Intentional Teaching

Professional, Continuing, and Online Education with Robert Hansen and Julie Uranis

June 06, 2023 Derek Bruff Episode 14
Intentional Teaching
Professional, Continuing, and Online Education with Robert Hansen and Julie Uranis
Show Notes Transcript

Correspondence courses. Night classes. Extension schools. Distance education. Continuing education. Professional education. There’s always been a lot happening in higher education for working adults outside the traditional residential undergraduate experience. And for the last couple of decades, those areas of higher education have increasingly moved online. Three years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly accelerated the growth of online education, both for working adults and for traditionally aged college students.

To get a better handle on the changes in online education caused by the pandemic, I reached out to a couple folks who know online education well. Robert Hansen is the chief executive officer of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, better known as UPCEA, and Julie Uranis is the senior vice president for online and strategic initiatives at UPCEA. UPCEA is a professional association for higher education faculty and staff who are involved in professional, continuing, and online education, and Bob and Julie been busy the last few years helping their members adapt to higher education’s new landscape.

During our conversation, we talk about UPCEA's mission and how its work has changed over time, the state of online education as we leave the COVID-19 pandemic, the changing role of online program managers (OPMs) in higher ed, and UPCEA's summer conference, which is actually two conferences combined.

Episode Resources:

·       UPCEA, 

·       Distance Teaching & Learning (DT&L) and Summit for Online Leadership and Administration + Roundtable (SOLA+R), 

·       “Guidance on outsourcing spurs anxiety about ‘collateral damage,’” in which Inside Higher Ed covers the Dear Colleague Letter about online program managers (OPMs), 

Podcast Links:

Intentional Teaching is sponsored by UPCEA, the online and professional education association.

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Find me on LinkedIn, Bluesky, and Mastodon, among other places.

See my website for my "Agile Learning" blog and information about having me speak at your campus or conference.

Derek Bruff 0:12
Welcome to Intentional Teaching, a podcast aimed at educators to help them develop foundational teaching skills and explore new ideas and teaching. I'm your host, Derek Bruff. I hope this podcast helps you be more intentional in how you teach and how you develop as a teacher over time. 

Correspondence courses, night classes, extension schools, distance education, continuing education, professional education. There's always been a lot happening in higher education for working adults outside the traditional residential undergraduate experience. And for the last couple of decades, those areas of higher education have increasingly moved online. Three years ago, the COVID 19 pandemic greatly accelerated the growth of online education for both working adults and for traditionally aged college students. 

To get a better handle on the changes in online education caused by the pandemic. I reached out to a couple of folks who know online education well. Robert Hansen is the chief executive officer of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, better known as UPCEA. And Julie Uranis is the senior vice president for online and strategic initiatives at UPCEA. UPCEA is a professional association for higher education, faculty and staff who are involved in professional continuing and online education. And Bob and Julie have been busy the last few years helping their members adapt to hire education's new landscape. 

Full disclosure UPCEA is providing me with a virtual pass to their summer conference. You'll hear about that conference during my conversation with Bob and Julie. The conference sounds really interesting. We'll also talk about UPCEA's mission and how its work has changed over time. The state of online education as we leave the COVID 19 pandemic and the changing role of online program managers. OPM's in higher education. 

Thank you, Bob and Julie, for being on the podcast. I'm excited to talk with you today. Thanks for coming on. 

Robert Hansen 2:12
You're welcome. Thanks for inviting us. 

Julie Uranis 2:15
Thank you. 

Derek Bruff 2:16
And before we talk about UPCEA and what it means and what it does, let me ask a question. I like to ask my guest to get to know you a little bit better. Can each of you tell us about a time when you realized you wanted to be an educator? 

