Distance Education, Leadership, And Management

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The following paper provides an comprehensive analysis of interviews conducted on June 19, 2016 and June 22, 2016, with Dr. William (Bill) Pepicello, the former President of University of Phoenix, one of the leading for-profit distance education institutions in the United States. Dr. Pepicello’s distinguished career in higher education, and especially his tenure at University of Phoenix, made him a prime candidate for this interview, which centered on the topics of leadership and management with respect to the past, present, and future of distance education. His responses demonstrated a vast knowledge of the growing field as well as the importance of leadership and management for it to thrive in the 21st century. His experience and…show more content…
As president, Pepicello focused on innovation and growth in order to continue to best serve UoP’s student population. In a separate interview with Today’s Campus, he referred to external economic struggles in society and the move toward online education as reasons to reposition UoP, stating that, “Through all the turbulence and all the change, the one thing that has not changed is our mission of the university and who we serve” (Pepicello, 2015). As President Emeritus, since June 2014, Pepicello remains highly involved in the world of higher education, serving as a member on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) and on the Peer Review Corps of the Higher Learning Commission, among other ventures (LinkedIn, 2016). Interview Analysis Distance Education Pepicello’s ideas and philosophies about distance education were stimulating and thought-provoking. While he did not necessarily know that higher education was where he wanted to spend his career, it was his passion, so he followed it (Pepicello, personal communication, June 22, 2016). Eventually, he would cross paths with John Sperling, the founder of UoP, who he considers a visionary and his most influential leader and mentor: “He took me from a doubter to one of the most vigorous proponents of distance education in the country” (Personal communication, June 19, 2016). Pepicello’s passion for higher education and his eventual passion for distance education, then, guided
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