The Changing Roles of Online Deans and Department Heads in Small Private Universities


  • Colleen M. Halupa A.T. Still University & East Texas Baptist University



tertiary education, higher education, roles of deans, roles of department heads (programme chairs), retention, attrition, small universities, private universities, private training establishments


This paper provides an overview of best practices and challenges for deans and department heads of online programmes in the ever-changing world of higher education. It concentrates on the challenges for small private universities and tertiary education institutions in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Department heads must consider new roles and innovate constantly to offset the impact of global competition in online and distance learning. These changing roles include innovation in managing programme enrolment, retention, marketing, and the creation of innovative offerings to meet student needs to prevent obsolescence. Other topics discussed include potential alternate sources of revenue, partnerships, and how service and research can lead to new opportunities for small tertiary providers.

Author Biography

Colleen M. Halupa, A.T. Still University & East Texas Baptist University

Dr Colleen Halupa is the Dean of Online Learning at East Texas Baptist University and an associate professor at A. T. Still Health Sciences University. She served in the United States Air Force as a clinical laboratory scientist and health administrator for over 20 years prior to her career in academia. She has a doctorate in education, curriculum and instruction/educational leadership and management. She has published and presented in the field of online learning, instructional technology, and health policy in the United States and other countries.