Inaugural AVP for Online and Distance Education Announced

March 7, 2022

Following a nationwide search, Bradley University has appointed Dr. Rui Li as its inaugural Assistant Vice President for Online and Distance Education. She will assume the role on May 31.

Dr. Justin Ball, Vice President for Enrollment Management, chaired a search committee of faculty and staff responsible for identifying candidates for the leadership role. "We were humbled by the impressive thought leaders and innovators who stepped forward," he said. "Dr. Li proved to be the best fit for Bradley at this time, and we are thrilled to see her join our university community."

Dr. Li currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Digital Learning and Innovation at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, the largest of 14 institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Under her leadership, the university has developed and launched more than 20 online programs, ranging from degree-completion offerings to doctoral programs. She has led numerous campus-wide initiatives in educational technology and digital learning, including the implementation of Quality Matters, e-Textbooks, Digital Learning Innovations, and Active/Hyflex Learning Space.

Her accomplishments in developing and deploying online programs and stewarding faculty development reflect a deep-seated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Dr. Li is the Principal Investigator on a U.S. Department of Education grant to establish the Pennsylvania Alliance for Design of Open Textbooks (PA-ADOPT). In this role, she leads a collaborative effort across four Pennsylvania institutions to lower the cost of attendance by developing 20 open e-textbooks for use in undergraduate STEM-H courses.

“Over the course of her 20 years of leadership experience in online and distance education, Dr. Li has an exceptional record of partnering with faculty, staff, and academic and administrative leaders to develop and deliver high-quality online programs," said Dr. Christopher Jones, Vice President for Strategy and Innovation. "This experience will prove invaluable as Bradley pursues its strategic vision of meeting the needs of today’s learners by creating a greater number of flexible academic pathways.”

A seasoned educator, Dr. Li has taught nationally and internationally in person and online for more than 20 years. Her research and scholarship focus on online education and technology effectiveness, impact, and management. She publishes regularly in peer-reviewed journals and is co-editor of Ensuring Quality and Integrity in Online Learning Programs (IGI Global).

Dr. Li earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Instructional Technology from the University of Texas at Austin.

She will succeed Dr. Molly Cluskey, who currently serves as the Director of Online and Distance Education and who is retiring at the end of May. “I am truly grateful for Molly’s excellent leadership and tireless efforts in building Bradley’s online education portfolio and infrastructure over the last two years,” said Jones. I know so many of her colleagues across campus have enjoyed working with Molly and have appreciated her service in this challenging new role.”