Ken Udas - Biography

Dr. Ken Udas, a recognized pioneer in distance learning, partners with university leaders to support highly effective instructional design, course development, faculty engagement, and assessment. Throughout a career devoted to higher education, Ken has served several state university systems to create best practices for online delivery.

Dr. Udas is currently serving as Chief Academic Strategist at Everspring, a new initiative dedicated to helping colleges and universities launch and grow online programming. Most recently, Ken served as CEO of UMassOnline, the online consortium for the University of Massachusetts and the five UMass campuses. In this capacity, he was responsible for business operations, planning, capacity development, and governance for an organization serving 20,000 unique online students in more than 115 academic programs. Under Ken’s leadership, UMassOnline clarified its vision, strengthened alignment with the university, matured core processes and capabilities, and generated double-digit student growth.

Previously, Ken was the executive director of Penn State World Campus, with responsibility for learning design and development, faculty development, student services, academic advising, and educational technology. In this capacity, he refocused the organization on serving fully online degree seekers with an integrated student and faculty experience. He fostered a culture of innovation, leading to advances including a robust faculty development offering and a comprehensive international strategy. Today, the Penn State World Campus serves more than 10,000 fully online students in 65 academic programs.

A recognized pioneer in distance learning, Ken’s extraordinary career also includes diverse leadership roles with the SUNY Learning Network, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, and CARANA, a leading provider of global economic development solutions to government, private business, and international donor agencies.

Ken remains deeply committed to teaching, learning, scholarship, and service. Most recently serving as Clinical Associate Professor at UMass Boston, Ken’s academic and teaching experiences include having served with Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland University College, Babson College, University of Pittsburgh, International University of Vienna, and City University and Univerzita Komenského in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. He served as a member of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) - Sloan National Commission on Online Learning, held several leadership appointments with the IMS Global Learning Consortium, and is co-leader of the EDUCAUSE Constituency Group on Openness. Ken has written and presented extensively on the topics of distance education, technology, policy, and openness.

Ken holds a Ph.D. in higher educational administration and a master of science in management information systems from Texas A&M University, and a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.


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