John Cunningham joined UMassOnline as it interim CEO on July 1st in addition to serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and International Relations for the UMass System. He is a member of the faculty at UMass Amherst since 1986. During the 90's he was the Principal Investigator on three USDA education grants: incorporating computer-mediated telecommunications in instruction, developing an internet "bulletin board" for nutrition education, and the "Interactive Distance Education and Access (IDEA) Leadership Project".
Dr. Cunningham served as deputy provost at UMass Amherst for over a decade. In that role he worked with the academic deans and the Faculty Senate to ensure the quality and availability of the general education program and supervised the directors of campus-wide undergraduate academic support units. In addition, he oversaw the Division of Continuing and Professional Education and the University Without Walls, units with substantial online portfolios offered through UMassOnline.
He holds a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maryland together with undergraduate and masters degrees in Biology from Purdue University. He serves as the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and is a Fellow of the College. In 2007 he was appointed by Governor Patrick to serve on the Massachusetts Public Health Council.