Robert Hansen 2:32
Well, I think it started Derek. I was literally just thinking about this over the weekend. And I was because I was talking to one of my own kids about, you know, how do you know you want to go into education or not? And it's funny because I would have been the perfect candidate to go into education because I just was a culture vulture. I just I loved reading widely. I saw myself doing that for the rest of my life. And I wanted to spend the rest of my life in higher education and in living on campuses. And yet, bizarrely, it never dawned on me to be a faculty member. So I tried two MBA programs the same one actually two different times. Quit after the first day of a macroeconomics course that was way over my head. And I'm good at math. And the other thing I tried was clinical psychology, and I quit that in the second week. I demonstrated the maxim fail early and fail often or fail fail early, at least that that some entrepreneurs have made axiomatic. And and finally, I didn't know what to do. 

And my sister visited me at that campus and she said, Why don't you teach English as well? What do you love? And I said, I love literature. Why don't you teach? And it hit me like lightning. And it shouldn't have hit me like lightning. I was 25 years old at that point. It had never dawned on me to be in education, to be an educator. So that reveals two things. One, I'm not very bright because it never occurred to me, but it also occurred to me that that maybe it's a failure in the system that nobody said, Hey, you ought to look into going into education, because it took my sister to tell me that at 25 years old. And so that was really the story that that that I wanted to tell and really I wanted to be in it ever since there were no jobs and in literature, as many people know. So I worked and went to work for governor. I was an assistant to the governor for policy, education and in education. And I realized after he decided he wasn't going to run for governor again, that I loved higher ed, but I loved the administration more so I decided to go back into higher ed this time as administrator. And my career really took off from that point. 

Derek Bruff 5:04
That's great. Julie, how about you?

Julie Uranis 5:05
Similar to Bob, I I have also tangled with macroeconomics and the result was a history degree in my undergrad and early ed. You know, as I would share with folks that, you know, my bachelor's was in history. They said, Oh, are you going to teach? Oh, no. Oh, no. I would I would be a horrible educator. And so through a series of stops and starts and different directions and things, I wound up working in an interesting environment. I was a coordinator for a learning center within an automotive plant at the time. The institution an institution had a partnership with one of I'm a native of of the Detroit area. So there there are always auto plants to talk about. But I was part I became part of that initiative. And then slowly I you know, I picked my head up every once in a while and say, huh, okay, well, sure, I'll take on this new opportunity or yes, I'll go in this new direction. And ended up that I found my place in continuing ed and professional and continuing Ed and really thought, wow, you know, this has the potential to change lives. It's the impact, it's the access piece. I really kind of like this and it just kind of grew from there. And now looking back on it, I don't really know if I could have ever charted a career path that I've had. Right. You know, but I've enjoyed every stop along the way and love what we do at UPCEA and as well as watching our members and so many of my friends and colleagues do some really great things. 

Derek Bruff 6:53
Yeah. Yeah. Well, let's talk more about UPCEA. 

Apparently it's over 100 years old, which which is very impressive. Can you tell us what does UPCEA stand for and what is its origin story? Where did this organization come from? 

Robert Hansen 7:10
I love to tell you that. Let's see if I can actually pronounce the full name. It's university Professional and Continuing Education Association. So if you're counting at home, that's five words of 4 to 5 syllables each. And we're in the process right now of a rebranding. I think you're going to see the full name go away. We'll just be known as UPCEA in the same way that APLU and [???] and have their names. 

Derek Bruff 7:42
And MTV. You're in good company. 

Robert Hansen 7:43
There you go. So, yeah, we've been around for a long time. We had the I had the opportunity shortly after joining UPCEA to prepare for our for our our centennial. And it was fascinating. And because I researched the origin of the association that began before World War One, obviously and it was a folks folks who were engaged in university extension at the time, and they were really behind the idea, which was called the Wisconsin Idea. It started at Wisconsin, but it was shared with other folks who were in leading mostly public universities. But University of Chicago was involved, maybe Stanford, I believe. And it was it was based. The basic premise, the Wisconsin idea is that the benefits to the university should extend beyond the walls of the campus, to the borders of the state and beyond. And that's what was the origin of UPCEA. We have followed that access to higher education mission and mantra ever since then.

