Deans' Forum


January 24, 2020, Tampa, Florida

The Deans’ Forum is a new pre-workshop session that brings together deans, those working in the dean’s office, and other university central administrators to discuss emerging opportunities and strategies for addressing challenges for kinesiology academic units. The Deans’ Forum Planning Committee includes committee chair Jeff McCubbin, Dean emeritus, College of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University, John Buckwalter, Dean, College of Human Ecology, Kansas State University, and Melanie Hart, Vice Provost for eLearning & Academic Partnerships, Texas Tech University. In addition, our session will include Chris Millet, Director of Learning Design, Penn State Online/World Campus; and by Tom Cavanaugh, Vice Provost for Digital Learning at the University of Central Florida.

2020 Deans’ Forum Program Overview

The inaugural Deans’ Forum will be focused on in-depth discussions on the viability of online education for programs in Kinesiology undergraduate and graduate educational programs. Online programs including certificates, minors and full degree completion programs have grown rapidly across most academic content areas. Yet, programs in kinesiology have been slow to fully embrace the opportunities afforded by online instruction. This preconference workshop will engage participants in discussions on issues and obstacles in creating such programs. Experts from across the US in online teaching and learning will share lessons learned and the possibilities for programmatic growth across kinesiology programs. A secondary focus will include panel and attendee discussions on leading and managing kinesiology programs housed in colleges with a variety of other academic units.

Deans’ Forum Program Schedule

Thursday, January 23, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM - Welcoming Reception for Deans’ Forum and AKA Leadership Institute Participants

Friday, January 24

7:30 AM – Continental Breakfast

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Keynote Presentations Online Education –New Technologies, Opportunities and Lessons Learned

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM Break & Networking

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM Panel & Discussion: Creating, Leading and Managing Kinesiology Programs

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch and Networking

AKA 2020 Leadership Workshop begins at 1:30 PM on Friday and concludes with Saturday evening banquet.


Workshop and hotel information for the AKA Leadership Workshop and other pre-workshop sessions to be held on January 23-25, 2020 in Tampa, Florida are available at  

 Registration for Deans’ Forum and Deans’ Forum + AKA Leadership Workshop:

·       Registration for the Deans’ Forum - $100 – includes reception, continental breakfast, break, and lunch as noted above.

·       Registration for the 2020 AKA Leadership Workshop combined with Deans’ Forum registration $500 ($100+$400) includes breaks, Friday evening reception, and Saturday evening reception and banquet.

Link to Registration form for the Deans’ Forum and Deans’ Forum + AKA Leadership Workshop

AKA Dean’s Forum Schedule

January 23rd Thursday

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (Time tentative) - Reception for Deans' Forum and Leadership Institute Participants

January 24th Friday

7:30 AM - Continental Breakfast (in meeting room)

8:00       Welcome and Introduction to the Deans' Forum- McCubbin

8:15       Texas Tech University: Melanie Hart – Observations About Higher Education in the Future


Higher education has been a hot topic for the last couple of years. Specifically, issues such as the rising cost of tuition and new terminologies such as MOOCs. LMSs, online and adaptive learning, competency-based education, prior learning assessments and credentialing just to name a few. Advances in technology, the concept of what is a faculty member’s role, and meeting the workforce demands are changing the expectations within higher education. This session will discuss the concepts that will likely have significant impacts on higher education in the future.



Melanie Hart holds the title of Vice Provost for eLearning & Academic Partnerships. Her responsibilities include the oversight of the nine regional teaching sites and the Texas Tech University Center at Junction, online program compliance and quality, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), Continuing Education, Worldwide eLearning, Destination Raiderland, Academic Partnerships, and Texas Tech University K-12 (TTU K-12). Dr. Hart has taught using a variety of technologies and pedagogical approaches. She is a member of the Texas Tech Teaching Academy and a research fellow in the Society for Health and Physical Educators. She received two degrees from Texas Tech and her doctorate from Auburn University.


8:45       University of Central Florida: Thomas Cavanagh – Lessons Learned from Successful Program Development


Strategic course redesign initiative for blended and online courses. Oftentimes, people feel that there needs to be a binary choice when it can be a spectrum. The Kinesiology community is likely facing a lot of the same challenges as the STEM faculty we are working with in our redesign project.



Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D. is Vice Provost for Digital Learning at UCF. He oversees all classroom technology and the distance learning strategy, policies, and practices of one of the nation’s largest universities. He has administered e-learning for both academic (public and private) and corporate audiences. He has been recognized with numerous awards including the highest awards from the United States Distance Learning Association, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology, and the Online Learning Consortium. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and often consults with other institutions regarding academic innovation. He is active in the higher education community and serves on a number of national advisory boards. He is also an award-winning author of several mystery novels.


9:15       Penn State – World Campus: Chris Millet – Practical Innovations in Online Education for Authentic Learning


A variety of emerging technologies are beginning to pave the way for far more authentic learning experiences for online students than has previously been possible. These technologies are increasingly accessible and affordable and thus able to be deployed reliably and at scale, and the pedagogy they enable is helping to bridge the gap between resident and online instruction. Until recently, online instruction has primarily consisted of text and basic multimedia content, asynchronous engagement, and familiar assessment techniques. Technologies such as virtual reality were relegated to programs with significant grant funding or used as marketing tools. Modern online learning environments have the potential to be more engaging and more reflective of real-world problem solving. This session will share recent examples of these concepts in practice and practical strategies to enhance your own online programs.



Chris Millet is the Director of Learning Design for Penn State's World Campus. In this role he is responsible for the overseeing the design, development, and delivery of 46 academic programs and approximately 500 online courses. He is also responsible for the university's Quality Matters program, online proctoring, accessibility compliance, and provides leadership for Penn State's learning management and instructional content management system strategies, learning analytics, and overall online education governance. He has received a Master of Education in Instructional Systems and is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education.

9:45        Open Discussion -

10:00      Break 

10:30     John Buckwalter and Jeff McCubbin-KSU and CSU to lead a panel discussion on barriers for program development in kinesiology (funding models; on-campus program growth; competing priorities)

11:30     Next steps, future planning for Deans' Forum:  format and topics, and how AKA can promote and support academic programs 

12:00    Lunch - box lunch (with moderated discussions, small group discussions, or eat/meet with others attending AKA workshops)