General Sessions

Entrepreneurship in Context - Beyond the Technical Aspects

Technically speaking, entrepreneurship is the process of building a business to make a profit, and much of what online, continuing, and professional higher education units do is just that.

There are a number of key components that go into being a successful higher education entrepreneur. The usual suspects include financial modeling, risk assessment and tolerance, market analysis, program development, and so on. However, success does not lie only in being good at the technical aspects of these processes. Rather, it is important to understand the broader context in which higher education operates—a context that fluctuates and changes due to national and global forces well outside of higher education. For instance, most online, continuing, and professional education leaders understand that the adult student market behaves counter-cyclically to the economy. When the economy is good, people go to work and don’t go to school; when the economy is bad, people go to school to improve their chances of getting or keeping their jobs. However, the business market fluctuates with the economy, so businesses invest in training and personnel development during good economic times and jettison training when the economy goes south. Understanding this and other consequences of social, political, and economic fluctuations on higher education helps online, continuing, and professional education leaders adjust their entrepreneurial strategies to capitalize on market needs and maximize ROI. In this session we will explore the process of successful higher education entrepreneurship within the large context in which we live and work.

  • David SchejbalDavid Schejbal, Dean, Continuing Education, Outreach & E-Learning
    University of Wisconsin - Extension

Throughout his career, David’s single focus has been on making higher education accessible, affordable and flexible for working adults.  As dean of UW-Extension Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning, David and his entrepreneurial team partner with all 26 campuses in the University of Wisconsin System to increase access to higher education. 

David’s vision for learning includes inventing ways to reach beyond traditional higher education to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student spectrum.  Because of this, University of Wisconsin-Extension has become a leading voice and driver of groundbreaking online programs such as University of Wisconsin Flexible Option, the first competency-based degree offered by a public university system; the University Learning Store, an alternative credentialing program that partners with other top universities; and innovative online degree and certificate programs offered in partnership with UW System campuses.

David received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Connecticut.  He serves on several boards and is a frequent keynote speaker and author of articles published in American Council on Education, Innovative Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.

Next Generation Mobility – Impacts & Opportunities Panel

A panel discussion will address issues of autonomous mobility and the integration of next generation mobility into society. The panel will address how autonomous vehicles will affect our lives, and the social and economic impacts involved. What are the benefits, opportunities, and unintended consequences of driverless cars? What are the implications for higher education? What is the timeframe for this new technological phenomenon and how can we plan for it?


  • Glenn Stevens, Executive Director, MichAuto, Vice President, Automotive and Mobility Initiatives,
    Detroit Regional Chamber

  • John Verboncouer, Associate Dean of Research, Michigan State University College of Engineering

  • Ray Schroeder, Founding Director, National Council for Online Education

  • Paul Lienert, Thomson Reuters Automotive Correspondent

  • Chadwick Taylor, Director, Sales and Business Development, Fujikura Automotive America, LLC

  • Denise Quinnette, Vice President, Sales, Product Management and Strategy-Automotive, TE Connectivity


The Evolving Regional Workforce – How the Workforce is Adapting to Gen Z and Young Millennials

Beginning with a snapshot of job trends both nationally and globally, this presentation will forecast evolving industries and sectors of growth as well as how these developments are fueling the demand for alternative credentials. Data sources will include nation-wide benchmarking and employer data as well as a special focus on regional workforce elements.

Jim Fong

  • Jim Fong, Founding Director
    UPCEA Center for Research and Strategy

Jim Fong is the founding director of UPCEA’s Center for Research and Consulting.  In his role, Mr. Fong has analyzed demographic, occupational, technological and societal trends and data to help the higher education community better serve the adult and corporate learner.  As the Center’s director, he works closely with dozens of colleges and universities annually in new program development initiatives, enrollment management and marketing process analyses and the review of online and continuing education portfolios.

