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Northeastern appoints vice president for online programs

Northeastern University has appointed Chris Mallett vice president for online programs, effective Nov. 10. In this critical new role, Mallett will oversee a team supporting all Northeastern’s colleges in adding and growing their online programs. He will also drive the university’s strategic vision in this space, leading the direction and growth of Northeastern’s online and hybrid-learning programs, which are strengthened by the integration of experiential learning.

Northeastern is a national leader among private research institutions in offering online as well as hybrid-education programs, which blend classroom and online learning to provide students with greater flexibility to meet their individual needs. More than 13,000 students are enrolled in these programs, with the university offering 112 degrees and certificates in this space across the Northeastern’s main campus in Boston and its graduate campuses in Seattle, Washington, and Charlotte, North Carolina. These programs also leverage Northeastern’s global leadership in experiential education—particularly through its signature co-op program—through which students gain real-world work experience.

Mallett comes to Northeastern from Western Governors University, an online university based in Utah. Founded in 1997, WGU now enrolls 50,000 students in its bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Mallett held numerous leadership positions at WGU—most recently as the associate provost for program development—and played an instrumental role in the establishment, growth, and success of the university’s pioneering delivery of competency-based learning. As a member of WGU’s senior leadership team for the past 13 years, Mallett has been deeply involved in developing and leading organizational strategy, driving performance, and achieving aggressive operational, student progress, student satisfaction, student retention, and graduation goals.

“Chris brings to Northeastern a wealth of experience at a school that has brought its online programs to scale and focused on competency-based education,” said Philomena Mantella, senior vice president and CEO of the Northeastern Global Network. “He’s worked in all dimensions of the online space, and he’s the ideal leader to oversee Northeastern’s strategic vision in this area and take the university to the next level.”

Mallett said he is very proud of helping to build WGU’s online programs from the ground up and to shape its strategy. He noted that he was attracted to Northeastern because the university shares a similar sense of pride and enthusiasm as WGU, and he’s intrigued by the challenge of leading a team tasked with scaling Northeastern’s online programs and building upon the university’s success in this area.

“The future of higher education will evolve and revolve around students and what they want from their academic experiences,” Mallett said. “Students will expect their programs to fit within the framework of their lives. We have an exciting opportunity to exceed students’ expectations in this way through online and hybrid delivery of quality programs. And we have the responsibility to do this work in a manner that preserves what’s special about the Northeastern experience.”

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