Dr. Don Olcott, Jr., FRSA
Dr. Don Olcott, Jr., FRSA, is Professor of Education (adjunct faculty) with the University of Maryland University College masters’ program in distance education. He currently serves as the manager of strategic planning and international engagement at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) system office in the United Arab Emirates on an extended consultancy through June 2013. Dr. Olcott is former Chief Executive of The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) in the UK, former Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and is a 2010 EDEN Fellow bestowed by the European Distance and eLearning Network (EDEN) for his leadership and contributions to European open and distance learning.
Don formally served on the external Strategy Group of the Open University, served on the UK Online Learning Task Force (2009-2011); and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA). Dr. Olcott holds an appointment as adjunct Professor of Education and ODL with the Faculty for the Professions at the University of New England – Australia.. Dr. Olcott is a continuing member of USDLA’s Board of Directors and Chairs the association’s global partnership committee. Don was recently elected to the United States Distance Learning Hall of Fame and will be formally inducted at the 2013 USDLA Annual Conference in April 2013.
Dr. Olcott serves on the Editorial Boards of the Merlot Journal of Online Teaching and Learning, Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimient (Spain), Open Learning (UK), The American Journal of Distance Education, the European Journal of Open and Distance Learning (EURODL), Distance Education (Australia) and the Asian Journal of Distance Education. Dr. Olcott previously served six years on the editorial board of Athabasca University’s International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL). Dr. Olcott was the senior editor on all research published by The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education 2007-2010.
Dr. Olcott was the 1998 recipient of the Charles Wedemeyer award as the Outstanding Distance Education Practitioner in North America awarded by The American Center for the Study of Distance Education and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He has published extensively for twenty years in ODL and international education and has consulted with universities, governments, and corporations across the globe. Dr. Olcott also has extensive experience teaching via technology, designing curriculum, and developing assessment tools for online learning.
He has held faculty and administrative appointments at Western Washington University, the University of Missouri, Oregon State University, the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), the University of Arizona, and Western Oregon University. Dr. Olcott has worked in the private sector as a Vice President for Higher Education and in his chief executive and research role with OBHE. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees from Western Washington University and took a doctorate at Oregon State University in higher education leadership. He has also completed advanced professional development at Harvard University, New York University and Cambridge University.
Dr. Olcott’s research interests include language and culture in cross-border higher education, sustainable ODL and OER business models, innovative learning design models for ODL, and leadership and innovation in open and distance learning and open educational resources (OER). His personal interests include golf, history, travel, and language and culture.