HBCU Welcome and Overview; HBCU Keynote Address; Applying Technology Innovations within Your Institutions

Workshop Session 1
Streamed Session HBCU

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Brief Abstract

8:30am-8:55am  Welcome and Overview 

Join Professor Moustapha Diack, HBCU Summit Chair, and SUS President/Chancellor Ray Belton as they welcome attendees to the HBCU Summit at OLC Innovate 2017. Prof. Diack and President Belton, along with the HBCU Summit steering committee, will provide an overview on strategies for effectively delivering online and hybrid education affordably.  These strategies will subsequently be shared and discussed throughout the summit.  Strategies include:

  • Institutional strategies for online education and technology innovations (Day 1)
  • Textbook affordability strategies using free and open educational resources (Day 2)

This overview will be followed by a small group discussion on participants' priorities for their institution.  

8:55am-9:40am  Keynote Address

Robert Blaine, Ph.D. (Jackson State University and member of the OLC Board of Directors), will deliver a keynote presentation, "Building Online Professional Certifications into the Undergraduate Curriculum:  Reducing student costs, Reducting time towards matriculation, Adding value to traditional degrees, & creating institutional revenue."

HBCU graduates are finding themselves in a rapidly changing environment of employer credentialing.  More often, employers are seeking candidates with proven expertise in specific skill sets rather than the global learning experience of the undergraduate curriculum.  How can institutions reduce costs for students and decrease their time towards matriculation?  How can institutions create high quality online programs that provide professional certifications?  How can institutions use a professional certificate program to grow enduring ties to the corporate community and create robust revenue streams for the institution?  The answer to these questions and more will be discussed in the keynote address by Dr. Blaine.

9:40am-10:00am  Applying Technology Innovations within Your Institutions 

Dr. Blaine, Dr. Diack and Dr. Belton, along with the HBCU Summit Steering Committee members, will facilitate discussions and answer HBCU Summit participant questions on issues involving applying technology innovations in their institutions.  The discussions will focus on activities institutions can perform over the next 6 months as some of the first steps in applying innovations within their institutions.



Robert Blaine, conductor, soloist and scholar balances diverse artistic and academic worlds with agility and aplomb. Serving as Tougaloo College’s Associate Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Blaine has held positions as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and CyberLearning; Director of the Quality enhancement Plan - GEAR (Global Education through Analytical Reasoning) and Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at Jackson State University. Robert Blaine is highly active through his multifaceted career. Dr. Blaine has long been interested in the intersection between art, teaching and technology. His role as conductor of Tougaloo College and Jackson State University’s CyberLearning initiatives provides leadership for the development of a 21st century learning environments for students and faculty. Dr. Blaine’s most recent leadership initiatives have resulted in the development of INNOVATE, a center for the development and dissemination of digital content; CREATE, a center for project-based learning; the Digital Core, an interdisciplinary general education core delivered as multi-touch digital textbooks; and the recent designation as an Apple Distinguished School and Institutional Partner of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Robert Blaine is an Apple Distinguished Educator, TEDx presenter and an endorsing artist of the C. G. Conn Company. Dr. Blaine performs on Conn instruments exclusively.
Professor Moustapha Diack is the Associate Vice President for Online Learning Services for the Southern University System (SUS) and Director of Professional Development Services for Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR). He is Chair of the Practitioners Summit for Advancing Affordable Learning Solutions and Quality Online Education for HBCUs, integral part of the OLC/MERLOT International Conference. His research interests at Southern University are in the areas of Instructional Design, cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the strategic planning and deployment of online learning systems to enhance student learning outcomes. Diack has extensive experience in the areas of online learning design and delivery and has played a global leadership role in the areas of Open Education and Open Access. He is recipient of the International MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching) Innovation Award 2009. He is member of the MERLOT Faculty Development Editorial Board and Co-Founding Director of the MERLOT Africa Network (MAN), a network of African higher education institutions and digital scholars engaged in the research, development and implementation of open education. At the SUS, Diack oversees the development and implementation of integrated digital library services, the Southern University Online Library for Education (SUOL4ed), to facilitate quality online programs development and college affordability through the adoption of open education resources and open textbook. Diack is member of the Louisiana Board of Regents Task Force On Electronic Learning and Past President 2003-2006 of the Louisiana Academy of Science and also Member of the Quality Matters (QM) International Advisory.
The SU System Board of Supervisors named Ray L. Belton President-Chancellor of the Southern University System, the nation’s only historically black university system, on June 12, 2015. Previously Chancellor of Southern University Shreveport (SUSLA 2000-2015, Belton has accumulated more than 30 years of experience in higher education. The Board of Supervisors adopted an administrative model that provides for the assumption of the roles of President of the SU System and Chancellor of the SU Baton Rouge campus as carried out by a single administrator. The first year of Dr. Belton’s historic tenure was mostly focused on implementing the new administrative model, through a quest to stabilize the university system and advance a culture of institutional excellence. To that end and to date, he has been instrumental in reducing the operational costs of the institution by $3 million through improved efficiencies, securing more than $41 million in capital outlay funding, and expanding need-based scholarships by 135 percent.  Further, the land grant mission of the University has been realigned reflecting the combining of the SU Ag Research and Extension Center with the College of Agriculture, and a deliberate focus has been directed to establishing a state-of-the-art online instructional delivery platform that will be utilized by faculty and students alike to obtain learning solutions and open source library content.  While serving as Chancellor of the Shreveport campus, the university enjoyed unprecedented growth resulting in an enrollment increase of over 156 percent. SUSLA acquired more than $34 million to support capital improvements including: academic structures, student centers, and the first time development of student apartments (one of only two at community colleges in the state) at the institution. Dr. Belton also held several national leadership positions including serving on the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (COC-SACS), as a Commissioner on Diversity and Inclusion for the American Association of Community Colleges, the Executive Board of the Louisiana Campus Compact, and the National Advisory Board of Community Renewal International. He was recently elected to SACS COC Appeals Committee at the organization’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. His statewide affiliations include serving in senior leadership roles with the Consortium for Education, Research and Technology (CERT), Biomedical Research Foundation, Alliance for Education, Coordinating & Development Corporation of Northwest Louisiana and as a member of the local Chambers and Committee of 100. Early in his career, he served on active duty in the United States Army for eight years on assignments stateside and abroad and was recognized as one of the top non-commissioned officers of his brigade. Dr. Belton has received numerous awards, to name a few, they include: the Leader of the New Century, from the Shreveport Times and the Distinguished Achievement Award, from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is also the recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Community Service Award and is recognized as the '2001 Distinguished Graduate,' University of Texas at Austin, Community College Leadership Program, Austin, TX. Further, in acknowledging his scholarly work, he was the recipient of: W.K. Kellogg Graduate Fellowship 1996, 1997, 1998; League for Innovation Graduate Scholarship 1996, 1997; C. C. Colvert Scholarship 1997, 1998; John and Suzanne Roueche Scholar 1997, 1998; and Community College Leadership Program Fellowship 1996, 1997. Dr. Belton is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana who graduated from SUSLA and continued his studies at Southern University A&M College where he graduated first in his class. He earned a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.