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KU creates position to expand online programming in liberal arts and sciences

Monday, February 02, 2015

LAWRENCE – A new position at the University of Kansas will lead the way for the expansion of online programming in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Danny Anderson, dean of the College, appointed Paul Atchley, professor of psychology, to take on the new role of associate dean for online and professional education.

As associate dean, Atchley will oversee development and implementation of online academic programs, including courses, certificates and degrees. He will serve as a key liaison with faculty in the College as well as in KU’s professional schools to create programs that align with student needs and the broader strategic mission of the university.

“The College has a deep well of untapped potential for online education,” Anderson said. “Paul’s drive and creative thinking will help us draw out opportunities and develop robust programming to deliver a liberal arts and sciences education to a broader population of students.”

Atchley’s priorities as he starts his new role include launching a program that allows students to complete their bachelor’s degrees entirely online and coordinating faculty support for online course development or redesign.

“Almost 100 years ago, KU Chancellor Ernest Lindley stated  that ‘educational opportunity must be open to all,’” Atchley said. “In modern times, that vision compels us to leverage new platforms such as online education to expand access to Mount Oread beyond our physical campus.”

Atchley has served for the past two years as the dean’s project leader for online program development. He completed his doctorate at University of California, Riverside, and has been at KU since 1998. Atchley has held several administrative positions in the Department of Psychology, serving both undergraduate and graduate studies. He oversaw the creation of two programs to enhance the undergraduate experience in the department: an orientation seminar to prepare undergraduates for the expectations and opportunities of a psychology major, and the Psychology Undergraduate Resource Center.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit, encouraging learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers.