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Dr. Donavan Outten

Vice President of Distance Education

Donavan OuttenExecutive Biography

Dr. Donavan Outten is a powerful trainer, consultant, educator and administrator with over 20 years’ experience. He is the former Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Webster University where he was responsible for the extended campus network.  As the chief administrative officer for distance education, he was charged with delivering educational programs throughout the United States.

As a Senior Higher Education Consultant he helped colleges and universities develop focused comprehensive, executable strategies to enhance teaching, learning, assessment, analytics and education administration. He has worked with numerous institutions aiding them in enrollment management, improving student learning outcomes and retention, managing and implementing institutional change. 

Dr. Outten’s experience also includes serving as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, where he was the senior officer in charge of the extended network of multi-metro campuses, military campuses and online. Dr. Outten served as Dean of University College at Hampton University in charge of their online programs for the university. He also served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies at Argosy University. 

As a faculty member, Dr. Outten taught courses in education and business including educational leadership and administration, urban special education leadership, educational assessment, human resource management, and business policy & strategic planning.

A noted author and presenter, Dr. Outten has publications and proceedings to his credit. Dr. Outten is well known for writing books that inspire and motivate individuals to achieve greatness in their lives. Dr. Outten earned his Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Masters in Human Resource Development & Administration from Barry University, Masters in Finance from Webster University and Bachelors in Psychology from Bethune Cookman University.

Position Summary

 An executive position providing leadership and management, the Vice President of Distance Education (VPDE) oversees leadership, planning, coordination, and evaluation of all instructional and operational components of Distance Education (DE) to ensure enrollment and revenue growth of Unity College. The VPDE works with senior leadership to establish the strategic direction of the college with regard to Distance Education. 

The VPDE works with the President and senior leadership to continue to transform Unity College from a college with a strong regional presence to a leading national institution of higher education. Within the framework of functional leadership, the VPDE supports and is supported by other senior level leaders and works with all constituencies to realize the Unity College Mission and Strategic Plan. The VPDE reports to the President. This position is located in New Gloucester, Maine. 

Essential Functions


    1. Responsible for a scalable growth model to ensure continued enrollment and revenue growth including alternative revenue streams. 

    2. Ensure all degree programs, non-degree courses (signature courses), and micro-credentials are key components of DE scalability. 

    3. Responsible for the administration and integrity of program curriculum and operation while advancing Unity College’s Strategic Plan and priorities. 

    4. Based on adopted Enterprise Budget Guide, responsible for DE budget management including creating annual budgets based on need, allocation and expenditure of resources and accountability. 

    5. Meets enrollment, revenue, quality, pace, student satisfaction and margin goals. Works with professional staff in creating and maintaining student recruitment and retention processes. 

    6. Coordinates and manages all Distance Education initiatives. 

    7. Coordinates the establishment of goals, objectives, and priorities for Distance Education educational technology, and learning resources. 

    8. Supervises all decentralized Distance Education Staff.

    9. Maintains a program of assessment to measure achievement of student learning and institutional outcomes while developing and enacting plans for adjustment as indicated by results. 

    10. Maintains a robust and effective advising process in conjunction with academic and student success staff. Receives and adjudicates student concerns as part of the academic complaint process. Resolves student issues satisfactorily. 

    11. Collaborates with other school officials to maintain college accreditation. 

    12. Supervises professional staff and facilitates the creation, organization, and implementation of professional development programs/activities related to Distance Education. 

    13. Maintains knowledge of current trends and developments in the field by attending professional development training, workshops, seminars, and conferences and by reading professional literature in the related technical field. 

    14. Collaborates with and utilizes resources of Senior Staff team to promote courses and programs at college and job fairs, trade shows, and participation in community groups as well as speaking to groups and organizations. 

    15. Develops annual Distance Education course schedules which respond to the needs of currently enrolled learners and assures proper sequencing of classes while maintaining (or moving toward) targeted course and program enrollments. 

    16. Ensures Unity College policies are being enforced by having a thorough knowledge of staff functions, administrative functions, and policy manuals. 

    17. Ensures the Distance Education Department maintains a culture of superior customer service through example, encouragement, and direction to staff and faculty ensuring superior customer service as a competitive advantage. 

    18. Develops, publishes, and provides appropriate communication and reports to campus offices routinely and upon special request. 

    19. Collaborates with campus offices to train all Distance Education staff in all aspects of retention and persistence of enrolled students. Assists all Directors in the training of their staffs as required. 

    20. Pro-actively communicate challenges, successes, and failures with leadership. 

    21. Other duties as assigned.