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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

UNCP hires New Director of Continuing and Distance Education

Charles TitaDr. Charles Tita joined UNC Pembroke in August as director of Continuing and Distance Education.

In that capacity, Dr. Tita is responsible for continuing education as well as courses and programs delivered online and at satellite campuses in the region. UNCP served more than 1,000 students last year through online courses and at satellite campuses at Richmond, Sandhills, Fayetteville Technical and other community colleges.

The importance of Outreach is growing at UNCP, and Dr. Tita is a welcome addition, said Dr. Roger Brown, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“Dr. Tita will manage the division with the most rapid growth of student credit hours in the entire University,” Dr. Brown said. “We welcome his experience, vision, and energy to this very important position.”

A native of Cameroon, Dr. Tita comes to UNCP from Shaw University, one of the pioneer institutions in distance education in North Carolina. At Shaw, he was an associate professor of English, chair of the Department of Humanities and assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Tita also brings experience with the standards and criteria of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), having participated in “self-study” preparations and visits. Dr. Tita’s selection came after a national search and signals the further integration of distance learning and education into the academic fabric of the University.

The new Continuing and Distance Education director reports to Dr. Collie Coleman, associate vice chancellor for Outreach.

“We are fortunate to employ an individual with the faculty and administrative experience of Charles Tita,” Dr. Coleman said. “We’re pleased that Dr. Tita applied for the position, was recommended by the search committee and enthusiastically accepted our offer to join the UNCP administrative-faculty team at this exciting and important time in the history of the University, in general, and in Continuing and Distance Education, specifically.”

With years of experience in distance education at Shaw University, Dr. Tita brings extensive experience in managing the implementation of a distance education program and assisting faculty, students and staff with various academic support matters.

“As department chair at Shaw for eight years, I was responsible for working with faculty to develop courses in English, history, foreign languages and African American history,” Dr. Tita said. “We had 10 sites stretching from Asheville to Wilmington.”

Dr. Tita said he feels very comfortable with UNCP’s diverse enrollment and its historic mission of reaching out to underserved populations.

“At Shaw, our mission was to educate students who would otherwise not have access to higher education,” Dr. Tita said. “UNCP is a very diverse community with many first generation college students, so I am comfortable with its mission.”

Delivering high quality programs to distant sites presents a challenge, he said.

“A challenge in my job is to work with faculty,” Dr. Tita said. “As our programs expand, we must ensure that quality remains high and consistent with SACS guidelines.”

“I see challenges and opportunities for distance education to be a conduit for us to reach persons who otherwise may not gain access to higher education,” he said. “That is the excitement of this job, and I want to be part of that excitement.”

Dr. Tita, who is fluent in French and several sub-Saharan languages, was educated in Cameroon and earned a doctorate in English from Howard University, with an emphasis in critical theory in British and African-American literature.

Dr. Tita’s academic career is distinguished by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to conduct research at the University of Ghana at Legon.

Among other works he has published is the anthology, “Humanities Reader,” in its second edition by Tapestry Press of Acton, Mass. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the East-Central Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Modern Language Association and the College Language Association.

The Office of Continuing and Distance Education may be contacted at 910.521.6367 or at www.uncp.edu/ced/.

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