WSU Global Campus appoints two alumnae as first vice chancellors

WSU Global Campus offers 21 undergraduate degrees; online format allows students to receive an education on their own terms

Rebecca+Van+de+Vord%2C+WSU+Global+Campus+vice+chancellor+of+academic+affairs%2C+said+she+is+a+WSU+alumna+and+has+been+with+the+university+for+20+years.+

BEN SCHUH | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Rebecca Van de Vord, WSU Global Campus vice chancellor of academic affairs, said she is a WSU alumna and has been with the university for 20 years.

BROOKLYNN HILLEMANN, Evergreen reporter

Two WSU alumnae will serve as the first vice chancellors for WSU Global Campus. 

Rebecca Van de Vord, WSU Global Campus vice chancellor of academic affairs, said she will also continue her current position as assistant vice president of academic outreach and innovation where she hopes to see students from all walks of life reach their educational goals.

“My focus is to try and make sure that the Global Campus students have a rich and robust academic experience that is equivalent to the face-to-face experience,” she said.

Van de Vord said she is a WSU alumna and has been with the university for 20 years. She has a master’s degree and doctorate in communication and media studies. 

The addition of the two new positions is an acknowledgment of how much WSU Global Campus has grown since its inception in the early ’90s, she said. 

“I feel like this shows that the Global Campus has fully matured to be on the same playing field as all the other campuses,” she said.

Global Campus became the fifth official WSU campus in 2012, with Dave Cillay becoming its first chancellor last year, according to WSU Global Campus.

Debbie O’Donnell, WSU Global Campus vice chancellor of student affairs, said the campus has been consistently growing. The online program offers 21 undergraduate degrees, and O’Donnell said she hopes to see the addition of more degrees in the near future.

The online format offers a different type of instruction, O’Donnell said. The average age of a global campus student is about 31 years, and the online format allows students to receive an education on their own terms.

“It’s important to recognize that the student experience is critical, no matter which campus you’re on,” she said.

O’Donnell said she earned a bachelor’s in business administration from WSU and has a master’s in adult and continuing education. She has been at WSU since 2005 and worked in higher education marketing, enrollment management and student affairs.

With all of WSU’s campuses making the switch to distance learning for the fall semester amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Donnell said she believes the university system is following Global Campus’ example.

“Our instructional designers have been really instrumental in helping facilitate faculty getting comfortable using the online tools and technologies to offer courses in an online environment,” she said.

Over 3,200 students are currently enrolled at WSU’s Global Campus, according to the website. 

O’Donnell said she looks forward to seeing the campus grow with more programs and welcoming more people exploring alternative higher education.

“I hope to bring an understanding of who our students are,” she said.