Penn State names chief academic officer for online programs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Outreach and Online Education announced today (April 3) the establishment of a new leadership position to oversee the academic unit within the World Campus.

Renata S. Engel, associate dean for Academic Programs and professor in Penn State’s College of Engineering, will assume the role of associate vice provost for Online Programs, effective June 1.

Engel will help advance new online undergraduate and graduate offerings, including noncredit programs and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), to students across the country and around the world.

Engel joins an outstanding team of World Campus administrative leaders and will have specific responsibilities for the World Campus academic unit, including all online programs, academic advising and faculty development. She will report to Craig Weidemann, vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education.

“Renata brings a wealth of talent, leadership and institutional knowledge to this important academic position,” said Weidemann. “The continued development of outstanding online programs, embedded within Penn State’s colleges and campuses, will play a critical role in the attraction of new students and advancing teaching innovations.”

Engel will work closely with Penn State’s academic leaders to increase online enrollments, especially in the World Campus. In 2013, Penn State made a major investment toward the goal of enrolling 45,000 online students through the World Campus within the next decade.

“Penn State has a long and strong history of educating learners at a distance,” said Engel. “I look forward to joining the Online Education team to further the reputation of excellence that has been established.”

Engel has been a Penn State faculty member since 1990. She earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering science from Penn State and a doctoral degree in engineering mechanics from the University of South Florida.

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Last Updated April 03, 2014