In January 2018, Dr. Jim Ptaszynski became the Vice President for Digital Learning, at the University of North Carolina System.Â His primary responsibilities include implementing a digital learning action plan and leading a new UNC System advisory council for online education and digital learning. He will also conduct research to determine the needs in online education that are most relevant to current and future industry demands as well as economic development. Finally, Jim will help identify and facilitate creation of unique programs tailored to fit regional economic needs and entrepreneurial opportunities and support the development of degree programs with contemporary delivery methods such as micro- and nano- credential and competency based systems.
Jim has spent a significant portion of his career working to improve access to higher education through technology. Most recently, he served as Senior Fellow for Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Jim also served as associate dean at the Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University before spending nearly 20 years at Microsoft where he was responsible for helping colleges and universities, as well as individual faculty members, integrate technology into their teaching and learning activities. He also served on the U.S. Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education (Spellings Commission), the Middle East Institute for Higher Education as well as many other taskforces and as a trusted advisor to numerous educational organizations including serving on the Council of Senior Advisors to the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP).
Jim received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his Master of Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.