But the the the ways in which we do expand access have evolved over time. I mean, at first it was it was correspondence education. It was night school in urban areas. It became weekend college that folks had to have, particularly in the urban areas. And then, of course, the rise of distance education and ultimately online learning. And that's really been the focus since I've gotten here, because I arrived in 2010 and I had built an online program at my last institution and and when I arrived at UPCEA, I looked at the number of our sessions at our annual conference, which because we were focused on continuing education, professional and continuing education, but continuing education. And it it was about 45% of the sessions back then, and that was 12 years ago were focused on online learning.

So from that moment onward, we have focused on catching up to where our members were, because our members were the architects of online learning, because they had to reach adult learners, they had to reach people beyond the borders of the campus, Right. The Wisconsin idea. And so that's what we've been focusing on. There were a lot of other organizations in the online space, but they focused exclusively on teaching and learning. They didn't focus on leadership and administration. So that has always been our strength in leadership and administration that we've been focused on for the last ten years. Now. We're moving fairly aggressive when we talk about that later, but we're moving more aggressively to the teaching and learning side because ideally you'd have one comprehensive, holistic approach to online learning that embraced all ends of the continuum from leadership, vision, administration to teaching, learning and technology. Julie Julie, I think you want to add some things about. 

Julie Uranis 10:39
Well, sure, sure. And so you know, UPCEA is a you know, it's a community of innovators, right? You know, not only is this, you know, have we developed out of that correspondence movement, you know, the Wisconsin idea, but also thinking about, you know, our members have got, you know, some experience in that extension. Right. That extension movement. But it's really come kind of full circle because of the attention around those non-degree credentials and more institutions are coming into that, too, that way of thinking that while we need to really think about, you know, our instructional mix are our credential architecture and things, you know, and things of that nature. And so, you know, for those of you know, for those, you know, institutions remembers that have been doing this for a very long time, you know, I think a lot of them feel like, hey, welcome to the party. We've been here for many, many, many decades. 

And I'd say that, you know, between noncredit or I'm sorry, the nature of credentials as well as instructional modality, those are two really big concepts that our leaders are struggling with on our campuses. And and I think the the teaching and learning centers are perfect, perfectly positioned to really be engaged in those conversations. And have really a thoughtful discourse on, well, what do we mean when we say this? You know, this will be delivered online and what what's the nature of that instruction and how do we think about assessment and all those things? We find that more and more and more folks are are the pandemic has been a time in which we've all kind of reflected on how we've done it this way for so very long. And then we really had it had to shift. So now what does it mean? Right? And so there's there's an incredible opportunity to have new experiences to challenge one another as educators and really grow your your instructional capacity as well as your intellectual capacity around this idea of of teaching and learning. 

Derek Bruff 12:49
Yeah, Well, and from the Center for Teaching and Learning perspective. Right. The pandemic was a pivotal moment for a lot of the teaching centers in the United States. If they hadn't already been involved with online education efforts at their campuses, they definitely got involved that that that year. 

Robert Hansen 13:06

Derek Bruff 13:07
And, you know, a lot of places realized yeah there's there's there's a lot to this right. There's a lot that a teaching center can offer and really powerful ways that teaching centers can partner with online and continuing education programs. Let's talk a minute about the pandemic, because I do feel like it kind of threw stuff up in the air and I'm not sure that all the pieces have landed where they started. What do you see that's different about online education now, then? I mean, it was just, you know, 2019, four years ago. What how do you see the landscape as having changed? 

Julie Uranis 13:42
Sure. So one of our members, a dean on the West Coast, said, if you had asked me, how long would it take for our institution to move all of our courses online, I would have been using increments of decades, and we did it in three weeks. Now, your mileage may vary as to what that looked like, Right. But, you know, in terms of thinking through intentionally designed online learning versus emergency remote teaching, many institutions were trying to differentiate that. And especially when we talk about teaching and learning centers. Right. Because there is, you know, that intentionally designed online learning is was informed by best practices, known practices, good practices, whereas remote instruction was, oh, my gosh, we have to send everyone away. And now how do we have, you know, a academic continuity? We've got an academic continuity issue, right? 

