Education Visionary Peter P. Smith to Lead WCET Executive Council

Boulder, CO (PRWEB) December 15, 2014

The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is delighted to announce that Peter P. Smith, Founder and President, Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU) assumed the position of chair of the WCET Executive Council at its 26th Annual Meeting in November. A long time contributor to the WCET community and well-versed leader in higher education, Smith will continue his tradition of leadership and mentorship in this role.

As a passionate advocate for higher education, I am invigorated by the honest discussions which occur in the WCET community which move higher education closer to the sweet spot where innovation and quality intersect, said Peter Smith. From the infancy of distance delivered higher education, WCET has been a leader in supporting executive strategy and effective polices to promote student success and I am honored to serve my WCET community in this capacity.

Smith began his career in higher education in 1970 when he was the founding President of the Community College of Vermont. From 1980-1986, Smith began his political career, serving two years as a Vermont State Senator and four years as Lieutenant Governor of Vermont. In 1986, he became Vice President for Development of Norwich University, leading their first capital campaign, which concluded $ 10 million in excess of their goal.

In 1989 Smith turned again to public service as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Vermont. Following his time in office, Smith was the executive director of the National Commission on Responsibilities for Financing Post-Secondary Education. From 1991-1994, he served as Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University. In 1994, California State University, Monterey Bay was established by executive order of the Governor of California and Smith served as its Founding President from 1995-2005.

As Assistant Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Smith was the highest-ranking American at UNESCO from 2005-2007. Since 2007 Smith has served Kaplan Higher Education as its Senior Vice President, Academic Strategies and Development.

Currently he is the Founder and President of Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU), a new, flexible and highly affordable collegiate model that supports formal and informal learning as part of degree attainment. OC@KU offers an individualized education that integrates technology and personalized service to help learners meet their career, academic, and personal goals.

As a long time contributor to WCET, Peter is a natural fit to lead the WCET Executive Council he has a firm grasp on our past, our mission and our goals for the future and the vision to help guide our members and staff to the continued success of the organization, said Mollie McGill, interim Co-Executive Director, WCET.

Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed The Quiet Crisis: How Higher Education Is Failing America (Anker Publications, Bolton Mass., 2004) & Harnessing Americas Wasted Talent A New Ecology of Learning (Published by Jossey-Bass A Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA 2010). Smith obtained a B.A. (magna cum laude) in History from Princeton University in 1968, an M.A. degree in teaching (1970) and an Ed.D. in Education Administration, Planning and Social Policy (1984), both from Harvard University.

About WCET

The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is the leading national, non-profit, member-driven organization devoted to advancing excellence in technology-enhanced higher education, working at the intersection of practice, policy and technology. WCET is widely recognized as one of the most informative, reliable and forward-thinking organizations regarding the role of technology and innovation in higher education. Connect with WCET –


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