October 7, 2011

NU's Jennifer Luzar Wins Award for Excellence in Online Education

As part of our ongoing effort to deliver and support the very best in online education, Northwood University is a co-sponsor again this year of the “Symposium for Excellence in Online Education,” a project of the Alliance for Excellence in Online Education (AEOE). I am happy to report this is led by Northwood faculty member Dr. Patrick Callaghan who also serves as president of AEOE.

This year’s symposium is being held today, October 7, in Troy, Michigan where another of our faculty members, Professor Jennifer Luzar, received the Distinguished Faculty of the Year award. The award comes with a personal plaque, a traveling plaque that will be on display on campus, and a $1,000 check donated to the general scholarship fund for an online student.

This is a very significant achievement and recognizes the high level of effort and output that Jennifer has been delivering both in the online classroom and in online faculty development for quite some time.

As Dr. Callaghan observed, “Professor Luzar has been instrumental in setting a high standard not only for the design and facilitation of online and blended courses but also for supporting the development and advancement of many of our current faculty. She has provided our students a meaningful, interactive, and stimulating learning experience and is deserving of this award on so many levels.”

And deserving she is. Please join me in celebrating and congratulating Professor Luzar on this award.

DeVos Graduate School of Management Begins Exploring Online Offerings

Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School of Management enjoys a proud history of innovation and excellence in the area of graduate education. I am happy to report that under the guidance and direction of our systemwide leadership at Northwood, including Dr. Lisa Fairbairn, dean of the DeVos Graduate School and her team, we are exploring the expansion of our graduate offerings in online and hybrid learning environments to keep pace with the evolving student needs in graduate education.

These offerings will incorporate the academic rigor and real-world experience and opportunities our DeVos Graduate School is known for while presenting students even more options and greater flexibility for personal and professional advancement in today’s ever-changing and demanding marketplace.

Dr. David Rausch, a graduate faculty member who brings significant experience in developing and implementing online programs, observed, “Research supports that learning is about engagement and focus. These new initiatives will create the opportunity for Northwood to extend our offerings beyond the traditional classroom settings to further our mission of ‘developing future leaders of a global, free-enterprise society.’” Dr. Rausch is currently leading the efforts in exploring the feasibility of offering a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership for the graduate school.

It is anticipated that, over time, new programs will be offered in a number of ways including online and blended delivery utilizing the best virtual classroom technologies plus teaching and learning practices. We will incorporate asynchronous and synchronous learning technologies to expand the already robust DeVos learning environment.

While there are many exciting features and a greater degree of flexibility in using these delivery methods, our academic quality will not be compromised. The community of learners and professionals that make up our Northwood family deserve the best and we are committed to providing the highest quality learning experiences. To this end, we are working very hard to ensure that our new offerings are consistent with our IACBE accreditation work and meet all of the criteria necessary for approval by the Higher Learning Commission.

I look forward to sharing more about these and other exciting developments as they come to fruition.

Have a great weekend.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203 (phone)
989.832.9590 (fax)