Recreating the Wheel: Making Your Unit a One-Stop-Shop

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Running the show requires no less than a Broadway production. Manage all the moving pieces in an online learning unit without breaking a sweat. Learn how NYU manages a unit with sectors in instructional design, marketing, sales, and more. 


Marlene Leekang, Executive Director of NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering’s Enterprise Learning and Online Learning units, manages the development of new initiatives and collaborations across the University and with external partners and clients. Leekang is responsible for launching new programs, preparing financial models, and oversight of implementation. In previous roles in the Enterprise Learning and Online Learning units, Leekang oversaw day-to-day operations of online learning and corporate education, was responsible for implementing marketing and recruitment strategies for the school's online students as well as student and faculty services, student management and quality assurance. With over fifteen years of management experience, Leekang has worked as an executive in corporate environments, managing large-scale local and global customer-service teams. Her extensive background has given her the knowhow to execute best practices in serving NYU School of Engineering students, faculty, and Fortune 500 clients. Since joining NYU School of Engineering in 2010, her leadership has contributed to the growth and expansion of Enterpise Learning and NYU-ePoly, resulting in doubling revenue and enrollment in less than four years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from York College, her Master’s in Psychology from Queens College, and her Master’s in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College.

Extended Abstract

While a full-service online learning unit requires resources adapted for learning and delivery, online learning units often lacks flexibility and access to key resources normally available on-campus. Consequently, they must take on many of the responsibilities commonly assumed by others to fulfill their objectives. This session focuses on different facets of managing a stand-alone online unit--budgeting, contracting, marketing, student services, program development, faculty development, and others services and functions. The session provides you with management techniques and examples, applicable to online learning units, together with guides to collaboration with other university departments in finance, IT, the Registrar, web communications, and academic departments, among others. Learn how the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Online Learning division strategically manages several of its own services, plus ancillary resources delivered by sister university units, to maintain present programs and prepare for growth. 

Learning Objectives:

Identify gaps in existing resources and services to meet the needs for online programs.

Describe key components to justify necessary resources to stakeholders.

Examine how NYU's online learning unit manages different facets of services under one umbrella.

Assess the unit's main priority in increasing purely online students, and how this is implemented into each sector.

Interactive group discussions to include the below topics:

Identify effective practices for fulfilling resource needs for online units.

Assess on-campus resources for online service needs. 

Outline the support needed for technology training, instructional design and general online pedagogy for academic departments and measure the resources needed too meet demand.

Discuss the preferences and differences between running an online program through an online learning unit versus the academic department. Identify benefits and disadvantages to both.

Additional questions will be taken from participants.