University of Illinois System

Task Group on Online Strategy

Each of our three universities offer online courses, programs, and degrees, but there has been limited coordination at the system level. The system as a whole would benefit from developing and implementing an effective online strategy for moving forward. We have learned from previous attempts that such an endeavor requires broad-based university and faculty buy-in and support. The system has a role to play in an overarching online strategy, but that role must be designed and deployed thoughtfully, and in a manner that supports and complements the aspirations and efforts of each of the universities. 

EVP Jones convened a system-wide Task Group on Online Strategy in January of 2024 to pursue a coordinated online strategy for the system. The purpose of this group is to consider how the U of I System should position itself to support a strategic effort in this space. The system role would be one of convening and support with the intent to facilitate broader engagement across the system and to support and foster new initiatives. This effort would not replace or conflict with ongoing unit or university efforts. 

The Task Group on Online Strategy will consider a number of key questions, including but not limited to:

  • Should we simply consider a merger, acquisition, or partnership with an outside entity?
  • Is there an existing university (or other) model that is so closely aligned with our aspirations that we should simply emulate it?
  • If we build internally, what services might be best built by the system, and how do units access those services in a cost-effective manner? Examples might include research and marketing, instructional design, platform hosting, hotline support, etc.
  • What revenue sharing model, or models, might be created to incentivize participation, cover the costs of provisioning, and generate revenues from the unit through to the system in an equitable manner?
  • How would we ensure that U of I quality and reputation are absolute constraints that underpin the strategy?
  • What would governance look like for such an enterprise to ensure that the faculty perspective, and role, is fully exercised?

Members of the Task Group on Online Strategy include:

  • Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Dean, Graduate College, UIUC, Chair
  • Lisa Anderson, Director, Office of Online Learning, UIUC
  • Kelly Birky, Sen. Assoc. Director, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, UIUC
  • Nicholas Burbules, Professor, Organization and Leadership Education Policy, UIUC
  • Dara Crowfoot, Asst. VC, UIC Extended Campus, UIC
  • Stephanie Dable, Asst. VP, Administrative Information Technology Services, SO
  • Brooke Elliott, Professor, Department of Accountancy, UIUC
  • Michele Gribbins, Director, Center for Online Learning, Research and Service, UIS
  • Mark Harris, Director, Community Education, Discovery Partners Institute, SO
  • John Hart, Director, Online and Professional Programs, UIUC
  • Rosilie Hernandez, Assoc. Dean for Student Academic Affairs, UIC
  • Angela Lyons, Assoc. Professor, University Senates Conference Representative
  • Michele Mariscalco, Assoc. VC for Health Services Academic Affairs, UI Health
  • Paul Masters, Sr. Assoc. Director, Administrative Information Technology Services, SO
  • Layne Morsch, Int. Assoc. Provost for Online, Professional, and Engaged Learning, UIS
  • Jeannette Tamayo, Assoc. VP for Workforce Development and Community Engagement, SO
  • Jorge Villegas, Assoc. Dean, College of Business and Management Administration, UIS
  • Sandy Wayne, Dean, College of Business Administration, UIC
  • Sarah Zehr Gantz, Sen. Asst. VP for Academic Initiatives and Policies, SO