University of Florida chosen to lead national distance education consortium

The American Distance Education Consortium has appointed Ian Tebbett, Ph.D., director of the University of Florida online forensic science master’s program, as its new president and CEO.

Tebbett, whose leadership appointment began July 1, has served on ADEC’s board of directors since 2009.

“I am honored to take on this new role with ADEC,” Tebbett said. “I hope to continue the outstanding work of its founder, Jan Poley, by expanding the reach and collaboration of ADEC members nationally and internationally. We will be the same higher education consortium for distance learning with bigger goals and louder voices.”

The UF forensic program won ADEC’s Award for Excellence in Distance Education in 2006. Four years later, Tebbett was recognized by the U.S. Distance Learning Association for his outstanding leadership in the advancement of distance learning through online technology. In 2011, he received the Irving Award, ADEC’s highest honor for innovators within distance education.

The consortium of U.S. state universities and land-grant colleges seeking to provide high-quality, economical distance education programs was established in 1994 by Poley, a professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“After 20 years at the helm, stepping away from this pioneering organization is bittersweet,” Poley said. “ADEC has catalyzed significant change throughout the state and land-grant university system in distance education and online learning. With Ian Tebbett’s leadership and the collaboration of an outstanding board of directors, I have every confidence that the consortium will grow and prosper in the years ahead.”

A professor of toxicology, Tebbett established the first online Master of Pharmaceutical Science program at the UF College of Pharmacy in 2000. The program was developed for forensic lab scientists seeking advanced education and scientific knowledge for career advancement. The online forensic science master’s program, which has expanded its international collaborative partnerships, has graduated more than 1,000 students from 33 countries and offers five areas of specialization.

Because of the success and demand for the forensic science programs he established in the college, 15 more online graduate and professional programs in a variety of pharmacy fields have since been developed at UF.

Tebbett is also the director of the UF pharmaceutical chemistry program and a professor of veterinary medicine in the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. He has previously held faculty positions at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Throughout his academic career, Tebbett has worked as a consultant for many international law enforcement agencies, and his research has been widely recognized within the field of forensic science.