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Online Education Committee

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Background and Purpose

The University of Texas (UT) System views blended and online education as a vital component of higher education as institutions strive to meet the workforce needs of the State of Texas and the needs of 21st century learners while improving key student success outcomes such as four- and six-year graduation rates. While there are varying degrees to which UT academic institutions are involved with online education, all are committed to building capacity to continue to grow and develop in this area. Due in part to this coalescence, the UT System Office of Academic Affairs hosted a first-ever Online Symposium in summer 2018 to facilitate meaningful discussions and sharing of best practices among UT institutions on a variety of blended and online learning topics. From the Symposium came a request from institutions to form an Online Education Committee to advance strategic discussions around online education with a specific focus on identifying opportunities for collaboration and UT System support.


The University of Texas System Committee on Online Education consists of leaders in blended and online learning from all eight UT academic institutions including faculty, directors of online learning and academic administrators. The purpose of the Task Force is to:

  1. Identify opportunities for potential blended and online education collaborations among UT academic institutions;
  2. Identify opportunities for saving institutions money through pooling purchasing power and creating economies of scale with vendors that support the blended and online learning enterprise;
  3. Identify ways for UT System to support institutions as they scale up high-quality blended and online offerings; and
  4. Advise the UT System as it endeavors to enhance its data collection and analysis of programs and courses offered in hybrid/blended, fully-online and 100% formats, as well as enrollments in those courses. Doing so will better position the System to communicate the unique value delivered by blended and online courses and to make informed recommendations related to state and national policies and initiatives. Further, these data are necessary to evaluate institutions’ progress toward enrollment targets.
Members Title Institution
Pranesh Aswath Vice Provost, Academic Planning and Policy UT Arlington
Judy Leflore Associate Dean, Nursing UT Arlington
Marla Gilliland Director of Online Courses in Liberal Arts Development Studio UT Austin
Joe Tenbarge Assistant Dean, Liberal Arts Instructional Tech Services UT Austin
Paul Diehl Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning UT Dallas
Darren Crone Assistant Provost, Learning Technologies UT Dallas
Beth Brunk-Chavez Dean, Extended University UT El Paso
Cira Montoya Director of the Center for Instructional Design UT El Paso
Oneita Burgess Director of REACH UT Permian Basin
Dan Keast Associate Professor of Music UT Permian Basin
Francisco Garcia Director, Center for Online Learning UTRGV
Sudershan Pasupuleti Associate Dean for Online Programs, Graduate College UTRGV
Jayshree Baht Director of Continuing Education UTRGV
Melissa Vito Interim Vice Provost of Academic Innovation UT San Antonio
Marcela Ramirez Director of Online Learning UT San Antonio
Colleen Swain Associate Provost for Undergrad & Online Education UT Tyler
Scott Dillingham Director, Office of Digital Learning UT Tyler
Alan Marks Associate Vice Chancellor UT System
Stephanie Shelby Program Operation Manager & Policy Analyst UT System
Lydia Riley Research and Policy Analyst UT System