Prior to joining UPCEA, Mr. Fong worked as a higher education strategic marketing and CRM consultant and researcher for two firms and prior to that was the Director of Marketing, Research and Planning for Penn State Outreach.  At Penn State Outreach, he was responsible for strategic marketing, marketing management, research, creative and database teams.  Mr. Fong played a major role in the early launch of Penn State’s World Campus by assessing new program needs and the development of marketing strategies and systems.

In his career, Mr. Fong has taught graduate and undergraduate marketing and research classes online and face-to-face for Drexel University, Penn State University, Duquesne University, University of Vermont and, most recently, for Framingham State University’s MBA program.   

Jim holds an M.B.A., an M.S. in Applied Statistics and a B.S. in Mathematics, all from The University of Vermont.  In 2004, UPCEA awarded him the Adelle Robertson Award as its Continuing Professional Educator for the year.  That year, he also received the Mid-Atlantic Region’s Distinguished Service Award.

He has contributed to the following published works, “The Evolution of Enrollment Marketing from Creative Tactics to Integrated Strategic Processes,” UPCEA Centennial Journal (2015); “Preparing Marketing for the Future: Strategic Marketing Challenges for Continuing Education,” New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education (2013); “Marketing Online Education Programs:  Frameworks for Promotion and Communication,” (IGI Global, Fong. J., 2011); “Improving the Relationship between Continuing Education Leadership and Marketing Directors,” (Continuing Higher Education Review, Fong, J., Vol. 73. 2009); “Marketing Distance Education: The Importance of Strategy and Context,” (The International Handbook of Distance Education, Fong, J. and Bailey, N., 2007); and “Making the Decision for Market Research:  Determining the Need and Competency,” (ACHE Journal, Fong, J. and Miller, H., 2006).

Innovating the Unknown: Is Higher Education Up to the Challenge of Educating the Future Workforce?

The Universe of Alternative Credentials, Business, industry, and changing demographics suggest the demand for traditional four year degrees will remain flat or decline, while alternative credentials will increase. Suppliers of alternative credentialing can come from a number of places, but will higher education keep pace? This presentation will showcase essential elements of the Alternative Credential landscape, including foundation support, advocacy for badging and micro-credentialing, institutional responses, and benchmarking data which defines the emerging trends in alternative credentials.  

After setting the alternative credential stage, a panel of workforce experts from a variety of small, medium and large businesses and industries will engage, discuss and provide feedback about their current hiring challenges/workforce, impressions of entry-level college graduates, workforce retention, and the importance of professional development for the current workforce.  

We hope to engage the audience to answer some probing questions:  What is their workforce vision?  How can higher education support that vision? How might alternative credentialing help them?

What we know is that for alternative credentialing to be most effective, employers need to be fully engaged with higher education to help define, implement, and evaluate this concept.

  • Bob HansenBob Hansen, CEO

Dr. Robert J. Hansen has served as Chief Executive Officer of UPCEA since September 2010.   He has led the century-old organization through dramatic changes since that time.  He established the Center for Research and Marketing Strategy in 2011 and then established a number of initiatives targeting the association’s unique role in online leadership and management under the umbrella of the Center for Online Leadership: the Summit for Online Leadership, the Online Leadership Roundtable for chief online learning officers, and the UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership, which were endorsed by several leading associations serving the C-suite and other organizations in the online space. 

Hansen also presided over sweeping changes to the volunteer leadership structure of UPCEA, consolidating a wide variety of bodies into Networks aligned with specific areas of practice in the field of professional, continuing and online education. Since 2011, UPCEA has grown by 125%. UPCEA, the only organization in the field located in Washington, D.C., has also established itself as an important advocate for policy issues related to non-traditional and online learners. 

Hansen previously served as Associate Provost for University Outreach at the University of Southern Maine, a regional public university located in Portland, Maine.  Prior to that position, he spent six years at Saint Xavier University of Chicago, first as Assistant to the President & Secretary of the Corporation, and then as founding Executive Director of Orland Park Campus & Off-Campus Programs.  Hansen also previously served as Assistant to the Governor for Education in the administration of former Illinois governor, Jim Edgar.

