Michael Abbiatti Joins WCET as Executive Director
E-learning leader Michael Abbiatti is stepping into a leadership role at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). Effective January 5, 2015, he will join the nonprofit educational policy organization as WCET executive director and WICHE vice president for educational technologies.
"WICHE is thrilled that Mike Abbiatti will join the WCET staff in this leadership position," said WICHE President David Longanecker in a press release. "He has been a champion on behalf of WCET for many years through his distinguished career in higher education and technology. Mike is a leader and will now lead WCET and its national membership of more than 350 higher education institutions and organizations to address critical challenges and opportunities in the teaching, learning, technology and innovation space."
Abbiatti's career has spanned a number of roles devoted to innovation in teaching and learning. He served as director of distance education for Louisiana State University, and then as associate commissioner, information and learning technology, for the Louisiana Board of Regents, where he promoted a statewide innovation grant program, attention to universal design principles, joint reviews of emerging technologies, a statewide e-learning support center, the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), statewide Quality Matters and WCET memberships, and more. He also helped lead the coordination of postsecondary education response and recovery efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Abbiatti continues to work on policy development for technology-enhanced teaching and learning, disaster preparedness, mitigation and recovery, cybersecurity, and broadband access in education.
More recently, Abbiatti led the creation of the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (ARE-ON). He is currently director of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Educational Technology Cooperative, serves on the Board of Directors for Quality Matters, is active in the Internet2 K-20 community, and leads SREB's membership team in the WCET State Authorization Network (SAN).
"WCET has been the leader in distance education for the past 26 years, identifying and promoting good practices for both the design and delivery of distance education but also on the policy front," said Abbiatti in a prepared statement. "I look forward to supporting existing and nurturing new relationships across the higher education landscape to further advance technology-enhanced teaching and learning."
Abbiatti will take the reins from Mollie McGill and Russ Poulin, who served as co-interim executive directors for 2014.
About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at email@example.com.