Dr. Don Olcott, Jr., FRSA

Dr. Don Olcott, Jr., FRSA, is Head of Campus – Virtual and Professor of Educational Leadership and ODL and Co-Director of the uImagine Digital Innovation Laboratory at Charles Sturt University in Australia.  He also holds an appointment as Professor of Educational Leadership and ODL with the University of Oldenburg (Germany) and the University of Maryland University College.   From 2011-2013 he served in a lead consultancy role as the manager of strategic planning and international engagement with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) system office in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Olcott brings nearly 35 years of experience and leadership in open and distance education. Dr. Olcott is former Chief Executive of The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) in the UK (2007-2011), former Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and is a 2010 EDEN Fellow bestowed by the European Distance and eLearning Network (EDEN) for his leadership and contributions to European open and distance learning.  During 2014, he also consulted on major projects with the African Virtual University (AVU) and with the British Council in the UK and Columbia.   

Dr. Olcott was the 2013 recipient of the International Council of Distance Education (ICDE) Individual Prize of Excellence for his leadership and contributions to global open and distance education.  Don holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship.  Dr. Olcott was inducted in to the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Hall of Fame in May 2014.  Don formally served on the external Strategy Group of the Open University, served on the UK Online Learning Task Force (2009-2011); and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA).   Dr. Olcott recently completed an honorary three-year appointment as Professor of Education and ODL with the Faculty for the Professions at the University of New England – Australia.  Dr. Olcott is a continuing member of USDLA’s Board of Directors and chairs the association’s global partnership committee. 

Dr. Olcott serves on the Editorial Boards of the Merlot Journal of Online Teaching and Learning, Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimient (Spain), Open Learning (UK), The American Journal of Distance Education, the European Journal of Open and Distance Learning (EURODL), Distance Education (Australia) the Asian Journal of Distance Education, and the Journal of Internet Learning (USA). Dr. Olcott previously served six years on the editorial board of Athabasca University’s International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL).   Dr. Olcott was the senior editor on all research published by The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education 2007-2010.

Dr. Olcott’s research interests include language and culture in cross-border higher education, sustainable ODL and OER business models, innovative learning design models for ODL, and leadership and innovation in open and distance learning and open educational resources (OER).