Program from the 2016 Summit for Online Leadership


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Monday June 27, 2016

11:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.    Registration Opens

1:15 - 1:45 p.m.    UPCEA Policy Committee Meeting

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.    Opening General Session: Access, Affordability, and the Completion Agenda

Zakiya Smith is currently a Strategy Director at the Lumina Foundation, the nation's largest foundation dedicated solely to higher education. At Lumina, she leads the work of the foundation to develop new models of student financial support for higher education, focusing on issues of affordability. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Smith served as a Senior Advisor for Education at the White House Domestic Policy Council, where she was tasked with developing President Obama's higher education policy. Smith also served in the Obama administration at the U. S. Department of Education, where she developed programmatic, policy and budget solutions to respond to pressing challenges in college access, affordability, and completion.

Zakiya Smith, Lumina Foundation

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.    Concurrent Session I

Financial Outlook Part 1: The State of Higher Education Today
Universities across the country are competing for students by keeping costs low and improving outcomes.  In addition to net tuition revenue, other revenue sources, including research funding and state appropriations for public universities, are tight.  At this session, Edie Behr, Vice President and Senior Credit Officer with Moody’s Higher Education and Not-for-Profit Team, will delve into the reasons behind Moody’s stable outlook for the higher education sector.

  • Edith (Edie) Behr, Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
  • Moderator: Kelly Otter, Georgetown University


Applied Experiential Learning: Models, Outcomes, and Lessons Learned in Online and Hybrid Professional Degree Programs
Online education has greatly expanded access to higher education. However, these modalities generally offer very little face to face interaction between students, faculty, and practitioners. This session will share two models used at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and will address pedagogical and operational considerations when integrating experiential learning.

  • Marissa  Lombardi, Northeastern University
  • James Passanisi, Northeastern University
  • Mary Thompson-Jones, Northeastern University
  • Moderator: Becky Lodewyck, University of Phoenix


Making Online Student Retention a Priority
University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is creating an institutional approach to organizing, implementing and evaluating student support services and interventions to improve outcomes through use of analytics and tactical interventions. Learn how UMUC is developing a framework for identifying at risk students, coordinating intervention efforts, and systematically evaluating initiatives.

  • Beth Mulherrin, University of Maryland University College
  • Thomas Porch, University of Maryland University College
  • Moderator: Sheila Thomas, California State University System


Promising Models for Competency-Based Education
The multi-institutional, national Distance Education and Technological Advancement (DETA) Research Center promotes student access and success through evidence-based online learning practices and technologies, specifically by funding research-based proposals designed to advance the fields of traditional and competency-based distance education. Practices and promising models stemming from this research and the UW Flexible Option degree program will be shared in this session.

  • Judee Richardson, University of Wisconsin-Extension
  • Moderator: Julie Uranis, Western Kentucky University

5:00 p.m.   Reception sponsored by Blackboard Student Lifecycle Services

Tuesday June 28, 2016

7:30 - 8:15 a.m.  Center for Online Leadership Advisory Council Meeting

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.   Breakfast sponsored by Noodle Partners

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.    General Session: Federal Update: Setting the Stage for Online Higher Education Leaders

The stakes could not be higher in this presidential election year, the outcome of which influence the most significant updates in federal higher education legislation: the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Attendees will gain information about how online learning and contemporary learners fit into the conversation, how this election will change the higher education landscape, and how best to get involved in a meaningful way.

Chris Murray, Thompson Coburn LLP
Vince Sampson, Cooley LLP

9:45 - 10:45 a.m.     Concurrent Session II

UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence: Application to a Statewide System

Panelists will lead discussions focused on application of the UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership from the perspectives of research-intensive land grant institution, a research-intensive urban university, and regional comprehensive university. Session participants will engage in discussions about how the Hallmarks may be applied and utilized to support strategic leadership for their respective institutions.

  • Ray Schroeder, University of Illinois, Springfield and UPCEA
  • Adam Fein, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Gayla Stoner, University of Illnois, Chicago
  • Moderator: Vickie Cook, University of Illinois, Springfield


Building Collaborative e-learning Programs for University Systems and Community College Districts
How do you start an e-learning collaborative program across multiple campuses or institutions that offers equity and access for the multiple constituents involved? What structures need to be in place for success? This talk will focus on strategies and models to consider when forming an e-Learning collaboration.

  • René Sainz, Inter American University of Puerto Rico
  • Jeff Rabey, Blackboard
  • Moderator: Karan Powell, American Public University System


Effective Onboarding Strategies for Online Students
In this panel discussion you’ll hear from a wide range of institutions from across the country about how they’re engaging incoming online students and connecting them to support resources. They’ll share what’s working at their respective institutions, innovative strategies to leverage multichannel communication and how they’re measuring success. They’ll also share counterintuitive insights from their experience and highlight some of the issues unique to different types of students and academic programs. Additionally, InsideTrack will share data and insights from student onboarding experiments done in conjunction with ASU Online, including results from A/B testing.

  • Rovy Branon – Vice Provost for Educational Outreach, University of Washington
  • Andy Casiello – Associate Vice President for Distance Learning, Old Dominion University
  • Rich Novak – Vice President for Continuing Studies and Distance Education, Rutgers University
  • Carol Stuckey – Executive Director, Strategic Growth Initiatives, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education
  • Brooke McDermid – Operations Client Manager, InsideTrack
  • Moderator: Dave Jarrat, Vice President of Marketing, InsideTrack


What Leaders Need to Know about Instructional Design
Have you ever wondered what goes into creating an online course development team? Or wondered what an instructional designer does? In this interactive session, panelists from three distinct institutional structures will discuss what administrators need to know about the role of an instructional designer, evolving personnel and team models, and nuances and trends in online education.

  • Ryan Anderson, University of Wisconsin-Extension
  • Melody Buckner, University of Arizona
  • Moderator: Camille Funk, George Washington University and UPCEA’s eDesign Collaborative  

10:45 - 11:15 a.m.      Coffee with Exhibitors

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.    Concurrent Session III

Strategies for Creating an Adaptive Courseware Piloting Process

Presenters will share insights about current adaptive courseware efforts including a focus on developing a process for creating new, scalable adaptive courseware practices, how to create a comprehensive evaluation plan from the onset, and the use of theory to inform practices such as how to allow research to help guide the piloting strategy.

  • Cristi Ford, University of Maryland University College
  • Moderator: Andy Casiello, Old Dominion University


How to Design and Build a Test Drive and Online Orientation for Current and Prospective Graduate Students
The Instructional Resource Center (IRC) is responsible for the development of Advanced Academic Programs part-time graduate and certificate programs. Since students’ may be taking an online course for the first time, the IRC developed a Student Online Orientation and the AAP Test Drive Course to help students acclimate to the online environment and aid in students’ success.

  • Pamela Wimbush, Johns Hopkins University 
  • Moderator: Kathleen Burke, Johns Hopkins University 


Trends in Alternative Credentialing: Benchmarks, Badges, and Noncredit Programming
Micro-credentials, nano-credentials, badges...staying current on emerging trends in education is a challenge. It is also the life-force of the work that we do to prepare students for an ever-shifting professional landscape. In this engaging session, learn about the driving factors behind the emergence of alternative credentials and hear insights about what’s next.

  • Kyle Peck, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Pete Janzow, Pearson
  • Moderator: Jim Fong, UPCEA


Change We Must: The Future of Online Learning
Based on a newly published series of essays by well-respected and innovative educators, this session will spotlight their solutions to the myriad fiscal, administrative, pedagogical, technical, and political problems facing higher education today. As the book’s editors say of their fellow contributors, “Their solutions mean changing hearts and minds as well as budget processes and governance, managing change and technology as well as teaching and learning.” Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the book onsite.

  • James Hilton, University of Michigan
  • George Otte, City University of New York
  • Ray Schroeder, University of Illinois, Springfield and UPCEA
  • Moderator: Vickie Cook, University of Illinois, Springfield

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.  Lunch and General Session: Disruption Analogies: What Can Higher Education Learn from the Health Care Industry?

Darrell G. Kirch, MD, is president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). A distinguished physician, educator, and medical scientist, Dr. Kirch speaks and publishes widely on the need for transformation in the nation’s health care system and how academic medicine can lead that change across medical education, medical research, and patient care. His career spans all aspects of academic medicine and includes leadership positions at two medical schools and academic health systems, as well as at the National Institutes of Health.

Darrell Kirch, Association of American Medical Colleges

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Concurrent Session IV

New Design Opportunities and Technologies

Tremendous online course design and execution opportunities are attainable through a judicious application of appropriate technological tools. This session reviews several examples
of approaches that facilitate the accomplishment of what students and faculty consistently regard as key attributes of great online courses: comprehensive content, the application of thorough principles of learning, high quality teaching and aligned assessment. The impact of the demonstrated techniques is further enhanced through the effective collaboration between instructional designers and subject matter experts.

  • Nada Savicevic, Ryerson University
  • Stephane Muller, University of California, Irvine
  • Moderator: Will Webb, Northeastern University


Open Standards Enabling Innovation and Growth: Collaborating for Next-Generation Education Models
This panel of leading innovators will describe the challenges and barriers they have faced with their technology systems as they implemented new models, their short-term strategies, as well as long-term plans to “raise all boats” by working with the supplier software market through IMS Global collaboration to enable next-generation education models to thrive in their institutions.

  • MJ Bishop, University System of Maryland
  • Jeffrey Grann, Capella University
  • Lee Johnston, Brandman University
  • Moderator: Mark Leuba, IMS Global Learning Consortium

Access, Innovation, and General Education
As federal and state legislation focus on creating greater access to post-secondary degrees for all students – and as more jobs in the 21st century require a post-secondary degree – innovations in pathways to degree attainment are top of mind. Panelists will explore the role of general education requirements for four-year degrees with regard to affordability, access, and successful post-graduation employment.

  • Burck Smith, Straighterline
  • Jason Palmer, Gates Foundation
  • Amy Laitinen, New America
  • Moderator: Deborah Seymour, American Council on Education


Competencies and Hallmarks: International and Institutional Quality Measures
Institutional leaders in international education and in online learning now play a far more critical role in the strategies and success of their universities. These evolving professions will benefit from concrete, aspirational standards to help their schools broaden their audience and pursue new modalities for learning. Two new quality measures, the NAFSA International Education Professional Competencies and the UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership, will serve as indispensable tools for individuals and their institutions. This panel will explore the common elements and intersection of these guidelines, and discuss future opportunities for international online education and the role of collaboration in global higher education. 

  • Sheila Schulte, NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Soma Chakrabarti, University of Delaware and Chair, UPCEA International Network
  • Moderator: Jay Halfond, Boston University and Editor, UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership

3:15 - 4:15 p.m.    General Session: Social Media and Its Influence on a Student’s University Decision

A Pew survey released last year found that in 2014, 74% of online adults use social networking sites. The question is no longer if universities should use these platforms, it's how and how often. Working closely with social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook has given Pearson an insider’s look in how universities can use social media to their benefit. This session will share how universities can establish a strong social media presence to reach students (prospective, current, and alumni) and simultaneously monitor reputation in an era where social media has become the go-to place for discussion.

Rob Humphrey, Education Vertical, LinkedIn
Meagan Rochelle, Client Partner of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
Christa Watson, Director of Paid Search, Social & Conversion, Pearson

4:15 - 4:30 p.m.     Coffee with Exhibitors

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.   General Session: Presidential Panel

Through moderated dialogue, President Miyares and Chancellor Sandeen will discuss issues and opportunities facing the future of higher education, spotlighting the dynamic role of online learning with regard to increasing student success, providing greater access, and innovating sound financial models.

Javier Miyares, President, University of Maryland University College
Cathy Sandeen, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin Colleges & University of Wisconsin-Extension
Moderator: Doug Lederman, Editor and Founder, Inside Higher Ed


6:00 p.m.      Dinner Groups (depart from hotel lobby)

Wednesday June 29, 2016

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.  Breakfast

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.   Concurrent Session V

Sharing the Vision in a Time of Transition: Information Technology (IT) and Academics 
Higher education is in significant transition propelled by rising costs and evolving priorities, while seeking enhanced relevancy, quality, and efficiency.  In this context, the presenters will discuss how IT and AA (academic affairs) can come together in a shared vision of how to best serve the needs of the students and empower faculty members in meeting the mission of higher education.  Those attending will be engaged in the discussion of effective strategies and practices.​

  • Bruce Maas, Univeristy of Wisconsin, Madison; Chair of the Board, EDUCAUSE
  • Ray Schroeder, University of Illinois, Springfield and UPCEA

Moderator: Cynthia DeLuca, University of South Florida
Connected Credentials and Competencies: The Changing Needs of a Knowledge Economy
This presentation will explore new research designed to address the gap between how students communicate their competencies and how employers assess the capabilities of potential employees. The results provide a practical framework for change management dialogue and action at academic institutions, preparing the field for effective implementation of technologies for competency-based education (CBE), extended transcripts, and digital portable credentials.

  • Deborah Everhart, Georgetown University
  • Evelyn Ganzglass, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
  • Moderator: Carol Vallone, Meteor Learning


Financial Outlook Part 2: Policymakers
Through both case study and the use of national trends, this session will examine the rapidly changing landscape of state higher education policy and its impact on universities. Panelists will address the role of online learning with regard to state funding crises and/or mandates for innovation and change, including out-of-state student initiatives, over-crowding and pipeline issues, AASCU’s Innovations Exchange, and best practices stemming from successful state initiatives and lessons learned.

  • Thomas Harnisch, AASCU
  • Michael Maul, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • George Pernsteiner, SHEEO
  • Moderator: Ali Eskandarian, George Washington University
  • Discussant: Vickie Cook, University of Illinois, Springfield


Innovations in Online Learning: Institutional Sponsor Roundtables
Institutional Sponsor Roundtables are table-based, small group, guided discussions about specific institutional innovations in online learning, presented by representatives from each of the Institutional Sponsors of the 2016 Summit for Online Leadership, during one concurrent session. This session will host synchronous, hour-long conversations:

  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Old Dominion University
  • The George Washington University
  • University of Maryland University College
  • University of Virginia
  • Moderator: Kimberly Zaski, UPCEA

9:45 - 10:15 a.m.   Coffee with Exhibitors

10:15 - 11:15 a.m    Concurrent Session VI

Design Thinking: Four Key and Critical Steps to Innovation
In today’s 24/7, cloud-based, everything-mobile world, the differentiator is no longer technology or content. Innovation is being achieved on a human scale now. Leading this is “design thinking.” This session will spotlight best practices, lessons learned, and shared stories to help you better align your people, process, culture, and technology.

  • Damien Bracken, Berklee College of Music
  • Balvinder Kumar, California State University, East Bay
  • Moderator: Chokdee Rutirasiri, Story+Structure


U.S. News Best Online Programs Rankings: Review and Discussion of an Evolving System
In this session, learn about the factors which contribute to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Programs, the annual modifications to the report’s methodology, and potential future developments. Attendees can expect to have a better understanding of what factors contribute to their rankings, better knowledge of how to prepare for upcoming data collection, and the opportunity to provide feedback directly to U.S. News.

  • Eric Brooks, U.S. News & World Report
  • Moderator: Bob Hansen, UPCEA


Creating a Quality Alternative Credit Ecosystem for Higher Education
Find out how ACE created a transparent, flexible pathway for non-traditional students through an alternative credit ecosystem (, which offers low- or no-cost, online, general education courses which its partner colleges guarantee to accept for direct transfer credit. ACE is also undertaking a first-of-its-kind study to follow the full lifecycle of alternative credits—registration, completion, transfer, persistence, and success—over a three-year period.

  • Steven  Taylor, American Council on Education
  • Patricia Steele, Higher Ed Insight
  • Moderator: Sarah MacDonald, James Madison University

The Leadership Lens
This session will engage in a moderated dialog with three senior leaders exploring the strategies, tips, and techniques which can be used to keep a "leadership lens" that maintains pace with today's rapidly emerging and changing educational landscape. Among other topics, panelists will explore how they balance user expectations, faculty perspectives, and administrative accommodations while keeping at bay such threats as security breaches, privacy concerns, and policy dictates.

  • Chris Bustamante, Rio Salado College
  • Renata Engel, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Dick Senese, Capella University
  • Moderator: Lawrence Ragan, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Discussant: George DiGiacomo, University of Virginia

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m   Closing General Session: The Role of STEM and Engineering Teams in Leading Online Initiatives

As STEM fields continue to change and evolve rapidly, keeping one’s career up to date with the latest knowledge is a challenge. Online programs are providing both access and affordability while paving the way with new technologies that benefit all online disciplines. The panel will engage both the experts and the audience with what technologies and pedagogies may be around the corner as online learning pivots to meet the needs of the learner.

Kathy Pugh, edX
Paul Marca, Executive Director, Center for Professional Development, Stanford University
Ricardo Gutierrez Mercado, Institutional Effectiveness Director, Technológico Monterrey
Nelson Baker, Dean, Professional Education, Georgia Technological Institute

12:30 p.m.   Adjourn

1:30 - 5:00 p.m.    Post-Conference: Institutional Use of the Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership (separate fee/registration)