Adam D. Fein named vice president for digital strategy and innovation at UNT

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 16:06
Adam D. Fein has been named the vice president of digital strategy and innovation.
Adam D. Fein has been named the vice president of digital strategy and innovation.

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Adam D. Fein, an industry leader in online and innovative education with nearly 20 years experience, was tapped to oversee digital strategy and innovation at the University of North Texas as it seeks to become a global leader in online learning experiences and educational technology.

Fein, whose appointment is effective Nov. 1, will lead the university’s key initiatives in educational technology, online and blended learning. He is charged with identifying new directions and opportunities to improve UNT’s academic quality, reach and performance in the online and extended education markets.

“As our university strengthens our commitment to providing students with the highest-quality and innovative educational experiences possible, Dr. Fein will be a key asset in our growing arsenal of digital capabilities, and I am grateful he has agreed to bring his extensive knowledge and expertise to this new leadership role at UNT,” President Neal Smatresk said. “This appointment comes at a critical time as UNT is exploring opportunities to best use educational technology to offer students innovative experiences that set their educations apart and best prepare them to be incredibly competitive in the job market.

“Our students demand accessibility and convenience, and as a university, we demand a high level of learning outcomes. With Dr. Fein as our champion, there is no doubt UNT will create innovative online experiences that deliver a next generation education.”

Fein said he is excited for the challenges and opportunities of this new role at UNT.

“Higher education is in the midst of a paradigm shift, and this presents amazing opportunities but also significant challenges,” Fein said. “Education research has put forward innovative pedagogical strategies, building on decades of inquiry, and it is imperative that the academy responds. UNT has supportive leadership and tremendous momentum that will help propel us to the next level.

“I am a huge advocate for multi-dimensional teams, and I understand the importance of listening first, building consensus and making high-impact decisions. I look forward to what we are able to achieve at UNT.”


For the last 17 years, Fein has served at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in numerous roles with online and innovative education as he was steadily promoted to new positions over the years. Since November 2016 and most recently, Fein served as Assistant Provost for Educational Innovation and was responsible for shaping campus strategy and providing campus-wide support for innovations in classroom and online settings.

Previously, Fein served three years as Associate Director of the institution’s Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, overseeing 60-plus employees and directing the instructional design, instructional development, instructional media resources, and online academic and student affairs teams. Throughout his time in Illinois, he served as the Assistant Head of Programs and Services for the Office of Online and Continuing Education, Director of Online Learning, Program Director of Online and Continuing Education – Academic Outreach, and as the Online Programs Coordinator for the Department of Human Resource Education in the College of Education.

Prior to his time in higher education at one of the world’s largest universities, he served as a training and development consultant at Pepsi/Gatorade Inc. and at the Quaker Oats Company. In addition, Fein has published book chapters and numerous professional papers. His research is focused on the examination of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the effects of disruptive innovation theory in higher education.

Fein earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communication from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998, his Master’s of Education in 2001 and his Ph.D. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership in 2017, both also from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

UNT News Service
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