University of Maryland University College (UMUC) presents “Thursday Thoughts,” a new series of Facebook Live interviews moderated by UMUC Chief Academic Officer Alan Drimmer, Ph.D., and featuring discussions with UMUC scholar-practitioner faculty members and noted special guests on a wide range of timely topics in higher education.
Watch the latest interview. On June 28, Barry Douglass, program chair of the systems engineering specialization under UMUC’s Master of Science in Information Technology degree program, talked about the developing systems-engineering field—a discipline that’s increasingly critical to the “success of our ever more complex technological society.”
Thursday Thoughts airs every other Thursday at 1 p.m. ET on UMUC’s Facebook page.
- July 12—with Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education
- July 26—with Elena Gortcheva, program chair, UMUC Graduate Data Analytics
- June 28 –Trends in systems engineering, with Barry G. Douglass, program chair, Systems Engineering Information and Technology Systems, The Graduate School
- June 14—"Free-Range Learning in the Digital Age: The Emerging Revolution in College, Career, and Education.” with Peter Smith. UMUC Orkand Endowed Chair and professor of innovative practices in higher education
- May 31—Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change, with Professor Robert Ouellette, UMUC Environmental Management Program Chair
- May 17—The Cloud: What Is It and How Does It Work? with Jeff Tjiputra, UMUC chair of Cloud Computing Architecture
Dr. Alan Drimmer is an award-winning teacher, entrepreneur, innovator and results-oriented academic leader with more than two decades of experience in improving access, retention, and the quality of higher education for nontraditional students.
Drimmer spent more than seven years in key leadership roles with Apollo Education Group, first as president of Western International University, then as provost and executive vice president of University of Phoenix, and as chief academic officer of the entire Apollo Education Group from 2013 to 2016, where he led multiple initiatives that involved adaptive and competency-based learning, analytics to improve student success and operational efficiencies, as well as student motivation projects to improve retention.
More recently, he served as chief executive of PromotED, an education startup that helps employers position personalized coaching, education and technology as employee benefits to reduce frontline turnover and absenteeism.
Dr. Drimmer holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Chicago, as well as an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. After completing his M.B.A., he joined McKinsey & Company as a management consultant in Chicago helping clients develop growth strategies, regional expansion plans and change management programs. He has also served as the managing director of UNEXT, a distance education startup associated with the University of Chicago, Stanford University, Columbia University, Carnegie-Mellon University and the London School of Economics.
He joined UMUC as senior vice president and chief academic officer in March 2018.