Center for Online Leadership

We live and work in perhaps the most import­ant period of change since Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act creating land grant universities 150 years ago. Innovation in the delivery of learning online is thriving at the same time as costs of tuition and fees have prompted prospective students as well as policymakers to question their return on the investment. This confluence of forces has thrust us—the leaders of online learning—into the forefront of debates about the future of our institutions, and of higher education itself.

UPCEA created the Center for Online Leadership (COL) to provide leadership during this moment of profound transformation.  As the founding director of the Center, I am dedicated to helping member institutions leverage online education as a critical strategic asset, and to serving as a trusted resource for professional administrators charged with building and sustaining successful programs.
The mission of the Center is unique. While professional development opportunities and other resources for faculty and course designers are plentiful, there has been little attention given to managing the complicated enterprise of online education. The Center for Online Leadership is focused on the factors that are crucial to successful online initiatives: leadership, strategy, financial models, marketing and program development, student services, and effective partnerships.
The Center most directly serves vice provosts and directors of distance/online education, deans of professional and continuing education with significant responsibilities for leading online initiatives, and the professional staff of online units.  The following Center services are included in UPCEA membership:  

  • Free attendance at the Online Leadership Roundtable, designed for senior administrators charged with managing online learning (free for one member of each institution)
  • Second Opinion, a free service open to all members, where I provide rapid responses for members seeking advice.
  • Monday Briefing, a biweekly insider's guide to cutting edge or breaking news in the field of online education designed to position members as thought leaders on their campuses.
  • Onsite Consulting (fee-based services include review and recommendations on online infrastructure, strategy, programs, and services; and highly customized workshops).
The Center for Online Leadership is also engaged in the development of the Summit for Online Leadership. UPCEA co-hosted the inaugural Summit with the American Council on Education (ACE) in San Diego in January 2014. This landmark event convened some 365 presidents, provosts, deans and directors to examine the rapidly evolving strategic landscape of online learning, and event attendance was even higher in 2015. In 2016, the conference was held June 27-29 in Washington, D.C., and will be held June 14-16 in San Diego in 2017. 

Join us for these exciting activities.  Feel free to explore the services we can provide to you, your administration, your faculty and staff. 

Ray Schroeder 
UPCEA Center for Online Leadership

Please contact me if you have any questions:

“Ray has been a valued colleague, trusted mentor and in-dispensable resource for those committed to quality online education. There are a select few individuals who could bring the vision of the Center for Online Leadership to fruition. UPCEA is very wise to have chosen Ray Schroeder as the founding director.”

- Mary Niemiec, Associate Vice President for Distance Education, Director, University of Nebraska Online Worldwide




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