The Advisory Board


David A. Bucci, EdD

David A. Bucci, an accomplished leader in higher education, is poised to embark on his role as the program director for Project Kitty Hawk, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the evolving online education needs of adult learners within the UNC System institutions. Previously, he served as the executive director for the Student Success Center at East Carolina University’s College of Engineering & Technology. Bucci’s expertise in academic affairs, coupled with his adept administrative skills, positions him as a key figure with a deep understanding of higher education policies and their impact on student retention, persistence, and the journey to graduation. Bucci holds an EdD in higher education administration from North Carolina State University, complemented by previous degrees in counselor education and psychology.


Kathy Burlingame, EdD

Kathy Burlingame serves as the dean of the Online RN to BSN program at Galen College of Nursing and has over 30 years of experience in nursing education. She has led nursing programmatic, allied health, and regional accreditation self-studies, and with team members, hosted successful accreditation site visits. Burlingame’s clinical background includes critical care and emergency services. Burlingame earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Oral Roberts University, a master of science in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, a bachelor of science degree from Moorhead State University, an associate degree in nursing from Northland Community College, and a Practical Nursing diploma from Detroit Lakes Area Vocational Technical Institute.

Russell Carpenter

Russell Carpenter, PhD

Russell Carpenter is assistant provost and professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University. Carpenter serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Faculty Development and past editor of the Communication Center Journal. Carpenter has written or edited a wide range of books including Engaging Millennial Faculty, Studio-Based Approaches for Multimodal Projects, Writing Studio Pedagogy, and Sustainable Learning Spaces. Articles have appeared in Computers and Composition, Journal of Learning Spaces, Across the Disciplines, Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, and the Journal of Creative and Artistic Education, among others. Carpenter is the former President of the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) and Chair of the National Association of Communication Centers. He received the 2018 Turner Award from the National Association of Communication Centers, along with the 2015 Preston Award for Leadership. In 2020, he was awarded the Southeastern Writing Center Association’s highest recognition, the Achievement Award. Carpenter has received multiple top-panel awards from the National Communication Association’s Communication Center division for scholarship focused on innovations in multimodal communication, program design, and communication-focused partnerships. 


Edna B. Chun, DM

Edna B. Chun teaches in the graduate Human Capital Management program in the Columbia University School of Professional Studies and is chief learning officer with HigherEd Talent. She has more than two decades of strategic human resource and diversity leadership experience in public higher education. Her work and publications focus on academic and administrative talent practices that build organizational capacity. A sought-after keynote speaker and facilitator, Chun is an award-winning author and thought leader with a major body of published work on diversity and human resource practices in higher education. As a nationally recognized expert in leadership development, she frequently advises universities and colleges on diversity strategic planning, total rewards strategy, talent acquisition and retention, change management and organizational development, cultural competence, inclusive pedagogy, and the integration of HR and diversity practices. Her expertise is in the development of concrete, research-based strategies that strengthen organizational synergy and build more inclusive cultures in support of institutional goals. 

Robert Cipriano

Robert Cipriano, EdD

Robert Cipriano is professor emeritus and former department chair at Southern Connecticut State University. He is currently a senior partner in ATLAS – Academic Training, Leadership & Assessment Services, an internationally acclaimed consulting firm specializing in academic leadership training. Bob has written 6 books, contributed chapters in 3 additional books, has published 12 academic leadership guides, and has published more than 180 journal articles and manuscripts. His most recent book, co -authored with Jeff Buller, Free Speech and Campus Civility: Promoting Challenging but Constructive Dialogue in Higher Education, was published in 2021. Bob has received more than $9 million in federal and state grants and contracts from the US Department of Education. He has conducted research and written extensively on the topics of civility and collegiality, managing conflict, chairs’ perceptions of important factors to consider in personnel decisions regarding faculty, including individuals with disabilities in higher education, and an ongoing study regarding the changing roles and responsibilities of academic leaders. 


Stephanie Delaney, PhD

Stephanie Delaney is the vice president of instruction at Renton Technical College and is a certified change manager and productivity executive coach focused on supporting equity work. Delaney has a strong background in guided pathways and eLearning and has spoken nationally on issues related to leadership, productivity, technology, and effective online teaching and learning. Delaney earned her PhD in educational leadership in higher education/distance education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She also holds a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a master’s degree in environmental law from Vermont Law School. She earned her BS at Georgetown University.  

Oliver Dreon, Millersville University

Oliver Dreon, PhD

Oliver Dreon is a professor of educational foundations at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. From 2013-2020, Dreon served as the director of the Center for Academic Excellence where he led professional development for online teaching, active learning, Universal Design for Learning, and student-centered instruction. At Millersville, Dreon teaches a wide variety of education and instructional technology courses both in face-to-face and online formats. He is the co-author of the book Authentic Instruction with Technology: A Student-Centered Approach, the co-editor of the book, Teacher Education for Ethical Professional Practices in the 21st Century, and co-author of The Power of Blended Learning in the Sciences. Dreon has spent nearly 30 years teaching in various educational environments and provides regular professional development and consultation on online and blended learning. His work examines how technology can be used to support student development through physical, online, and hybrid learning spaces.


Craig Hlavac, EdD

Craig Hlavac is the associate dean of the liberal arts (arts, humanities, social & behavioral sciences) at Southern Connecticut State University. Hlavac has delivered presentations in the areas of academic leadership and management throughout the country. In addition to serving on the advisory board for the Leadership in Higher Education conference, he is also an advisory board member for The Department Chair, the premier academic department chair journal. Hlavac’s research interests are focused on academic leadership and include data-driven decision-making, effective fundraising practices for academic leaders, and the utility of mission-based management in the administration of the contemporary university.


Gretchen Oltman, JD, PhD

Gretchen Oltman is an associate professor of interdisciplinary studies and and the program director of the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a licensed attorney and an author with over 25 years working in the field of education. Oltman’s research interests include education law issues, censorship challenges, leadership development, and issues surrounding public education. Oltman earned a PhD in educational studies from the University of Nebraska.