May 03, 2018

Housiaux named next leader of the Tang Institute

A current Tang Fellow focusing on mindfulness, Housiaux first joined Andover in 2007
by Tracy Sweet

Andy Housiaux, chair of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department and Tang Fellow, will be the next Currie Family Director of the Tang Institute at Phillips Academy.

Housiaux, who holds a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, first joined the PA faculty in 2007. In addition to his work as an instructor and department chair, he has authored a number of articles and case studies on pedagogy, assessment, and inclusion. Last summer, he served as a researcher and writer for the Mastery Transcript Consortium and was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in Existentialism.

“Andy is an exceptionally devoted teacher, an effective department chair, and an expert in many facets of education,” said Head of School John Palfrey. “His work as a Tang Fellow on mindfulness has helped to set a high standard for academically-rigorous and broadly-applied work coming out of the Institute. I am thrilled that Andy has accepted this important new challenge.”

Palfrey shared news of the Tang leadership transition with the campus community last week, expressing both excitement for Housiaux’s appointment and appreciation for the outstanding service of founding director Caroline Nolan.

I want Phillips Academy to explore inclusive and reflective approaches to learning that become central to our curriculum and influence broader educational conversations.

​Andy Housiaux

Nolan was appointed to the role in 2014 just months before the then-Andover Institute launched. She helped shape its foundation as an “ideas lab” and hub for innovative techniques in teaching and learning. She introduced a faculty fellows program and opportunities to engage students; she built a network of external partners and educators that will continue to influence the Institute’s effectiveness as a change-maker in secondary education.

During her tenure, the Institute supported more than 100 faculty and staff projects and programs, including the development of statistics and calculus materials for Khan Academy; efforts focused on metacognitive skills, a learning disposition, and mindfulness; the creation of hybrid and online courses; and a curriculum for mastery-based physics, among many other efforts. She also helped to reimagine experiential programs that span from Lawrence, Mass., to China and Bhutan. Andover’s Learning in the World Program, an outgrowth of the Academy’s 2014 Strategic Plan, provides every student the opportunity to study off campus—with faculty—and experience another culture.

“We are incredibly grateful for Caroline’s leadership and vision in bringing so many impactful ideas, programs, and speakers to our community,” said Palfrey, “and for providing the guidance and support that have enabled faculty, staff, and students to bring their ideas to fruition.” 

While remaining true to Tang’s charge as an ideas lab, Housiaux plans to build on Nolan’s efforts and stretch the Institute in new ways. “Student learning is the most important thing that happens at Phillips Academy,” he said. “I want Phillips Academy to explore inclusive and reflective approaches to learning that become central to our curriculum and influence broader educational conversations.”

His aspirations for Tang are guided by a set of questions: “How might we create ongoing and trusting communities of inquiry? How might we learn from each other and the wisdom of fellow educators, wherever they may be? What, in current educational thinking, will best support our diverse student body and enable us to more fully live up to the promises of non sibi and youth from every quarter?”

As Nolan and Housiaux work toward a smooth transition, Palfrey also noted the important work of all who are supporting the Institute’s next chapter of growth and development—including the Board of Trustees, the Tang Institute Advisory Committee, campus and external partners, Institute staff, and members of the Search Advisory Committee.

Categories: Academics, Leadership

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