Hansen earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Notre Dame.


  • Wayne SmutzWayne Smutz, President, UPCEA and Dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension

Wayne Smutz is Dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension at the University of California Los Angeles, a position he has held since October 2013.

With over 38,000 students, offering more than 5,000 classes and programs per year, UCLA Extension serves the professional development, continuing education, and personal enrichment needs of alumni, professionals, and employees of businesses and organizations  in Los Angeles, California, the U.S. and internationally.  This self-supporting $95 million enterprise, receives no state or campus funding.

Dr. Smutz also is the Founding Dean of UCLA Global Online.  This campus initiative is focused on establishing UCLA’s presence as a global university with respect to its educational offerings.  It will include both campus based graduate-level programs and UCLA Extension certificates when it launches in Fall 2018.

Dr. Smutz is committed to collaborative partnership building between Extension and the UCLA academic community, as well as with Extension and the broader civic community, citizens, businesses, and governments. He embraces a learner-centric approach, with a focus on enhancing access to quality postsecondary educational programs, while providing the support services necessary to facilitate student success. He has a keen interest in using technology when appropriate within the educational context to address such pressing challenges as retention and success, responsiveness to student needs, student engagement, the costs of higher education, and the measurement of educational outcomes derived from both in-class and co-curricular learning experiences.

Dr. Smutz is President of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and has served on its board for several years. He previously served on the boards of the Online Learning Consortium (formerly the Sloan Consortium) and the American Distance Education Consortium. He was a faculty member for the Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, he received the Sloan Consortium's John Bourne Award for Individual Achievement in Online Learning while in the same year Penn State's World Campus was awarded the Sloan Consortium's award for Institution Wide Excellence in Online Learning. In addition, he has received national and regional UPCEA programming and engagement awards.

Dr. Smutz joined UCLA after serving for more than 30 years in Penn State's Outreach and Engagement organization. His most recent role at Penn State was Executive Director of the Penn State World Campus and Associate Vice President for Academic Outreach. In this position, he oversaw all undergraduate and graduate credit programs (90+ degrees and certificates) offered through Penn State Outreach-whether through World Campus online delivery, face-to-face Continuing Education offerings, via the Video Learning Network, or in blended modes. The units under Dr. Smutz served nearly 30,000 students (primarily adult learners) in all 50 states and more than 70 countries. He was the principal investigator on projects that were funded with over $4.5 million in external grants by such organizations as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, US AID, the Bernard Osher Foundation, and various professional associations.

A native Californian, he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a BA in History from the University of California at Berkeley, and the recipient of an MA in political science, along with a PhD in higher education, both from Penn State.


Burkhardt_JohnThe Business Case for Diversity

  • John C. Burkhardt, Director
    National Center for Institutional Diversity

John C. Burkhardt serves as Director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity and is a professor of clinical practice in Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. John provides leadership as NCID seeks to strengthen research and leadership around diversity, inclusion and equity in education and society, and to promote its effective use in addressing contemporary issues.

John is the former director of the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, which he led from 2000 to 2013. Previous to establishing the National Forum, Dr. Burkhardt was program director for leadership and higher education at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he led several major initiatives focused on transformation and change in higher education and participated in a comprehensive effort to encourage leadership development among college students. Dr. Burkhardt’s research focuses on leadership and transformation, organizational culture, and the role of philanthropy in U.S. society.

He has also authored several books and articles on leadership and on higher education.

picEnhancing Engagement with Gameful Learning

How do we get learners to be deeply engaged with subject matter? To explore and take risks? And most importantly, to be resilient in the face of challenges? This talk introduces gameful learning, an approach that borrows from the design of successful games to create learning environments that promote a sense of autonomy, competence, and belonging among students. Gameful approaches work for all learners, in any content area. Gameful learning can be applied to individual courses, or entire programs of study. The approach helps high achievers focus on learning instead of grades, and struggling students chart their own path to success.

