The exterior of University Hall, home of the College of Continuing Studies

CCS Names Interim Dean, Committee to Review Online Education

Dr. Robert E. Hayes III will serve as interim dean of the College of Continuing Studies effective April 1. Hayes currently serves as the college’s associate dean and oversees its robust portfolio of online academic and continuing education programs, which includes ACCESS Virtual Learning, New College Life Track, The University of Alabama Online and UA Early College.

A headshot of Robert Hayes
Dr. Robert E. Hayes III

Hayes has served in several professional roles since arriving at UA in 2005. Prior to joining the College of Continuing Studies, he worked with the Division of Student Life, College of Arts and Sciences, and Division of Enrollment Management.

Since joining the College of Continuing Studies in 2018, Hayes has led in advancing UA’s distinction as a national leader in the distance and online education market, including rebranding The University of Alabama Online, launching 22 new academic degree programs, and increasing high school dual credit, undergraduate and graduate student enrollment. Under his leadership, the college implemented Quality Matters as the guiding framework for quality assurance in online teaching and learning, introduced 24/7 technical support for faculty and students, and improved UA’s standings in U.S. News and World Report rankings for Best Online Programs.

Adaptation to the demands of the pandemic has demonstrated that online education and the application of academic innovation are more important than ever in higher education. Although some universities structure their online and distance education efforts within a college/school structure, many structure it as an office of academic innovation or online education.

While UA traditionally transitioned to a search for a new dean when one departs, Provost Jim Dalton has appointed a Committee on Online Education and Academic Innovation at UA before moving forward. Hayes will chair the committee, comprised of Patricia Carter (Nursing), Deidre Leaver-Dunn (Human Environmental Sciences), Jordan Johnson (Academic Affairs), Jan Jones (Business), Victoria Lewis (Continuing Studies), Claire Major (Education), Ashley Olive (Continuing Studies), Ruth Pionke (Social Work), Patricia Sobecky (Academic Affairs), Jimmy Vail (Arts and Sciences) and John Wingard (Arts and Sciences), as it works to provide recommendations regarding how UA can best achieve its highest goals in continuing, distance and online education.