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About our Founder

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Ron Fillipelli

The Filippelli Institute for e-Education and Outreach bears the name of Associate Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Labor Studies Ronald L. Filippelli, whose initial vision and continuing dedication to online education has led the College to a position of leadership in Penn State’s e-education endeavors.


Thanks to Ron's pioneering vision in the late 1990s, the College of the Liberal Arts became one of the first active partners with what is now known as the World Campus. Under his stewardship, the College began offering general education courses through distance education. However, he recognized that distance education also had the opportunity to serve a greater purpose; that Penn State could deliver its full educational experience to students across the country and around the world.

Ron’s faith in the core elements of a Liberal Arts education, which include working knowledge in critical thinking, ethics, diversity, communication, global context, and understanding individuals and organizations and their roles in society, led him to organize the delivery of the first baccalaureate programs through the World Campus in the BA in Letters Arts and Sciences and the BS in Organizational Leadership. After the success of these programs, he brought together a dedicated team to work with faculty in the College’s departments to build high quality degree disciplinary programs and an enhanced general education portfolio that has brought the Penn State educational experience to students around the globe and has provided significant resources to the College.

Ron continues to be a leader in developing World Campus strategies and programs. In addition to working closely with Senior Assistant Dean Avis Kunz, he serves a special advisor to Dean Welch for e-education and other outreach initiatives, and contributes to the discovery, development, and proposal of new degree opportunities for students pursuing higher education online. Thanks to Ron's guiding vision, the dedicated educators of the Filippelli Institute remain committed to supporting the teaching mission of the College.

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