Online Learning Consortium Names Thomas Hargis COO; Karen Pedersen Joins OLC as CKO

NEWBURYPORT, Mass., Feb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, today announced its board of directors has named Thomas Hargis chief operations officer. In addition, Karen Pedersen, Ph.D., is joining OLC as chief knowledge officer.

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Hargis assumes the role of COO after serving as acting COO since joining the organization in 2013. He was instrumental in OLC's transition to its new name and charting a course to expand its reach worldwide.

"Tom is an effective leader whose skills and experience will ensure the Online Learning Consortium continues to be the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide, by helping us drive strategies for growth," said Joel Hartman, Ed.D., president of the OLC Board of Directors

Hargis is a media, publishing and information industry professional with more than 20 years of experience in corporate, government and education markets. During his career, he has held senior positions in sales, marketing, business development, product development and business operations for companies in the media and information industry, and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

As OLC's new CKO, Dr. Pedersen will gather, curate and leverage OLC's intellectual capital to create and enhance services and resources provided to members and the broader OLC community. She will lead work in five key areas, including product development leadership, learning innovation, quality enhancement, community engagement and development, as well as publications, research and policy. 

"Karen Pedersen brings a depth of experience that will enable us to effectively advance the OLC mission," said Kathleen Ives, D.M., chief executive officer and executive director, OLC. "We are extremely fortunate to have her on our executive team as we work to continue OLC's momentum along our path to excellence, growth and profitability."

Prior to joining OLC, Dr. Pedersen served as the associate vice president for Extended Campuses at Northern Arizona University, where she was responsible for leading a system-wide enrollment management transformation as well as managing marketing, technology and academic operations. She previously served as vice president for Professional Studies at Southwestern College (Kansas), where she was responsible for envisioning and building an online program from the ground up and launching over 25 innovative online programs. Dr. Pedersen also held the academic associate and dean roles at Upper Iowa University's Extended University, responsible for curriculum development, supporting academic issues, learner success, as well as faculty hiring, training and evaluation. Prior to her administrative career, Dr. Pedersen served as a faculty member at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. 

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including, original research, leading-edge instruction, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit for more information.  

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SOURCE Online Learning Consortium (OLC)