New Stanford organizational structure aims to support technology-enabled campus and global education

Programs centered on technology and learning will be realigned with related activities to advance Stanford’s ambitious goals in education.

Programs in Stanford’s Office of the Vice Provost for Technology and Learning (VPTL) will be realigned this fall, integrating them with related university activities and bolstering Stanford’s efforts to advance teaching and learning both on campus and globally, Provost Persis Drell announced.

"Under our long-range vision, we are embarking on an exciting range of activities to advance the science and design of learning itself, the on-campus educational experience for students at Stanford and global educational offerings for learners beyond Stanford," Drell said. "These next organizational changes we are making are about aligning our efforts to help us meet our ambitious goals in education, both on campus and beyond."

Already last fall, VPTL’s Center for Teaching and Learning became part of a new Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Teaching and Learning, bringing together a range of functions that support faculty development in the areas of teaching and mentoring.

Effective Sept. 1, two additional changes will be made:

First, VPTL’s Learning Technologies and Spaces unit will become part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (VPSA).

The unit provides technology tools and services to support the on-campus learning experience for faculty and students, including the Canvas learning platform, and is leading an effort to imagine the future of learning spaces at Stanford. These activities are closely aligned with those of Student and Academic Services, part of VPSA, which is responsible for classroom planning and scheduling, among other curricular and student support functions.

Second, VPTL’s extended education and global learning programs will continue to collaborate in a new structure, with the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) housed within the School of Engineering, recognizing the school’s strong history of innovation, leadership and faculty engagement in extended education. The Stanford Center for Health Education (SCHE), which extends health education to a global community of health professionals, will continue to report to the School of Medicine.

The programs will continue to support faculty across the campus, in all schools and disciplines, in developing online coursework and credentialed education programs for individual learners, along with regionally contextualized custom programs for governments and organizations around the globe. SCPD will continue to manage the Stanford Online brand of online course offerings and credentialed programs.

In addition to Stanford’s work in supporting faculty teaching and mentoring, evolving the on-campus learning experience, and advancing global and extended education, Dean Dan Schwartz and faculty in the Graduate School of Education are taking the lead in developing Stanford initiatives to tackle chronic challenges in education more broadly. The GSE will play a key role collaborating with campus partners to advance educational innovation, Drell said.

The existing VPTL organization will wind down when the program realignments occur Sept. 1. Michael Keller, who has overseen VPTL since 2018, will continue as vice provost and university librarian, a role he has held at Stanford for 27 years.

"I deeply appreciate Mike’s stewardship of these programs over the last two years, and I want to extend generous thanks to the staff in the programs who are working to provide these important and valued services both to the campus community and to learners well beyond our campus," Drell said. "These activities will continue to flourish with the support and leadership of the staff and faculty, and we believe the new reporting lines will provide a sound and cohesive path forward for them."


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