William & Mary has hired its first associate provost of e-learning initiatives. This is a disturbing trend; not that universities are adding high-level online/e-learning administrative posts. I am happy that universities are showing more support for and feeding the e-learning cash cow. And, I certainly don't question the abilities of the individual selected by the college. I take issue however with the academic backgrounds and training of these new e-learning leaders. As I read these announcements, I rarely encounter the names of my AECT colleagues. All-too-often, the selected individuals come from all walks of academia, except the learning sciences.
Therein lies the problem, it seems. AECT members, the researchers and practitioners who know more about teaching and learning than anyone else on the planet, are not represented in these upper-level positions.
Granted, university administration is certainly not for everyone. However, I would think (and hope) that more of us (AECT members) would be "throwing our hats into the ring." We continually complain that as THE leaders in our field, our message is not getting out. Perhaps, by aggressively pursuing leadership positions, we can take back our field? Maybe this is something that we might address at a 2015 AECT International Convention session? Let's keep the conversation going.