After a distinguished faculty career at North Carolina State University, Simpson returned to the University of Georgia as the first director of the Office of Instructional Support and Development before joining the IHE faculty. At the Institute, Simpson served as Graduate Coordinator and then as Director, helping to establish the Governor's Teaching Fellows program.
Simpson is co-author of a leading textbook titled Science, Students, and Schools (John Wiley & Sons) and Inside College: Undergraduate Education for the Future (Plenum Press). He also served for 13 years as editor of Innovative Higher Education. In 2001, he received the Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award.