Rice launches search for new associate provost of digital learning

Rice Quad

Rice has launched a nationwide search for an associate provost of digital learning who will develop and lead an institutionwide strategy for enhancing online education and digital innovation in the classroom. The announcement of a new leader is expected later this summer.

“Digital learning is an important platform for Rice and is part of how we plan to grow the university’s reach,” President Reginald DesRoches said. “It allows people to access a Rice education who might not have been able to otherwise.”

Vice President Caroline Levander will continue to oversee the global strategy. The new leader for digital learning will report to the provost.

“Caroline built the adept, highly knowledgeable Rice Online Learning team from the ground up,” said Howard Hughes Provost Amy Dittmar. “Her phenomenal team will be instrumental in growing Rice’s online presence in support of the university’s strategic goals. We want to grow the wonderful team at Rice Online Learning and integrate them to work even more closely with faculty and deans.”

The creation of the new role, focused on online learning, signals institutional commitment to ensuring the right resources and strategic thinking will underpin Rice’s continued digital innovation. The leader will be the key steward of Rice’s digital strategy — leveraging best practices already in place across the university as well as introducing new approaches and collaborations to be scaled.

The university has selected the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to conduct the search. The firm employs data-driven methodologies honed through decades of relationships with some of the world’s largest organizations.

“Enhancing Rice’s online and digital course offerings and capacity for digital innovation is critical to improving the accessibility of higher education,” said search committee chair C. Fred Higgs III, the vice provost for academic affairs and the John and Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “The new digital leader will have a strategy and vision for addressing the needs of those who pursue online education, especially busy professionals.”

The remainder of the search committee selected to aid Heidrick & Struggles is as follows:

Robert Bruce, dean of the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies;

Paul Cherukuri, vice president for innovation;

Daniel Domingues da Silva, associate professor of history and co-manager of “Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database;”

Jeffrey Fleisher, interim director of the Center for African and African American Studies and professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology;

Laura Kabiri, assistant teaching professor of kinesiology;

Michael Koenig, associate dean for innovation initiatives and executive director of executive education in Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business;

Molly Morgan, lecturer of anthropology;

Kris Ramesh, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Accounting, director of online initiatives and head of accounting programs in the Jones Graduate School of Business;

Scott Rixner, director of professional studies in computer science, professor of computer science and of electrical and computer engineering;

Carissa Zimmerman, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and a senior lecturer.