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Message from the Office of the Chancellor

September 20, 2019 - eLearning organizational update

Dear UMSL Faculty and Staff,

UM System President Mun Choi recently shared exciting news surrounding the systemwide eLearning Initiative including upcoming transitions to support this important effort. As noted by President Choi, UMSL Online and UMSL ITS Academic Computing and Emerging Technologies will move under the direction of Matthew Gunkel, UM System chief eLearning officer, effective October 1.

With this transition, UMSL’s online instructional designers housed in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will change reporting lines to Matthew. In addition, the Learning Resource Lab, Canvas admin team, and both Mary Fowler and Marcel Bechtoldt with ITS will report to Matthew as well. Please know that the services provided to our university by these individuals will not change and they will physically remain on campus. Matthew’s team is working collaboratively with our campus offices to ensure a smooth transition and to direct future investments in services and resources at UMSL to support this initiative well into the future.

Matthew asked UMSL to be part of this collaboration due to our innovative programs like Online in 9 – led by the instructional designers in the CTL – and because of the vast expertise our IT professionals have in managing academic technologies such as Canvas, Panopto, Kaltura, Voicethread and more. This is yet another example of UMSL’s leadership in the eLearning space. Our partnership with the UM System will ensure that degree programs offered through the eLearning initiative are high quality and ready to attract a new population of online students. To stay up to date on the latest progress, visit UM System’s eLearning webpage.

UMSL’s leadership is being recognized by UM System not only within the eLearning space but also within the teaching and learning environment. Effective October 1, Andy Goodman will begin a UM System leadership role as director of UM Academic Affairs. Andy will share his expertise in the areas of teaching effectiveness and faculty professional development to assist all four universities with systemwide initiatives such as the student evaluation of teaching, the Affordable & Open Educational Resource initiative, and UM Faculty Scholars. While we will miss Andy in his role at UMSL, we are excited to see his expertise recognized as a leader in teaching and learning and look forward to seeing him advance these exciting initiatives.

Also effective October 1, Keeta Holmes will become the director of the CTL to lead our efforts in promoting excellence in faculty teaching, graduate student professional development and the facilitation of student learning. She will continue to oversee our Curriculum Alignment Process and will bring the same focus and creativity to supporting faculty teaching in the classroom through programs such as peer observation, mid-semester student focus groups, faculty orientations and individual consultations.

I hope you will join me in celebrating these talented leaders as they transition into their new roles and propel UMSL’s mission in these exciting, new directions.

Best regards,


Kristin Sobolik
Interim Chancellor and Provost