The Changing Roles of Online Deans and Department Heads in Small Private Universities

Colleen M. Halupa


This paper provides an overview of best practices and challenges for deans and department heads of online programmes in the ever-changing world of higher education. It concentrates on the challenges for small private universities and tertiary education institutions in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Department heads must consider new roles and innovate constantly to offset the impact of global competition in online and distance learning. These changing roles include innovation in managing programme enrolment, retention, marketing, and the creation of innovative offerings to meet student needs to prevent obsolescence. Other topics discussed include potential alternate sources of revenue, partnerships, and how service and research can lead to new opportunities for small tertiary providers.


tertiary education; higher education; roles of deans; roles of department heads (programme chairs); retention; attrition; small universities; private universities; private training establishments

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Journal of Open Flexible and Distance Learningthe journal of the Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ).
ISSN (Print until 2010): 1179-7665 ISSN (Online): 1179-7673