June 22, 2020


SUBJECT:    Appointment of a Faculty Director, Teaching + Learning Commons

I am delighted to announce that following an extensive national search,
Dr. David Ruiter has been appointed Faculty Director of the Teaching +
Learning Commons, effective August 1, 2020. Dr. Ruiter succeeds
inaugural Faculty Director, Gabriele Wienhausen who has retired
following more than three decades of exemplary service to UC San Diego.

Dr. Ruiter currently serves as Associate Provost for Student and Faculty
Success and Strategic Initiatives and Associate Professor of English at
the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). In his role as Associate
Provost, he led the collaborative development and implementation of the
university’s Quality Enhancement Plan, an ambitious ten-year student
success plan designed to give every student a competitive edge in terms
of academic, professional, and lifelong success. His previous roles at
UTEP have included service as inaugural Director of Academic Continuous
Improvement, Chair of the Department of English, and Director of the
Literature Program. Dr. Ruiter co-chaired the “Student Belonging”
committee for the University of Texas System’s Student Success Guiding
Coalition and is a past fellow of UTEP’s Center for Excellence in
Teaching and Learning.

In all of these leadership roles, Dr. Ruiter has demonstrated a strong
commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as fundamental values, and
he has worked inclusively across campus constituencies – with students,
faculty, staff, administration and community – fostering a “one-team”
approach to optimize student and faculty success. Dr. Ruiter has also
worked extensively with faculty and academic leaders to advance
faculty-driven initiatives in support of teaching, service, research and
creative excellence.

With a PhD in English from Baylor University, Dr. Ruiter’s research and
current publications focus on Shakespeare and Social Justice,
demonstrating the arts and arts education as levers for positive social
change. His teaching includes courses on Shakespeare, theatre, the
history of literary forms, and detective fiction.

As Faculty Director of the Teaching + Learning Commons, Dr. Ruiter will
report to Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational Innovation, Carlos
Jensen, and will be a key partner in creating transformative pedagogical
advancements at UC San Diego to provide equitable, high quality and
accessible educational experiences for all students. Dr. Ruiter’s
knowledge and contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning
will guide faculty in their advancement of teaching excellence, inside
and outside the classroom in both traditional and digital settings.
Additionally, his experience supporting undergraduate and graduate
student academic success and professional development will prove
critical as the Commons refines and evolves its student support
offerings. In this role, Dr. Ruiter will work to serve as a catalyst for
collaborations among faculty, departments and academic leaders to refine
and assess student learning outcomes and to move educational innovation
opportunities from development to implementation.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Ruiter to UC San Diego and in partnering
with him to further the important work of the Teaching + Learning

I sincerely thank the members of the Search Advisory Committee, led by
Dr. Cheryl Anderson, for their thoughtful contributions and insights. I
also appreciate the wide-ranging input from members of the campus
community who participated in the search process.

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor