Ohio University Brings On E-Learning Provost

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Online learning and community college partnerships are expanding at Ohio University.

The university recently selected Deborah Gearhart as vice provost for the programs after a national search. 

Gearhart recently served as director of eTROY at Troy University,where she managed 36 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 

At Ohio University, Gearhart says she plans to lead and improve the online learning efforts.

"When the provost hired me, one of the things she wanted me to do is just take a strategic look at where e-learning is at Ohio U, where it needs to go, how we're going to get there, and how we're going to support the colleges and the delivery of their programs," she said.

Gearhart says the program will make education more accessible and affordable to many people.

"Ohio has a strong mission of transformation, and that is one of the big things about online education. It is transformative to someone's life that they're going to have an opportunity to do a degree where they would not have otherwise," she explained.

Gearhart says online learning will especially help graduate students who already have families and jobs.

"That was one of the big areas of growth in online education because they were established after doing their degree into a position where they couldn't quit their job and go away from their families or drag their families with them to give to education," said Gearhart.

Gearhart began her work at Ohio University in early July.