Gazi. “The team I will lead is an engine for academic innovation, with a lifelong and global impact. We have a unique opportunity right now to shape not only the future of learning at Duke, but also the future of higher education and talent strategy. I look forward to working with Duke’s faculty, staff, leadership, and the wider community, to enrich the learning experience and activate Duke’s global network.”
At Georgia Tech Professional Education, Gazi oversees learning design, production, continuous improvement, compliance, technology infrastructure, and support for online credit-bearing and professional development courses and programs. In this role she coordinated faculty preparation and technology support for Georgia Tech’s transition to hybrid and remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Yakut brings to Duke an impressive vision and passion for supporting teaching and learning, as well as a strong track record of successful administrative management within complex settings,” said Executive Vice Provost Jennifer Francis. “I am confident her leadership will move Duke into a new realm of academic innovation and lifelong learning opportunities.”
Prior to her current role at Georgia Tech, Gazi led distance education initiatives at Texas A&M University’s Dwight Look College of Engineering, oversaw distributed learning and instructional technology at Texas A&M-Central Texas, and served as an information technology consultant at Texas A&M University at Qatar.
Gazi’s appointment follows a nationwide search chaired by Emma Rasiel, professor of the practice of economics, and a committee of faculty and staff.
“I am grateful to Emma Rasiel and the search committee for their dedicated and thorough work,” said Kornbluth.
“The search committee felt that Yakut’s background, experience, and personality all make for an ideal fit at Duke,” said Rasiel. “She understands the complexity of bringing together two previously separate functions at Duke, and her communication style – a nuanced combination of candor and empathy – seems uniquely well suited for successful execution of this process. We also believe that her personal warmth and consensus-building approach to management will resonate across constituents and fit well within Duke’s culture.”
Gazi has been active at the national level through a number of professional associations. She currently serves as a first vice president and executive committee member of the International Association for Continuing Engineering Education (IACEE), and as a board member of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
She co-edited the 2021 open access electronic book “Moving Horizontally: The New Dimensions of At Scale Learning in the Time of COVID-19” and was awarded a certificate of merit from the American Society for Engineering Education in 2021.
A first-generation college graduate and native of Istanbul, Turkey, Gazi earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Texas A&M University, as well as a master’s degree in educational sciences and bachelor’s degree in teaching chemistry, both from Bogazici University in Istanbul.
Gazi will relocate to Durham with her spouse and daughter this summer.