DELO working to expand reach under new vice president

Elizabeth Beilman

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach is “ready to enter phase two.”

“I think it is appropriate at this stage in DELO’s life that we take a look at it afresh and see if we can improve on it more,” he said.

Areas that may be examined include structure and where profits from DELO go, Emslie said.

Beth Laves, who was assistant to the dean of DELO before taking over as interim vice president last October, starts her new job as associate vice president of DELO today.

“I did have a good feel for the job when I started,” Laves said.

DELO  — created in 2003 — partners with WKU faculty and departments to offer credit and noncredit educational opportunities beyond the Bowling Green campus, according to a university press release.

Some of the programs DELO offers include Winter Term, Summer Sessions and workforce training.

Laves said a large part of what DELO does involves “distance learning.”

“What it boils down to is what happens outside the Bowling Green community,” she said. “[It’s] ways that we can support whatever is going on in educational opportunities outside of the traditional classroom.”

Emslie recently changed the position Laves now holds from dean to vice president.

Because a dean is typically the head of  a college or department, the title of vice president is more appropriate for DELO as it “addresses all units across campus,” Emslie said.

“DELO has matured and evolved sufficiently, and this really was a vice president role,” he said.

The division’s structural change has prompted a further look into reevaluation of the division.

Laves said she especially hopes to extend DELO’s reach in the community.

“My goal is to continue to grow this division and become a more valuable asset to Academic Affairs,” she said. “What we’re looking at is to be more supportive and broader in our support.”

By supporting faculty further, DELO will be able to assume some of their responsibilities that lie outside of the classroom.

“That frees them up so they can give their time and energies to institution, service and research,” Laves said.

Because DELO is a self-supporting division, marketing is an important part of their work, Laves said.

Jennifer Perry, marketing manager of DELO, said their division is working on developing creative means of advertising.

She said they are learning good methods of successful marketing from their colleagues.

“We always look for new and innovative ways to reach different audiences,” Perry said.