Shanta Varma Special Assistant to the Chancellor, Collaborative Partnerships & Distance Education Dr. Shanta Goswami Varma who currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Collaborative Partnerships and Distance Education Initiatives at AUM, has over 20 years of experience in National and International Higher Education in Academic Administration. In addition, Dr. Varma assists with the development of assessment methodologies and tools for monitoring and improving the quality of distance education and partnership projects. Dr. Varma’s expertise include: online teaching and learning, program development and implementation, marketing and outreach, faculty development (online learning), regulatory and accreditation requirements, curriculum and instruction, partnership building and recruitment and retention. Her research interests include e-learning, faculty development in online learning, gender roles, cultural disparity, leadership roles in higher education, and women in online learning. She also holds a concurrent appointment as an Associate Professor in the department of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology in the College of Education. Prior to AUM, she held both administrative and academic positions at the Center for Distance Learning at Empire State College, University of Texas at Brownsville, and at The University of Houston – Clear Lake (UHCL).