Election Committee Chair: Jens Uwe Korten

Pro-Rector for Public Relations at the Inland Norway University of Applied Science. Pro-Rector for Education and Vice-Rector from 2007 to 2017, and Dean for film- and television studies in the former years.

Jens Uwe Korten was born in 1961 in Germany. He moved to Norway in 1982 and has been living there since, except for a two-years stay in Nicaragua from 1995 to 1997, when he worked for The Norwegian Student’ and Academic’ International Assistance Fond. 

Jens Uwe Korten is educated in fields of music teaching, film- and tv-directing, and media sciences. He has produced and directed a number of television programs, several for the Norwegian Broadcasting, among those programs about Distance Education.

The Ministry of Education and Research appointed him as Chair of the Board for the Norwegian Agency for Digital Learning in Higher Education from 2007 to 2017. He also represented Norway in the Bologna following up group for Policy Development for New European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Goals. In addition, Jens Uwe Korten has been Chair of the Education Committee for The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions.

Korten has been a speaker at a number of national and international conferences like the ICDE World Conferences in Bali and the BETT-Latin America in Brazil.


Last Updated on Thursday, August 16, 2018 06:57 AM

Barney Pityana

Former Vice-Chancellor and Principal for UNISA

Nyameko Barney Pityana completed his law degree through Unisa in 1976 and served as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Unisa from 2001 to 2010.

During Pityana’s decade as Vice-Chancellor, he exercised a resolute resistance to government and ruling-party influences that at times resulted in conflict with the Ministry of Education and the ANC. 

Yet, Pityana was a determined driver of the government’s mandate to transform higher education, instituting changes at Unisa that ranged from a firm anti-racism policy to active Africanisation — including the successful creation of Unisa’s satellite campus in Ethiopia. Pityana had been a leader of the South African Students’ Organisation and the Black Consciousness Movement in the 1970s. Banned from practising law due to his political activities, he left for England where he studied theology and trained for the Anglican ministry.

After returning home in 1993, he completed his doctorate and became a High Court attorney. In a rich career, Pityana has skilfully straddled the worlds of religion, academia, law and human rights. In 2006, he was awarded the Order of the Grand Counsellor of the Baobab: Silver for his “excellent contribution to a just and democratic South Africa”.


Last Updated on Thursday, August 16, 2018 07:23 AM

Marci Powell

Marci Powell & Associates, CEO/President, USDLA Chair Emerita and Past President

Marci Powell provides thought leadership and consultative expertise in the field of digital learning and innovation.

Throughout her career, Marci has been passionate about the power of technology and its impact on education and training. Her background as a teacher, trainer, administrator, and global director with several technology companies gives Marci insight and credibility as an advisor to public and private sectors worldwide.  As a subject matter expert, she shares global best practices and strategic guidance in distance education and digital learning.

Ms. Powell is an internationally known keynote speaker and author. She serves on several boards including the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) Elections Board and as United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Chair of Global Partnerships. She is also Chair Emerita and Past President of USDLA.

Marci helps drive innovation in open and flexible learning as senior educational researcher to Drexel University Online and co-anchor of Virtually Inspired: Showcasing Innovations in Online Learning, a website designed to inspire administrators, faculty members, and instructional designers.

She has created and produced global leadership summits bringing experts to educators worldwide through video conferencing and streaming. Past speakers have included Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; John Quinones, ABC Prime Time News; and Australian film designer, Lewis Morley, with credits including Star Wars, The Matrix, Mission Impossible and Elysium.

From the classroom to boardroom, Powell has traveled to six continents working with educational institutions, corporations, and ministries of education. Previously, Marci was Global Director for Education at Polycom and Director of Educational Advocacy at AT&T. She has received recognition including induction into the USDLA and TxDLA Halls of Fame, being considered Higher Ed Tech Decisions Top 10 Leaders in Higher Education and being named as EDEN Fellow by the European Distance and E-Learning Network.

Her articles on open and distance learning have appeared in publications including USA Today, T&D Magazine, Campus Review, Information Week, and India Education Review. Powell has been quoted in numerous publications including Financial Times, Washington Post, Modern China, University Business Magazine, NZ Interface Magazine, Inside Higher Education, the Examiner, Asia Pacific’s Future Gov Magazine, Auckland Herald, Japan’s Nikkei IT Pro, and Higher Ed Tech Decisions. Most recently, Marci was one of five experts interviewed for Campus Technology’s 11 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2017.




Last Updated on Thursday, August 16, 2018 07:00 AM