The Online Learning Consortium Announces New Board Officers

OLC Board of Directors elected new Board President Eric E. Fredericksen, Ed.D., Assoc. VP for Online Learning and Assoc. Professor in Educational Leadership, University of Rochester; and new Board Vice President Mary Niemiec, Assoc. VP for Digital Education, University of Nebraska.

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (Jan. 9, 2018) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of digital learning worldwide, today announced Eric E. Fredericksen, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Online Learning and Associate Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of Rochester, has been elected President of the OLC Board of Directors. Dr. Fredericksen, who previously served as the board’s Vice President, succeeds Marie Cini, Ph.D., Provost Emeritus at the University of Maryland University College. The OLC Board also elected Mary Niemiec, Associate Vice President for Digital Education at the University of Nebraska, as its new Vice President. Their terms began on Jan. 1, 2018.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Fredericksen and Mary Niemiec as the new officers of OLC’s board of directors, whose guidance will be instrumental in advancing OLC’s strategic agenda.” said Kathleen S. Ives, D.M., CEO and executive director, Online Learning Consortium. “I also wish to thank Marie Cini for her exceptional leadership and counsel during these past two years.” 

“OLC is the premier professional organization focused on quality digital teaching and learning,” said Dr. Fredericksen, who has served on the OLC board since 2012 and was also recognized by OLC among its 2013 class of Fellows. “I am excited for the opportunity to serve the OLC community, particularly during this important time in digital higher education.”

“Digital education is being shaped by the creativity, innovation and courage of the very institutions and individuals that have helped grow OLC into the valued resource it is today,” said Mary Niemiec, who was selected as an OLC Fellow in 2011 for her leadership in blended learning. “I look forward to working alongside digital education’s leaders to ensure that we do what is best, not only for our members, but for the future of higher education as a whole.”

Dr. Fredericksen, whose academic career spans more than 25 years, has served in leadership roles for online and digital learning at three universities. He has been at the University of Rochester since 2005 and was named to his current position in 2013. Prior to that, he held a leadership position at Cornell University focused on the use of contemporary technologies to support teaching and learning, both in and out of the classroom. Before Cornell, he guided the award-winning and innovative SUNY Learning Network, the online program of the State University of New York. His multi-dimensional perspective as an online student, online professor, leader and researcher, has been invaluable in his ability to guide these endeavors.

Dr. Fredericksen has published and presented collaboratively with OLC colleagues on the faculty and student experience in online courses for more than two decades. His most recent research on the new leadership roles for online learning has been ground-breaking and the corresponding Online Learning journal article in 2017 has been ranked as the #4 top research paper by OLJ and #8 top research article by the National Institute for Digital Learning.

Mary Niemiec has worked in higher education for more than 25 years, primarily in the area of online and blended learning. She served as conference chair for the OLC Blended Learning Workshop and Conference for eight years. In addition to her role as Associate Vice President for Digital Education at the University of Nebraska, Niemiec is Director of University of Nebraska Online – the University‐wide online education initiative collectively offering more than 120 online programs from its four campuses – University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska Medical Campus. 

Ms. Niemiec has been with the University of Nebraska since 2011. Prior to joining the University of Nebraska, she served as the Executive Director for External Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ms. Niemiec is also co-chair of the Education Council for the state-wide Nebraska Information Technology Commission and a member of the Midwest Higher Education Consortium’s SARA Steering Committee.

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators, dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime. OLC inspires innovation and quality through an extensive set of resources, including, best-practice publications, quality benchmarking, leading-edge instruction, community-driven conferences, practitioner-based and empirical research and expert guidance. The growing OLC community includes faculty members, administrators, trainers, instructional designers, and other learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit for more information.