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Meet our experienced academic leaders.

From our provost to our deans to our faculty in the field, you’ll find dedicated professionals ready to serve you.

Members of our leadership team meeting
Dr. Vernon Smith

Dr. Vernon C. Smith
Provost

Dr. Vernon C. Smith has more than 25 years experience in higher education. He has an extensive background in online learning issues and practices, including effective quality, assessment, and retention strategies in higher education, and was an early adopter of using big data for predictive modeling and teaching excellence to promote student success. He joined APUS from the University of the Pacific where he led digital and adult learning initiatives including oversight of the Center for Professional and Continuing Education, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Academic Technology, and support for graduate hybrid and in-person programs on the Sacramento and San Francisco campuses.

Dr. Smith was recently elected to the Executive Council of WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) a division of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. He currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board for ELI (EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative) and served on the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors. His research interests include high-quality, cost-effective production models for online courses, the unbundling and re-bundling of the faculty role, adjunct faculty issues, academic integrity, and teaching and learning. Dr. Smith earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Latin American Studies and Spanish at Brigham Young University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He has a Master of Organizational Behavior from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Administration of Higher Education from the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona.

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Grady Batchelor

Dr. Grady Batchelor
Dean, Faculty & Student Success

Grady joined APUS in 2011 as a part-time faculty member, then transitioned in 2012 to full-time faculty and Faculty Director for the then School of Management.  Grady became the Associate Vice President of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in 2015. Grady¹s success as a Faculty Director became a model for leadership centered on fostering faculty success in the classroom. It also made him the ideal person to partner with University leaders on a number of strategic retention and persistence initiatives focused on student success. As the leader of the CTL, he elevated that area to a level of technical sophistication, adding just-in-time professional development opportunities available for faculty.

Grady holds a Doctor of Management from Colorado Technical University. He has a Certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston and a Certificate in Strategic Management from DePaul University. We look forward to his continuing leadership in the University. Please join in congratulating Grady.

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Dr. Danny Welsch

Dr. Danny Welsch
Interim Dean, School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

Dr. Danny Welsch is a hydrologist and biogeochemist who has emerged as a leader in development and implementation of online science education. Danny received his BS in Environmental Analysis and Planning from Frostburg State University, his MS in Environmental Engineering from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and his PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia.

He has served in faculty positions at Frostburg State University, West Virginia University, and American Public University System. He was the Director of Research at the Canaan Valley Institute, Program Director for Science and Associate Dean at American Public University System, and is currently serving as the interim Dean for the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at APUS.

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Dr. Patricia Campbell

Dr. Patricia Campbell
Dean, Graduate Studies, Research, and Innovation

Dr. Campbell joined the university in 2008, having served as an academic program director for International and Area Studies prior to assuming her current role focusing on all aspects of graduate studies for the university. Dr. Campbell has numerous publications in academic journals, including the Journal of Political Science Education, International Feminist Journal of Politics, African Studies Quarterly, Politics & Policy, and Africa Today. Her co-authored textbook, An Introduction to Global Studies, was published in 2010 (Wiley-Blackwell).

Dr. Campbell is active in the American Political Science Association (APSA) and the International Studies Association (ISA). Her research interests have led her to various African countries where she has conducted research on human rights, gender, migration, and democratization. Recent research has focused on best practices in online teaching and learning. Dr. Campbell received her Ph.D. from the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies and her B.A. from Illinois State University. After receiving her Ph.D., she served as a professor of political science at the University of West Georgia, where she held a variety of positions, including director of Global Studies and interim department chair.

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Dr. Brian Freeland

Dr. Brian Freeland
Dean, School of Health Sciences

Dr. Freeland was recently named dean for the School of Health Sciences after 7 years as the university's program director of the Sports and Health Sciences and Sports Management programs. With more than 16 years in coaching, athletic training, exercise science and wellness, and sports management, Dr. Freeland was well suited to develop the university's new B.S. in Sports Management along with 4 new concentrations for the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Sports and Health Sciences. Dr. Freeland also cultivated educational partnerships with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Sport Education Program (ASEP), and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA).

