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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New CEO Offers UMassOnline Fresh Perspective

There is a new captain at the helm of UMassOnline with a commendable education and colorful reputation to boot. Students and faculty from all the UMass campuses will have the opportunity to learn from a better online consortium, under the management of Dr. Ken Udas starting September 14th.

According to Marcellette G. Williams, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and International Relations at the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Udas was chosen to lead UMassOnline, , because he “has established a proven national and international record of leadership and achievement in continuing education as well as traditional degree-granting programs. He has the vision to take UMassOnline to the next level and shares with us a set of educational values as well as learning and teaching quality standards that have defined UMassOnline and driven its growth since its founding in 2001.”

After graduating in 1986 from UMass Dartmouth with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Dr. Udas earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration and Master of Science in Management Information Systems from Texas A&M University in 1995 and 1992, respectively. He also holds a Master of Business Administration in Management from Salem State College.

During the past three years, Dr. Udas worked for the Penn State University as the Executive Director of the prestigious Penn State World Campus – a distance education institution that has been educating tens of thousands of students every year since 1998.

The World Campus uses multiple cutting edge technologies to make some of Penn State’s most highly respected graduate, undergraduate, and continuing professional education programs available anytime, anywhere through the world wide web, computer interfacing, and other media. Dr. Udas’s background also includes a diverse set of executive management and teaching roles in Slovakia, Austria, Kazakhstan, Central Asia and New Zealand as well as the United States.

University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson, PhD, the founding CEO of UMassOnline, has also given his blessing to the incoming CEO and has publicly endorsed his credentials.

“The role of CEO of UMassOnline requires an individual whose knowledge and skills are strong in education, solid in technology, and visionary in management, development, and planning. In Dr. Udas we have clearly met this requirement. Dr. Udas has experienced, and understands, the all-important faculty and program development component which is key to UMassOnline’s future; the all-important technology component that has always distinguished our offering and, he has been a vocal champion of online learning and teaching throughout his career.”

When he accepted the position, Dr. Udas told reporters, “I maintain a strong commitment to distance education as a method of expanding educational opportunities and am dedicated to connecting the university and its online students with a community as well as extending opportunities for access through the appropriate use of technology.

“The educational commitments of the University of Massachusetts and UMassOnline, and its mission to support social and personal well being through public service, research and excellent educational programming, strikes at the very core of the engaged university. I am excited by the opportunity to provide leadership in an institute supporting a truly unique university mission, created on the principles of enhanced access to educational opportunities, meaningful community engagement, and global impact.”

One can safely conclude that the students and faculty, of the UMass Schools can expect a positive experience as they head into their classes – whether it’s in the physical classroom or the online classroom.

About the Contributor
Dillon Zhou served as opinions editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2010-2011