University of California, Irvine has appointed Kristine Collins to be its dean of the Division of Continuing Education, following a North American-wide search. She will assume the post on Aug. 22.
The UCI Division of Continuing Education serves the lifelong learning and career development needs of individuals, organizations and the community on a local, regional and global scale. Through a wide range of educational opportunities, including certificate and specialized studies programs, short courses and strategic partnerships, the DCE provides learning pathways for those seeking career advancement or personal enrichment. DCE offers 2,500 classes per year, with nearly 23,000 enrollments. Additionally, through its partnership with Coursera, DCE has launched 174 courses in 36 specializations with a total enrollment of over 8.3 million to date.
“Education doesn’t end at graduation, and for thousands of students across Orange County, our Division of Continuing Education provides multiple learning opportunities for personal and professional growth over the span of their lifetimes,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We are excited to have Kristine Collins join us to lead and advance this vital service for our alumni and the entire greater community.”
“The Division of Continuing Education offers lifelong learning and professional development opportunities for our community,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Hal Stern. “We are pleased to have Kristine Collins join UCI. Her leadership and expertise will help advance the work of the division and foster partnerships with our academic schools.”
Since January 2022, Collins has served as vice president of University Partnerships at Circuit Stream Inc., a virtual-reality education startup focused on delivering online courses in partnership with North American universities. In this role, she is responsible for leading the higher education partnership strategy and the partnership development team, an experience that has given her a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities in continuing education and extension schools across the U.S.
From 2015 to 2022, she held a range of administrative management roles at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. As assistant dean of academic programs, she was responsible for academic and operational oversight of 850-plus courses, 125-plus certificate programs and 2,200-plus course sections per academic year. She served as a strategic advisor to the dean and helped drive growth in enrollment, programs and revenue. She initiated relationships with internal and external partners, which helped the school add new students and diversify programs to offer a high-quality learning experience in new and emerging technologies.
A strong proponent of equity, diversity and inclusion, she championed efforts to increase staff training, representation in instructor hiring and accessibility for students.
“Life and work have fundamentally changed in the past two years, and there are meaningful opportunities for continuing education to help shape how we move forward,” Collins said. “I am thrilled to work with the talented team at DCE and to partner with the UCI faculty to provide innovative programs that advance professional skills and knowledge required for the future.”
Prior to departing University of Toronto, Collins served as president-elect on the board of directors for the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education. She earned a master’s degree in communication and culture through a joint program at York University and Ryerson University in Toronto, and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies at Concordia University in Montreal.
Collins is replacing Gary Matkin, dean of continuing education and vice provost of the Division of Career Pathways, who is retiring.