Quality Matters Welcomes Three New Board Members
Appointments bring decades of online and higher education experience to help support the work of QM and its 1500+ member institutions
Annapolis, MD (PRUnderground) January 27th, 2021
Quality Matters (QM) is pleased to announce the appointment of three new board members — Moustapha Diack, Ph.D., Luke Dowden, Ed.D., and Mary Agnes Larson, M.Ed.
“The QM board is composed of leading voices in online education who are committed to helping the education community deliver on its online promise,” shared QM Executive Director Dr. Deb Adair. “We are excited to tap into the extensive and unique experiences that our new members bring to the table — experiences that will help amplify the important work the board is already doing.”
Moustapha Diack, Ph.D., is currently affiliated with Southern University System (SUS), Louisiana’s Doctoral Program in Sciences and Mathematics Education, and chairs the College of Sciences and Engineering Task Force on Online Education and Professional Training. Previously, he served as the Associate Vice President for Online Learning Services with SUS. Diack is a recognized leader in the area of education engineering with specific research interests focused on the advances in artificial intelligence, data science and cognitive science principles. He is also a global leader in the area of open education and is currently leading many national and international research and development initiatives in this field.
Luke Dowden, Ed.D., is the Chief Online Learning Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Success for the Alamo Colleges District. During his time at Alamo, he has led efforts to expand online student enrollment, organized an instructional design team, deployed a suite of services to support faculty, and expanded and elevated the use of marketable skills digital badges. Prior to joining Alamo, Dr. Dowden founded the Office of Distance Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and served as its director for eight years. Dowden also founded the Division of Accelerated Learning at Bossier Parish Community College, where he led the creation of six online accelerated degree programs with wrap-around student support services.
Mary Agnes Larson, M.Ed., is the Executive Director for Student and Institution Support at the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). She brings over 30 years of higher education experience to the role. Prior to joining NC-SARA, Larson was the Director of Student Access Programs and Services at the 16-state Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). During her time at SERB, Larson was responsible for SREB’s Academic Common Market, Regional Contract Program, adult degree completion programs, and Electronic Campus. She was also the regional director for SARA, responsible for bringing all 16 SREB states, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands into the initiative. Before SREB, she worked at Fort Lewis College.
As QM welcomes its new board members, it is also saying goodbye to member Jurgen Hilke. Hilke — who served on the QM board from 2015 to 2020 — is a pioneer in the field of online education. His work laid the foundation for many of the quality initiatives that exist today. In fact, the origins of Quality Matters can be traced back to Jurgen’s efforts to build an online program at Frederick Community College in the late 1990s.
“We are extremely grateful for Jurgen’s vision, leadership and spirit of open inquiry,” noted Dr. Adair. “Jurgen is often called the Godfather of QM and it is easy to see why. His early work and ongoing contributions to the field of online education guide and inspire the entire Quality Matters community to this day. Jurgen will be missed.”
The QM board of directors is currently composed of 13 leaders committed to quality digital teaching and student learning and is led by Board Chair Dr. Jean Runyon from Front Range Community College.
About Quality Matters
Grounded in research. Driven by best practices. A community that puts learners first. Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.