Skip to main content Skip to navigation
National University Telecommunications award
July 6, 2009



PULLMAN – WSU has received the first ever National

Muriel Oaks

University Telecommunications Network (NUTN) Institution Achievement Award. In recognition of WSU’s commitment to technological innovation and distance learning, the award was presented June 23 at the NUTN conference in Saratoga Springs, New York.
NUTN is a consortium of telecommunications professionals from more than 50 institutions of higher education. They have a specific emphasis on distance learning and videoconferencing. “I was elated when I heard the news,” said Muriel Oaks, dean of the Center for … » More …

Newell to lead conferencing unit
January 28, 2009

PULLMAN  – Longtime conference manager Kelly Newell has been named director of Professional Education at WSU.


Newell’s appointment to replace John Thielbahr, who recently retired, was approved by WSU President Elson S. Floyd on Jan. 15.


 “I feel very fortunate that we have someone of Kelly’s experience, talents, and work ethic to take over the director position,” said Muriel Oaks, dean of the Center for Distance and Professional Education.


Newell, 35, began working at the CDPE in 1998, and was previously assistant director of Professional Education.


“My goal is to focus on our … » More …

Huge hike in students
October 3, 2008

A 22 percent increase in online students was seen at Distance Degree Programs this fall compared to a year ago. The leap follows six years of 6 percent annual increases. This fall’s 563 new students raised the number of students served from 2,530 to 3,093.


The increase is divided almost evenly between students enrolled through DDP and students whose primary campus is Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities or Vancouver. Of the 3,093 students taking online courses, 842 are from one of the physical campuses.


The reason behind the increase is not entirely clear, but Muriel Oaks, dean of the Center for Distance and Professional … » More …

Conferencing discussion on campus and online
September 15, 2008

As WSU expands its global presence, faculty members are seeking new ways to reach far-flung colleagues and audiences.


One crucial tool is conferencing, but the process can be fraught with difficulties. The event must be designed, speakers must be scheduled, and ideas must be refined into reality.


Help is now available on the Pullman campus. The Center for Distance and Professional Education is familiar with every facet of conference planning, from negotiating hotel contracts to setting up online meetings.


On September 26, the CDPE, in cooperation with WSU Extension, will present a live video stream that will discuss “the benefits of conferencing … » More …

Muriel Oaks receives Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award
January 29, 2007

Muriel Oaks, dean of Distance and Professional Education at Washington State University, received the Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award on Jan. 24.  The award is presented annually by the Association for Faculty Women at WSU to honor an AFW member whose leadership has advanced the role of women at WSU and demonstrated exceptional leadership in higher education and her profession.  Oaks, whose career at WSU spans 30 years, was instrumental in launching the Distance Degree Program at WSU in the early 1990s. The program grew rapidly under her direction. Today, it is recognized as one of the most innovative and respected distance degree programs in the nation.  The … » More …

Outdistancing the competition
September 1, 2006

The statistics are surprising. Across the nation, it is predicted that upcoming high school graduates will be the first generation with lower rates of college attendance than their parents, according to Vicki McCracken, associate vice president and associate vice provost for enrollment services.This shift in enrollment patterns reflects a number of demographic changes including nearly zero population growth in many regions of the country — with birth rates declining in most Caucasian families. Growth is primarily seen in the non-Caucasian segments of the population — such as in the Latino population in Washington State — where many families have not had a history of attending … » More …

Reorganization emphasizes quality of distance education
February 17, 2006

The Center for Distance and Professional Education (CDPE) is now the name of the former Extended University Services (EUS). The new name better reflects and distinguishes the quality of the programs and the range of programs offered, said Dean Muriel Oaks.But the changes at CDPE go much deeper than the name. They are the culmination of more than two years of assessment, refocusing and planning. And they are the starting point for continuing improvement to strengthen WSU’s distance learning and professional programs and reputation.One of the first distance-learning degree programs in the country, WSU’s began in 1992. It grew rapidly in the 1990s with the … » More …