Derek Bruff 14:47
Vanderbilt. We did. We had those two phases, right? We had the Oh my gosh, it's March. What are we going to do to keep things going? And then we had a little bit of time to catch our breath in May and say, you know what, It looks like we're probably going to be remote this fall. We need to get ready for that. Right? We've got three whole months now to do the entire job. But at a lot of places, that's what happened, right, is that they took that time in the summer to actually think really intentionally about how how to make these courses well, online work well online. And I know at Vanderbilt and in a lot of other places, our faculty were quite skeptical of online education prior to the pandemic, and a lot of them had significant light bulb moments that summer and that fall where they realized, oh, this can work really well, actually. 

Julie Uranis 15:35
Right. Well, and I also think that when you think about online learning pre-pandemic, it was very focused on the adult, some college population we weren't necessarily having and in some cases some institutions were like residential students are not allowed to take any online courses. Right. So that changed dramatically. But also, you know, we have to think about the nature of online now. Right. And so we know that, you know, we've seen the research that students do want some measure of online in their in their studies, either an entirely online course mixed with in-person or a hybrid approach to instruction, where there's a little bit of online, you know, within the same course. And now those are expectations that we previously probably didn't really have a lot of information on.

And, you know, when you really think about that, you know, we're thinking about learner agency here right? And I want to select the modality of instruction that meets with my world, my scheduling, you know, whatever else. Well, that's an interesting turn, because then we start going down that path of hyflex. Right. And for those of you unfamiliar, you know, hyflex is that idea, that instruction is presented to a learner in multiple ways and they select the modality so they may want to come to class one day. They might want to engage in a synchronous online lecture, another versus a recording or something like that. Well, we all know that that would force you to create the same course basically three times. Right. You know, to account for all of that modality and to have the learner select, you know, and have that agency to select, you know, the means of learning and how they want to engage with you and the content. That's a really big deal right now because the resource allocation around that, like teaching and learning centers, you know, we've we've had conversations with Brian Beatty and others talking about hyflex. And I think when you think of it from a teaching and learning perspective, it's like, do we have the resources to be able to do that? And if not, what word are we going to use to modify hyflex so that we're getting closer to it? We can use the word but not necessarily go all in on that much broader development conversation. 

Robert Hansen 18:05
Yeah, I would add, Derek, to Julie's excellent overview that the other thing I would say about where we are now versus 2019, and it's in part because of that sea change that was caused by the pandemic that drove people online, which accelerated the development of online courses and programs, but that had already been going on. That was just an accelerant, is that it's a very competitive, much more competitive market now. It used to be that you had a lot of places you'd build an online program and they would come. There was a there was a desert, there was an educational desert that online met and solved. And now you don't see that desert anymore. In fact, there is there's really an embarrassment of riches if you're a student because you have so many opportunities. And that's really the promise of online, right, Because it's trans regional and trans temporal. So it's a great opportunity, but it's so competitive now that that's why organizations like UPCEA and others are so essential for the for collaboration and sharing of best practices, because now it's about executing the business model well. And that's just not easy. You've got to have market research, you've got to have labor data that I mean, one of our most vibrant areas is enrollment and marketing and enrollment management. Our second biggest conferences are marketing enrollment management. And it's it's not all about online, it's about serving the adult learner. But increasingly that means online. 

Julie Uranis 19:42
Traditionally aged college students are arriving with having had experience in online learning in the K-12 environment, and we couldn't say that before, for the most part. And now how that is, you know, like how that's developing, how we're meeting those needs. It's a very different environment than pre-pandemic. Obviously, but it's even morphed a little bit more just because of the impact on the pandemic on our learners as they've gone through their education. 

