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Anderson University Announces VP Of New Office

May 16, 2018 02:39PM ● Published by Kathleen Maris

Dr. Benjamin Deaton, who currently serves as the assistant provost for academic innovation and digital learning and the executive director of the Anderson University (AU) Center for Innovation and Digital Learning (CIDL), was named vice president in charge of the new Office of Technology, Online Learning and Innovation. The new initiative was created in 2018 in an effort to bring together the core services of learning and information technology, online learning, learning design, and academic innovation in order to serve the needs of AU students, faculty, and staff. The new office is comprised of three areas: the CIDL, Information Technology, and a unit dedicated to online and continuous learning.

“Anderson University thrives on a culture that recognizes the importance of casting a vision for the future rather than reflecting on past accomplishments,” AU President Dr. Evans Whitaker said. “Elevating Dr. Deaton to this new position reflects that institutional priority because he challenges us to rethink the ways we deliver learning opportunities in the 21st century. His leadership, emphasis on innovation, and singular focus on the entire AU family will serve him well in this new role.”

Named as to U.S. News & World Report’s Most Innovative Schools list, AU has established a reputation as a pioneer in delivering learning experiences amid rapid changes in technology.

Under Deaton’s leadership, the CIDL recently opened a Makerspace through which faculty and students are utilizing virtual and augmented reality tools, 3D printing technology, and a new multi-media recording studio.

Deaton is one of only about 2,500 Apple Distinguished Educators worldwide. Since coming to AU in 2010, he’s helped lead a number of innovative initiatives, including the 2011 launch of the Mobile Learning Initiative (MLI), which positioned AU as a national leader in the use of mobile devices and digital learning; the creation of the Center for Innovation and Digital Learning (CIDL); partnering with AU’s College of Arts and Sciences and CIDL to launch a Coding and App Development minor in collaboration with Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” curriculum; and receiving grant support of $600,000 for the creation of the South Carolina Center of Excellence for Mobile Learning with Dr. Margaret Walworth, housed in the College of Education, that has supported more than 250 educators from the Upstate.

“We are at an exciting time in higher education where there is continually growing connectivity among teaching, learning and technology,” Deaton said. “This new office illustrates AU’s unremitting commitment to develop a culture of innovation and finding solutions that will enable us to continually seek ways to better serve our entire campus community. I’m extremely thankful to our administrative leadership in affording me this opportunity. Since beginning my work at AU, I’ve been blessed by the opportunity to work with an amazing team in the CIDL and a creative, innovative community of faculty and staff members, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue growing and expanding those relationships in the future.”

Deaton has more than 10 years of experience in teaching online courses and actively participates in academic scholarship.
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