Update: UA's Online Presence

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Update: UA's Online Presence

To: UA Campus Community


Vincent J. Del Casino Jr.

Vice Provost, Digital Learning and Student Engagement

Associate Vice President, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Subject: Update: UA's Online Presence

Date: September 12, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to let you know about the development of our online presence at the University of Arizona. In July, I began my new position as Vice Provost for Digital Learning and Student Engagement. In my role, I am charged with leading efforts to develop fully online programming for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the UA. This is an exciting initiative, as we seek to expand our reach to new students and provide access to those who have not traditionally thought of the UA as a place for their learning.

Toward that effort, I have appointed Melody Buckner, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives and Online Education. Melody is both a national and campus leader in the development of online programming. Melody has begun the process of building a team of instructional designers, videographers, online quality assurance coordinators, and graphic designers, who can help faculty and staff implement our vision for expanded online content. In collaboration with the UA Library and with the support of Dean Karen Williams, Melody has set up shop on the 5th Floor of the Library.

The effort to build a larger online presence is also not possible without collaboration across the institution. In an effort to expand our capacity, I have appointed Abra McAndrew, Director of Academic Initiatives and Project Development, to help facilitate our growth in the arena of online programming and in 100% engagement. Melissa Vito, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Senior Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and Student Success has also asked Pam Perry, Associate Dean, Eller College of Management Undergraduate Programs, to consult on our build out of our student support services for fully online students, with a focus on developing a distinctive experience for our students.

Over the course of the next month, we will be building out of web presence and closely coordinating our faculty support efforts with the Office of Instruction and Assessment, which remains a hub for faculty and graduate student professional development in not only online education but face-to-face learning as well. We will also be putting out a formal call for participation in the build out of our lower division fully online campus experience.

For those deans and associate deans as well as heads and directors who are ready to move your programming fully online, particularly your undergraduate programming, I encourage you to reach out to me directly (vdelcasino@email.arizona.edu) so that we can begin the conversation about what it would take to get your program available to transfer students as soon as possible. We will soon have formal proposal guidelines that help departments and schools flesh out their business and academic plans for deploying fully online programming. In the meantime, starting a conversation about the goals of our online offerings is incredibly valuable.

I look forward to a fantastic and incredibly successful year.

All the best,


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