Robert Hansen 20:13

Derek Bruff 20:14
And what I'm hearing is it's kind of maybe different and new student populations that are now interested in online options; to some degree, students that have more experience learning online and are looking for choices and modalities that are going to fit kind of their needs; and coupled with that, a lot more universities and colleges that have gotten into this making for a pretty crowded marketplace, which that to me says, yes, the students have a lot of power here. Right. Because they're they're in a position where they can actually say, yeah, these are the things I want and I'll find a program to actually provide those. It makes for a more competitive marketplace.

I'm also curious, one of the things I wanted to ask you guys about, because I know a lot of universities have spent the last couple of years trying to figure this out is what role OPM's online program management providers should play in this. Like, as you noted, right. The kind of enrollment and marketing is is a really hard part of this. And a lot of universities don't have internal resources to do that work. And so I'm wondering what shifts you're seeing in terms of how universities partner with external vendors to launch and sustain some of these online and continuing programs? 

Robert Hansen 21:23
Julie, I'd love for you to answer that question, but if I may interject for a second, we are officially agnostic about about this issue because not in this sense that we're we're agnostic per se, we're agnostic over the overall impact of it. But I think the reality is that there are some institutions that just simply can't get from 0 to 30 miles an hour, let alone 60, without some kind of investment capital or expertise to get going. You know, with that caveat, I'll turn over Julie, because she's been thinking more about about the OPMs than I have. But I have to tell you, we're very impressed by the corporate community that has really been terrific and supportive of UPCEA over the years. Our our members absolutely couldn't do what they do without the support of a constellation of corporate partners in a wide variety of of areas, not least of which is is OPM. 

Julie Uranis 22:23
Right. Well, and Derek, also being clear as to what we consider an OPM, for those of us that have been living a very different life since that Dear Colleague letter hit a few months ago about OPMs, understanding that online program managers, OPMs, typically are an enablement partner for some facet of online learning. Sometimes most of online learning at an institution or within a college or something like that.

Derek Bruff 22:55
Let me jump in for a second. That Dear Colleague letter you're referring to, the US Federal Government's changing interest in providing some kind of oversight without getting into the weeds of that. But there's sure, there's perhaps more oversight there than there was six months ago, right? 

Julie Uranis 23:11
Yes. So earlier this year, we received a Dear Colleague letter that said they were moving on OPMs, we've known about this attention for a very long time. And so what we arrived on everyone's, you know, in everyone's inbox one day was a basically a new definition for OPMs. You know, basically anything tied to federal financial aid that was a third party service provider was considered an OPM. It was a, they cast a wide net. Now, they have since walked back from that. And and we're in a different space. And there are some things on hold and and so understand that while Derek we could probably link to that Dear Colleague letter so that folks could see it and also see the iterations that have occurred. Yeah, the federal government has been really focused on how these agreements work, what they do, what they don't do and things like that. And, and the bundling of services and what that means.

I would say that one of the greatest impacts that I think we've seen over the course of probably the last ten years is institutions and institutional leaders are starting to be better evaluators of their own capacity. Right? To say we don't have the internal knowledge to do this marketing and reach this this population of potential learners. But we've got some incredible able faculty. We've got the willingness to do things in a new and different way, and we want to engage or, you know, maybe there's you know, they're seeing the you know, the writing on the wall, which is where, you know, largely like, you know, my home state of Michigan, we've been losing population for years. Right? And so we know that there are smaller high school cohorts. So in terms of those traditional students, well, we actually have to court a different student potentially and what that means. We know how to court traditional students, you know, they do campus tours and we impress them with our residential life and whatever's going on and, you know, our intramural area and things like that.

But that doesn't necessarily work for all learners. And so having an OPM partner to share that, that risk, that opportunity has been a great solution for many institutions. But it is not a one size fits all. And I think you see more institutions are having conversations with those providers to say, No, we don't want to do it this way, this is what we want. So we see more fee for service arriving. You know, we have a lot of different models out there for successful partnerships. They are not, you know, I think a lot of times OPM's get characterized as being predatory, and that's just simply not the case because there are open relationships where they never talk to a student necessarily, right. Or a prospective student. So to assume that, you know, there's there's malfeasance or anything like that is is a really big assumption and pretty wrong in most cases.

