Hilary Ballon Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

The Hilary Ballon Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning develops programs to address the specific pedagogical needs of NYU Abu Dhabi’s internationally diverse students and faculty. In coordination with other units and programs, including the Writing Center, Writing Program, Core Curriculum, Global Education, the Library, the Center for Digital Scholarship, Academic Technology, Arts Center, and Art Gallery, the Center seeks to foster connections between the university’s teaching mission and faculty research or artistic work.

The Center also sustains strategic relationships with comparable resources at NYU’s other portal campuses in Shanghai and New York, and with similar programs in the UAE/Gulf region. In close collaboration with the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity office, the Center will offer resources in teaching development. Major projects in the Center’s first few years will include the development of instructional design and assessment protocols, faculty support for teaching portfolios, pedagogy workshops, institutional research on teaching, and resource development for nascent graduate programs.

Nancy Gleason

Director for the Hilary Ballon Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice



Nancy W. Gleason, PhD is the inaugural Director of the Hilary Ballon Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and an Assistant Professor of Practice in Political Science at New York University Abu Dhabi. In her role she guides faculty in the pedagogy of liberal arts education which transfers interdisciplinary competencies for a digital economy, such as critical thinking and creativity. She teaches a signature course, Industrial Revolutions and the Future of Work in the University’s unique Core Curriculum. This course speaks directly to her current research project on the cognition gaps in the global workforce.

Previously, Dr. Gleason directed the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, and served in the Global Affairs Majors as a Senior Lecturer. She also taught at Tufts University in Boston, MA, USA for six years. Her research has focused on climate change and the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s impacts for higher education, workforce training, and the future of work. She has published and consulted widely in these areas and is the editor of Higher Education in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Springer, 2018). She is the co-editor of the forthcoming (Palgrave March 2020) volume, Diversity and Inclusion in Global Higher Education: Lessons from Across Asia. She holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a BA from George Washington University.

About Hilary Ballon

NYUAD’s Teaching and Learning Center is named, by request of the faculty, for the university’s late Deputy Vice Chancellor. Hilary Ballon, a founding member of the team that began planning NYUAD in September 2007, was involved in all aspects of the university’s development, with particular responsibility for the design of a new, globally oriented curriculum and the three-million square-foot campus on Saadiyat Island that opened in 2014. Ballon’s scholarship focused on cities and the intersection of architecture, politics, and social life, with a recent focus on New York City. In 2012 she received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture for her publications and curatorial work. In addition to her administrative duties, Ballon taught courses on urbanism and architecture at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she was a University Professor.