  • Barry Fishman, Director
    Undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Information

Barry Fishman is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Learning Technologies in the University of Michigan School of Information and School of Education. His research focuses on: video games as models for learning environments, teacher learning and the role of technology in supporting teacher learning, and the development of usable, scalable, and sustainable learning innovations through design-based implementation research ( He is the co-creator of GradeCraft, a game-inspired learning management system (

Dr. Fishman currently serves as the Steward for Teaching and Learning on the Information Technology Council at the University of Michigan. He was co-author of the Obama Administration’s 2010 U.S. National Educational Technology Plan, and served as Associate Editor of The Journal of the Learning Sciences from 2005-2012.

In 2017, Dr. Fishman was named the Michigan Association of State Universities “Distinguished Professor of the Year.” He received the 2016 “Campus Technology Innovator of the Year Award” for work with GradeCraft, was the 2010 recipient of the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize, the 2003 Pattishall Junior Faculty Research Award, and was the 2001 recipient of the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies from the American Educational Research Association.

He received his A.B. from Brown University in English and American Literature in 1989, his M.S. from Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology in 1992, and his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University in 1996. Current Dynamics Affecting Talent Generation in the U.S. Midwest: A Discussion on Maximizing the Mission of Institutional Extended Learning Programs

  • Dr. Daniel J. Hurley, CEO
    Michigan Association of State Universities

Daniel Hurley began serving as CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) in July 2015 (formerly known as the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan). MASU serves as the coordinating board for Michigan’s 15 public universities, providing advocacy and fostering policy to maximize the collective value these institutions provide in serving the public interest and the state of Michigan. Hurley is returning to the Association where he served from 2003-2007 as its director of university relations. From 2007-2015, he served as the associate vice president for government relations and state policy for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), based in Washington, D.C. 

On behalf of the state universities of Michigan, Hurley coordinates a variety of policy, programmatic and advocacy efforts. He serves as a consultative resource to colleges and universities, legislators and other state officials, higher education and policy organizations, and state and national media, providing insight on a variety of higher education issues at the federal, state, and institutional level. He is involved with several organizations, including the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (co-chair of federal relations committee), American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Midwest Higher Education Compact, Education Alliance of Michigan and the Michigan Nonprofit Association. 

Hurley has received a Ph.D. in public administration from Western Michigan University, a master’s degree in career and technical education from Ferris State University, a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Grand Valley State University, and an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Grand Rapids Community College. He has served as an adjunct professor for graduate- and undergraduate level programs at three of his alma maters, as well as George Mason University (VA) and George Washington University (D.C.), teaching in the fields of communications, educational leadership, higher education finance and public policy.

He is married to Jana Hurley, a career-long student- and business affairs administrator at public universities in Michigan and Virginia. They have a son, Jameson, age 11.


  • Robert Murphy, Director of University Relations and Policy 
    Michigan Association of State Universities

Bob Murphy joined the Michigan Association of State Universities in July 2015 as its Director of University Relations and Policy. In this role, he manages a broad portfolio of programs and initiatives, convenes stakeholder groups, and promotes effective policy for the state’s public universities. He partners with state officials and a multitude of other organizations on higher education public policy, especially data and finance issues, and also provides strategic communications services to the member universities and other stakeholders. 

Murphy was previously with the State Budget Office of Michigan from 2008 – 2015, having served most recently as the senior analyst for higher education, providing coordination and policy development for the state’s community colleges and public universities. He provided consultation to the governor and state budget director on higher education issues as well as proffered prospective policy solutions, and testified before the Michigan Legislature on behalf of the administration.

He has earned a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Michigan State University. He lives in Old Town, Lansing with his partner, Nicole.


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