But knowing that, you know, I just shared I was talking with someone today and they said understand that every university has research and development, grant activity and things like that, but we don't actually have really well funded research and development on the programs. I mean, you could say that teaching and learning centers are that R&D for instructional approaches and things like that, but doing a test on, like, a program and whether or not it will be viable for your institution, No one does that. And our institutions are risk averse. That's that's called tradition, right? I mean, we you know, we don't necessarily do that work. And so having a partner that accepts part of that risk so that we can focus on teaching and learning and the things that, you know, we're really good at, those can be great partnerships, but they have to be really well designated. We have to have shared understandings and expectations. 

Derek Bruff 27:17
Well, let's let's change this up a little bit, because you mentioned that UPCEA is making, kind of expanding into the teaching and learning realm a little bit. And I think part of that is the conference this summer. 

Can you can you tell us about the summer conference and kind of this this blend of two conferences that are that's happening this summer? 

Robert Hansen 27:41
Happy to. I'd like Julie to really talk about in depth because she's provided terrific leadership in developing the vision for this. But I think it's worth going through a little bit about how we got here because it's an interesting story. I mean, I had mentioned how UPCEA was focused mostly on leadership and administration. For the first ten years of my tenure for about 2010 to 2020, we developed the summit for online leadership in administration that Julie's ran for several years, and it's really become the go-to conference for chief online learning office staff, and we're very proud of that. It's become it's really become a can't miss event. But as I mentioned, we really wanted to break into teaching the learning. And the reason you can't break into teaching learning is there were so many conferences already dedicated to it, whether it's OLC or its QM or the Wisconsin Distance Teaching and Learning Conference, which is now into its 38th or 39th year this summer. So as Wisconsin was looking at the difficulty at maintaining this national conference as they were trying to reallocate resources to meet institutional needs at Madison, it no longer fit their mission to put on a major national conference every year. So they reached out to us.

Derek Bruff 29:05
It's a big ask. It's a big ask. 

Robert Hansen 29:07
It's a big ask. And they did a terrific job. I mean, this is a major conference that was drawing up to a thousand people not that long ago, a year. And so they reached out to us and want to know if we would want to take it over eventually, partner for a bit and take it over. And I was very interested in doing that because it's much easier to to work with a conference that's already has a constituency. And we were excited about it. So as we talked to the Madison folks, it was clear that they thought the value, it's clear the value they brought to us, which is that teaching and learning audience, what we brought to them is a national scope, but also also the chief online officers themselves.

So I think what's exciting about pairing those two events together is that for the first time ever, there will be an event that has an equal amount of content on leadership, administration, vision and teaching, learning technology, and to put those together and integrate them into into really a holistic experience for the participants. I think it uniquely positions our conference within the larger constellation of of online conferences, and I'm very excited about it. And I should I should mention that it's a neat coincidence. It is only a coincidence, perhaps, but it's a neat coincidence that UPCEA began in 1950 with that Wisconsin idea about expanding the benefits to the university. And here we are back at the University of Wisconsin for our first official combined SOLA+R / DT&L conference. And Julie has been instrumental in figuring out how to make that work because those are two different bodies. So, Julie, how did you make that work? I'm doing your work for you Derek, I'm asking a specific question. 

Julie Uranis 31:02
Well, I guess it remains to be seen if it worked. I think it does. You know, so many years ago I attended DT&L early in my days of online learning, but I came up through the student services side of the house. Right. And so having a different experience and really, really interested in the community and wanting to learn more. As Bob said, we have this incredible opportunity. And so after the initial shock and awe were off, I said, okay, great. I guess, you know, like, let's talk about this. And so what we're really interested in doing is, you know, this affords us a wonderful opportunity to kind of cross populate two groups within online learning that don't necessarily have have a lot of experience with one another's area. Right. You know, so you have your online administrators and folks charged with strategy and the like. And then you've got, you know, and then you've got your faculty, your instructional designers that are more embedded in that curricular perspective.

