UMass Boston Dean of Corporate, Continuing and Distance Education To Fill Key Executive-in-Residence Position at UMassOnline

UMass Boston Dean of Corporate, Continuing and Distance Education To Fill Key Executive-in-Residence Position at UMassOnline

Online Learning Visionary Brings Strategic International Partnership Expertise to Further Advance the Program

SHREWSBURY, MA - Nov. 6, 2007 -UMassOnline CEO David Gray today announced that Dr. Dirk Messelaar, Dean of Corporate, Continuing and Distance Education at UMass Boston, has been appointed to Executive-in-Residence at UMassOnline. A unique role created by UMassOnline shortly after it was founded in 2001, the Executive-in-Residence role brings individuals with significant campus expertise and strategic leadership in the areas of continuing higher education, program development, international relations, and academic issues to serve in a high-level advisory capacity to UMassOnline.

Dr. Messelaar brings 33 years’ experience in higher education to the management team at UMassOnline which, since 2001, has grown to become the largest online learning provider in Massachusetts with more than 26,000 students. During his 30 years at UMass -- 22 years at UMass Lowell and the last eight years at UMass Boston – Dr. Messelaar has collaborated with colleges, academic departments, local business and industry leaders, government agencies, and professional societies to substantially increase the University's outreach capabilities. Specifically, Dr. Messelaar has been instrumental in developing the two campuses' many certificate programs, new degree options, distance learning capabilities, and corporate partnerships. Since 2001, under Dean Messelaar’s sponsorship and leadership and in collaboration with academic leaders on opposite sides of the world, UMassBoston has innovated a powerful blueprint for the University of Massachusetts and for all other American and Chinese universities seeking to build strong bridges spanning two cultures with an increasing number of common academic, corporate, industrial, and economic goals.

“Dr. Messelaar has been a true visionary in online learning and education in general,” said David Gray. “With his added insight and expertise, UMassOnline will further advance its mission to serve local, national and international communities’ online educational needs through creative pedagogy, state of art technology and a fundamental commitment to student success.”

“As one of the first professors in the UMass system to teach online,” said Dean Messelaar, “I believe in the value offered to students through online learning and am honored to help UMassOnline continue to bring together the best teams of professionals and provide quality learning to students locally, regionally, nationally and globally.” Emphasizing the quality and importance of his team at UMass Boston that has made online courses a much valued part of the academic environment during his leadership, Dean Messelaar said, “Without my Director of Online Programs Katharine Galaitsis, or the support of John Jessoe, Alan Girelli and Mark O’Sullivan in the Office of Video Production and Distance Learning, and Jason Campos leading Online Registration Services, none of what we have achieved at UMass Boston could have been accomplished as quickly or to such a high standard of professionalism.”

Learn more about Dr. Messelaar...

Date: 11/06/07