Taking one of the largest predominantly online and public institutions in the country in the middle of a pandemic would be a discouraging perspective for many, but Gregory Fowler feels ready to have an impact as president of the University of Maryland Global Campus.

UMGC, previously known as University University of the University of Maryland University College, enrolled 58,281 students in the autumn 2019, from 51,013 in the autumn of 2008, according to the University website. Of the students enrolled in the autumn of 2019, 41 percent were Maryland residents, 29 percent was African-American and approximately 74 percent of college students worked full time. The average undergraduate student in UMGC is 31 years old.

Before joining UMGC, Fowler was the president of the Global Campus of the South of the University of New Hampshire. Fowler began the new position of him on January 4 of UMGC and is the first African-American president of the institution, with the exception of Antine President Lawrence E. Fuga.

He recently answered the questions on a variety of topics. The following conversation has been edited by length and clarity.

Q: You just started the new role of it as president of UMGC in January. How is it going until now?

A: Actually I'm pretty excited about that. I have been having a great time meeting the team. I have worked with many of them in various capabilities in initiatives related to academic integrity and associations with the academic team over a period of time. But this is a completely new level: it is amazing to see behind the scenes.

Q: What have you seen so far in UMGC that you are more excited about that?

A: There are many things that higher education is trying to find out, and it is good to know that UMGC is far at the forefront, particularly with the work we are doing in the analysis. But the most important thing we try to do is think about how the pandemic will change things, because it will.

We saw important changes in the country after the Spanish influenza in 1918. There are things that are happening now that will impact higher education, everything from the technologies we are using the changing feelings about education online. The industry will be different coming out of this.

Q: What do you think could change in high-term ED due to the pandemic?

A: One of the questions I know we will be working is, what is the best use of our physical space? We have learned a lot about how people can be productive in different environments. I will be curious to see if some of the big conferences change the way they operate. Everyone needs to go physically to San Diego or Chicago, or are there other ways to do it?

q. You have spent much of your career working on online education. How has that experience prepared for this role?

A: I was at the University of Southern New Hampshire for the beginning of nine years and the University of Western Governors for approximately six years before that. When I joined, both were in a stage of evolution. I was there in the early days of the educational model based on competition in Western governors. I joined Snhu when I had just configured a separate place for online operations.

Online education was still arrival at age, and many traditional institutions were trying to understand a good understanding of what it was and if it could be of high academic quality. My job was to make sure it was. I learned to be deliberate and intentional in the work I do. I also collected how important it is to keep an idea where the North star is when you are trying to innovate.

I have also learned how important it is to communicate on a regular basis. When you are trying new things, you have to feel comfortable people with experiencing and learning failure, because many things are not going to succeed. It is also important to make sure that people do not pursue all bright shiny objects that comes, because you can not do everything

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