Kara Van Dam
Kara Van Dam, PhD, serves as vice provost for The Learner & Faculty Experience at University of Maryland University College. In this role, she leads the Faculty Development, Learning Design & Solutions, the Library, and the academic technology experience teams to create an integrated approach towards designing optimum learning experiences for our students. She and her team take a life-cycle approach to the faculty experience, working with The Undergraduate and Graduate Schools both stateside and overseas, to ensure that UMUC recruits and retains highly qualified faculty who are supported in effective, innovative instructional methods and integrally involved in course and program development.
Previously, she served as the vice provost of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Kaplan University. There she led large-scale initiatives aimed at improving the institution’s ability to serve students while also providing a rewarding work environment where faculty had more opportunities to engage with and feel supported by the institution.
Dr. Van Dam holds both a master’s degree and a doctorate in linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also served as a graduate teaching assistant. She has an MBA from Kaplan University. Her linguistics research focuses on the way people use language as a marker of identity, analyzing issues in language contact situations, e.g., in multilingual communities, in immigrant communities, and in educational classrooms. She also regularly presents and publishes on issues of online pedagogy, adult learner theory, composition and rhetoric, general education, and assessment.