And so to bring those communities together to say, hey, this is the online enterprise, because at so many institutions, many of which, you know, are, you know, online can be housed within a teaching and learning center, maybe it's housed within the provost's office. And then there's this other activity over here. This is an opportunity to bring everything under one tent, basically, to say this This is the work that's done to support an online enterprise and understanding that dependent on goals, dependent on context, as well as resources, online, looks different at every institution. What an R1 is doing in the South may be very different than a regional comprehensive in the Midwest, but understanding that there are some commonalities that exist and that we can learn from one another and really dig deep into some of these the content and understand a little bit more.

It's been really interesting even in like, you know, as Bob reminded me, I do teach in our professional delopment program, my course is on program planning, and I get a ton of instructional designers in that course because as you think about your next step in your career, it may be leading an online enterprise. And if you've only focused on instructional design, you don't have this other piece around that idea of strategy, leadership marketing. You're like, What are those? Those more administrative functions and vice versa. So this is a great opportunity.

You know, we've got it's funny, if you if you do any work with a conference, you know that there are sub-themes that develop just because of the proposals that come in. And we've got some incredible subthemes evident in this year's program. We've got a ton on AI, which everyone has top of mind. We've got some really good sessions around building online teams, the folks that support online learning at an institution. We've got some incredible workshops really focused on, you know, some really big concepts as well as those that are more introductory. Like, you know, let's talk about online discussion forums, right? You know, many of us have been talking about online discussion forums for what feels like half our lives, right? But there's always something new. There's always a new approach or a new perspective that we can learn from.

And so it's really exciting to bring these two groups together. And I think it's going to be a really interesting conference because it's going to allow folks a a great environment to learn more about the world that they're they're now working in or have been working in for a very, very long time. 

Derek Bruff 35:04
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I love the idea of combining these two because as you say, I think a lot of institutions, either because of the kind of natural siloing that often happens at universities where one unit over here does this and one unit over here does something very similar, but they report up to a different vice provost or different administrators. And so they don't get to play together very often or the hierarchy that often happens where you do have an administrator or a leader who's kind of not in the trenches with the folks doing the work, and particularly at places that are new to this space, that are moving fast, I think it's hard for the communication to go sideways and up the chain fast enough to kind of keep up with what the demands are. And so I love the opportunity to get folks together like this.

Well, thank you both for coming on the podcast. This has been great and we'll put lots of links in the show notes for people to follow up and find more information about the conference and the other stuff that you guys are up to. I really appreciate you taking the time to share with our listeners today. 

Robert Hansen 36:01
Thank you, Derek. 

Julie Uranis 36:02
Good talk to you. Derek Thank you. 

Derek Bruff 36:08
That was Robert Hansen, CEO of UPCEA, the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. And Julie Urana, senior vice president for online and strategic initiatives at UPCEA. Thanks to Bob and Julie for taking the time to come on the podcast and share their perspectives on the changing nature of online higher ed. And thanks to UPCEA for hooking me up with a virtual pass to their summer conference. I'm excited to attend the virtual side of the conference and learn from others doing great work in online education.

See show notes for a link to the conference website where you can learn more about the conference. I'll also link to the main UPCEA site, which has lots of ways to get involved in the work of UPCEA. Bob, Let me know that if you're working at a higher education institution, there's a good chance your institution is already a member of UPCEA, which means you can start taking advantage of their professional development programs right away.

This episode of International Teaching was produced and edited by me, Derek Bruff. See the show notes for links to my website, the sign-up form for the Intention Teaching newsletter and my Patreon, which helps support the show. For just a few bucks a month, you get access to the occasional bonus episode, Patreon-only Teaching Resources, The archive of past Newsletters, And a community of intentional educators. As always, thanks for listening. 

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