Dr. Freeland has presented at a variety of academic conferences on the topics of: The Development of an Online Tool Think Tank; Harnessing the Power of Alumni in Leading a Sport Management Program; Innovative Sport Marketing Strategies for Globalized Communication; International Aspects of Positions in Sport Management; and, Creative Ways to Attract and Engage Online Learners. In 2006, he was voted the Valley District Coach of the Year for leading Rockbridge High School to their first winning season in the history of the school. Dr. Freeland completed his Ed.D. in Sports Leadership and Management from Northcentral University, M.S. in Sports Management at the United States Sports Academy, and B.S. in Health and Physical Education at Radford University.

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Dr. Grace Glass

Dr. Grace Glass
Dean, School of Arts & Humanities

Dr. Glass joined the university in 2015 and is responsible for ongoing management and development of the school’s liberal arts and social sciences programs. She brings 15 years of higher education experience, most recently as associate dean of general studies for Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, Wisc., where she led the launch of a new Academic Resource Center. She previously served as associate dean of liberal arts and sciences for DeVry University, where her group initiatives helped significantly increase student persistence and success across the department. Dr. Glass received her Ph.D. and M.A. in English Literature from the University of Michigan, her Master Teaching Certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and her A.B. with high honors from Smith College.

Previously, Dr. Glass was the director of composition and assistant professor for East-West University, where she transformed a traditional lecture-based composition program into an individualized program integrated with online resources. She also served on the English faculty for the Chicago Academy for Advanced Technology, Illinois Math and Science Academy and the Miami Valley School. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Governor’s State University, Antioch University McGregor School, University of Cincinnati, and the University of Dayton.

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Dr. Conrad Lotze

Dr. Conrad Lotze
Dean, Academic Services & the School of Education

Dr. Lotze brings 25 years of teaching, curriculum development, and educational leadership experience from a variety of academic positions, including his previous university position as dean of the School of Education. Dr. Lotze has taught many years of junior high, high school, and college level mathematics and pedagogy, in locations including Memphis, Tenn.; Zug, Switzerland; Salt Lake City, Utah; Towson, Md., and Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining the university, Dr. Lotze served as senior product development manager for the Teachers College of Western Governors University. During that time, he was a mathematics mentor, the mathematics program coordinator, and redesigned the mathematics programs and the professional studies course offerings. Dr. Lotze was a member of The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Institutional Report (NCATE IR) writing team that succeeded in garnering the first NCATE accreditation granted to an online teachers college. His research interests include the appropriate use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Dr. Lotze holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary, an M.A. in Mathematics Education from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from American University.

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Dr. Chad Patrizi

Dr. Chad Patrizi
Dean, School of Business

Dr. Patrizi comes to the university from the National Academy of Public Administration, where his experience encompassed a wide variety of public management research and public policy analysis, to include analytical and publication contributions to publicly sponsored domestic and international studies. His success is based on his knowledge of public administration, his ability to complete large projects, his ability to communicate with diverse individuals, and his leadership and flexibility.

On the national level, Dr. Patrizi served as a research analyst focused on congressionally mandated studies including The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Park Service Construction Program. In international affairs, his work included the USIA sponsored Public Administration Program in Central and Eastern Europe. Prior to his public service experience, as a 10-year manager in private industry, Dr. Patrizi supervised, managed, and developed corporate human resources and training programs. Dr. Patrizi completed his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with a concentration in E-learning at Touro University International.

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Dr. Mark Ricardi

Dr. Mark Riccardi
Dean, School of Security & Global Studies

Dr. Riccardi joined the university in 2011 and has held a series of progressively advancing positions starting with faculty member in the Intelligence Studies program, faculty director for the School of Security and Global Studies, program director for the Homeland Security programs, and in late 2014, assuming the responsibilities as dean of the School of Security and Global Studies.

Dr. Riccardi has presented at conferences around the world on topics that include Social Media use During Disaster Operations, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Emergency Response Operations. He retired from the United States Army after 21 years of active service spent in intelligence, military support to civilian authorities, and special operations. Dr. Riccardi holds a B.A. in English from the College of Staten Island – City University of New York, a Master of Education from Colorado State University, a Master of Criminal Justice from Boston University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and a Ph.D. in Education from Colorado State University.

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