Drexel University Announces New Head of Online Learning
September 3, 2013
Susan C. Aldridge, Drexel's new senior vice president for Online Learning and president of Drexel e-Learning.
Drexel University President John A. Fry announced today that Dr. Susan C. Aldridge, a senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and former president of the University of Maryland University College, will join Drexel in the new position of senior vice president for Online Learning and president of Drexel e-Learning, effective Oct. 15.
“Susan brings 17 years of higher education leadership experience and has built an international reputation as one of the premier innovators in online and distance education,” said Fry. “Forward-thinking leadership will be critical to the success of the challenging but exciting reimagining of our online education enterprise, and I am confident that Susan is the perfect choice to make Drexel one of the world’s leading providers of online learning.”
Aldridge will be responsible for building an administrative division that provides comprehensive services focused on the unique needs of online students and pursues new approaches to online curricula, teaching and student tracking that improve retention and learning outcomes.
In her current role as senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Aldridge researches and writes about critical topics including university growth strategies, technology-mediated models of education, student enrollment and retention and adult education including education of military students and veterans. She is a frequent keynote speaker at higher education conferences, and serves as a consultant to university presidents, government officials and business leaders. She co-authored a book Wired for Success that will be published by AASCU in October.
From 2006 to 2012, she was president of the University of Maryland University College. Under Aldridge’s leadership, UMUC grew to serve 94,000 students in online, in-class and hybrid degree programs, becoming the nation’s largest state university. She helped make UMUC a model for how to provide high-quality education in flexible formats around the world, with significant student populations in the United States, Asia and Europe. She launched new academic programs in areas of workforce shortage including cybersecurity, cyber forensics, data analytics, homeland security and STEM teaching, and led the redesign of all undergraduate courses to better map to industry requirements. UMUC also pioneered information systems to track student success.
Prior to joining UMUC, Aldridge was vice chancellor of Troy University’s Global Campus, serving as chief executive for the university’s degree programs in 17 states and 14 nations as well as its eCampus. She served on the faculty of the National University of Singapore, teaching management, organizational behavior and policy analysis and researching health and aging policy. She also held a series of governmental positions in Denver. She is a graduate of Colorado Women’s College and received her master’s and doctorate degrees in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.