Don Kilburn named CEO of UMassOnline

Don Kilburn named CEO of UMassOnline

Kilburn praised as innovator with critical expertise in education and technology

BOSTON, MA — November  27, 2017 — Don Kilburn, an online learning expert with nearly three decades of experience developing innovative education solutions, has been named chief executive officer of UMassOnline. Kilburn, the former president of Pearson North America, will join the University of Massachusetts in January.

“Don Kilburn is a pioneer, expert and innovator in online education with a track record of developing successful growth strategies for high-impact organizations,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “Don has successfully run the largest division of the largest education company in the world, and I’m confident in his ability to make a world-class UMass education even more accessible and affordable for a diverse community of learners across the Commonwealth and around the globe.”

Prior to serving as president of Pearson North America, Kilburn was CEO of Pearson Learning Solutions and vice chairman of Pearson Higher Education. Before joining Pearson, Kilburn spent 12 years at Viacom and Simon & Schuster, where he held a number of senior executive positions.

In addition to scaling UMassOnline’s delivery of online courses and degree programs from the five UMass campuses, Kilburn will position UMassOnline for strategic growth by developing new offerings and delivery models for degree completion, credentialing and graduate certificate programs, according to Meehan.

“As a longtime Massachusetts resident, I’m excited to join UMass, the higher education institution with the greatest impact in the state and one of the premier public university systems in the country,” said Kilburn. “I care deeply about the mission of public higher education and am looking forward to leading the effort to expand UMassOnline programs to improve lives through learning and increase access to affordable, high-quality education.”

UMassOnline was established in 2001 to meet the online education needs of people locally, nationally and internationally by offering accredited educational programs via interactive, internet-based learning systems.

In Fiscal Year 2017, UMassOnline set new records for online enrollment and revenue: Course enrollments reached 75,565, up 6.6 percent from the previous year, and revenues surpassed $100 million for the first time ever, up 9.2 percent from Fiscal Year 2016.

Over the past five years, online enrollment at UMass has risen by 39 percent, while online revenues have risen by 46 percent. Those increases parallel the growth of the university as a whole, with enrollment rising to a record-high 74,678 students across the five campuses this past year and the Class of 2017 designated as the largest graduating class in UMass history, with more than 17,700 students earning degrees.

With more than 150 UMass degrees and certificates now available online and more than 1,500 online courses offered annually, UMassOnline allows busy professionals, lifelong learners and students worldwide to continue their education, enhance their careers and enrich their lives no matter where they are located. Programs span the liberal arts, education, management, nursing, public health, information technology and more.

For more about UMassOnline, visit