Interim leadership named for Penn State Outreach and Online Education

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has named two senior administrators as the interim co-leaders of Outreach and Online Education while a search is underway for new leadership following the Dec. 31 retirement of Craig Weidemann.

Renata Engel, associate vice provost for online programs, will serve as interim vice provost for Online Education. Tracey DeBlase Huston, associate vice president for OOE Marketing and Enrollment Services, will serve as interim vice president for Outreach, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Weidemann announced in July his phased retirement from the role of vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education. Beginning in 2017, he will serve as special assistant for innovation and education technology initiatives to Jones. A national search will begin in the spring for his permanent replacement.

“We have tapped two strong leaders who will be able to guide the unit, which plays such a critical and strategic role in advancing Penn State’s mission to provide access to students and improve the welfare of our communities,” said Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas Jones. “Engel and Huston have the knowledge and skills needed to help us through this transition and to continue the exceptional leadership and impact that was a hallmark of Craig Weidemann’s tenure.”

As the Penn State World Campus chief academic officer, Engel currently oversees a portfolio of more than 130 online degree and certificate programs for adult learners residing in all 50 United States and seven continents. She provides leadership for online programs, World Campus student affairs, adult learner advocacy, and faculty development. Engel has been with Penn State since 1990 and previously served as the associate dean of the College of Engineering and as the executive director for the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence.

With 31 years of experience in higher education, Huston currently provides oversight for all facets of marketing and enrollment services for Outreach and Online Education (including market research, market strategy, creative services, web strategy, public relations, customer relationship management, new business development, and World Campus admission services and financial aid). Huston has been with Penn State since 1994.

In addition to World Campus, OOE includes WPSU Penn State, the Penn State Small Business Development Center, Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Conferences and Institutes, Justice and Safety Institute, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the Center for Online Innovation in Learning, and an urban engagement presence in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. 

Last Updated December 12, 2016