Call for Chapter Proposals

Submissions are currently closed.

From Grassroots to the Highly Orchestrated: Online Leaders Share Their Stories of the Evolving Online Organizational Landscape in Higher Ed

A book edited by Bettyjo Bouchey (National Louis University), Erin Gratz (Orange Coast College), Shelley Kurland (County College of Morris)


As online education units within higher education institutions (HEIs) continue to expand and evolve, it is important to not only research their nature and organizational structures, but to make sense of them through sharing histories, pain points, evolutions, and practices of peer institutions for the betterment of all. Most online education units took shape and continue to evolve based on institutional history and culture, perceptions of faculty, staff, administrators, and the needs of the student body and other institutional stakeholders. As such, online organizational structures often do not align with established organizational behavior/organizational development frameworks. Instead, online organizational structures at HEIs are nontraditional, diverse, and distinct from institution to institution. Additionally, in light of recent disruptions in higher education and the continued growth and reliance on online education, it is necessary to take steps to optimize and elevate online education units across HEIs for stability, sustainability, and adaptability to accommodate the evolving needs and expectations of students. It is through learning from other Chief Online Officers’ (COOs) authentic stories, practices, lessons, and innovations that we can help our own institutions evolve more effectively and grow the online education sector, as a whole.

Objective of the Book

Through COOs’ first-person stories, practices, lessons, and innovations, this book aims to illuminate the organizational structures and leadership strategies of online education units at institutions of higher education. The book will be organized into four dimensions of online organizations: student onboarding, academic functions, student support services, and administrative functions (for more detail see this graphic). A fifth dimension will also be explored: leadership approaches. The intent is to highlight experiences within these areas to share innovations, challenges, successes, and lessons learned from peer institutions from a cross-section of institutional types. It will be written by and for leaders in higher education institutions (HEIs) interested in charting change and enhancing current practices.

Target Audience

The target audience of this book will be leaders (Chief Online Officers – COOs, faculty, administrators, and staff) who are invested in online learning, as well as Provost and President’s offices aimed at enhancing online education at their institutions.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, innovations, challenges, successes, or lessons learned in the following areas of online education:

There are five dimensions the book will be organized into for a deeper dive into organizational structures of online education units in HEI. Four of the dimensions refer to typical HEI functional departments: 1) student onboarding, 2) academic functions, 3) student support services, and 4) administrative functions. The fifth dimension explored in the book is leadership approaches, which invites COO to share authentic stories of creativity, innovation, relationship building, decision-making considerations, and overcoming challenges.

    1. Student Onboarding: The student onboarding dimension includes the functions at the institution that lead up to and including the matriculation of a student.
    2. Academic Function: The academic functions dimension includes the functions at the institution that plan for, create, and support learning environments.
    3. Student Support: The student support services dimension includes the functions at the institution that take place outside of the classroom experience that are intended to support the student’s social, emotional, and learning needs in which the students are active participants.
    4. Administrative Functions: The administrative functions dimension includes the functions at the institution that take place outside of the classroom experience, in which the students do not immediately interface, but that support infrastructure of online programming
    5. Leadership Approaches: This section covers specific innovations or innovative ways of creating, leading, and/or growing online units within HEIs. This section specifically looks for stories of initiatives and ideas that highlight the innovations and innovative ways online leaders work.

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before May 7, 2021, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of their proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by June 30, 2021 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by October 15, 2021, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors will also be requested to serve as reviewers for one chapter.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, From Grassroots to the Highly Orchestrated: Online Leaders Share Their Stories of the Evolving Online Organizational Landscape in Higher Ed. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process. All proposals should be submitted through the submission form:


The book is scheduled to be published by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and is anticipated to be released in 2022. 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. Learn more at

Important Dates

May 7, 2021: Proposal Submission Deadline
June 30, 2021: Notification of Acceptance
October 15, 2021: Full Chapter Submission
January 2, 2022: Review Results Returned
February 1, 2022: Revisions Due
March 1, 2022: Final Review Results Returned/Acceptance Notification March 15, 2022: Final Chapter Submission

Editorial Advisory Members:

Nicole Weber, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President of Learning | Online Learning Consortium

Abby McGuire, Ed.D.
Educational Researcher| Online Learning Consortium

Inquiries can be forwarded to:

Bettyjo Bouchey, Ed.D.
National Louis University

Erin Gratz, Ed.D.
Orange Coast College

Shelley Kurland, Ph.D.
County College of Morris