WASHINGTON, March 24, 2017 – UPCEA, the Washington, D.C.-based association for university leaders in professional, continuing, and online education, welcomed Dr. Wayne Smutz as the association’s 2017-18 President during the 2017 UPCEA Annual Conference. Smutz is Dean of Continuing Education and Extension at the University of California, Los Angeles.

As UPCEA President, Smutz will encourage its membership to develop and maintain social relevance with students, while serving as champions for equal access and inclusion. “We are the gatekeepers for those who may need a second or third chance at education, or often, for those who never received a chance at all,” said Smutz. “Providing attention and sensitivity to minorities as well as those from lower socioeconomic groups are the first steps to opening our doors wider as leaders in continuing education. It is our duty, and should be our mission, to respect that role and offer opportunity to anyone with the desire and the curiosity to better themselves through continued learning.”

Since October 2013, Smutz has worked as the Dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension, which, with over 38,000 students, offers more than 5,000 classes and programs per year. UCLA Extension serves the professional development, continuing education, and personal enrichment needs of alumni and professionals and the employees of public and private companies in Los Angeles, the U.S. as well as internationally.

“Wayne is among the handful of top leaders today in professional, continuing and online education,” said UPCEA CEO Bob Hansen. “He’s innovative and forward-leaning, but his work and approach are always grounded in integrity and a passionate commitment to the access mission that defines the field. I’m honored to partner with Wayne and his board on next phase of evolution for UPCEA.”

Smutz had previously served on the UPCEA Board and as Treasurer.

A native Californian, Dr. Smutz is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a BA in History from the University of California at Berkeley, and the recipient of an MA in political science, along with a PhD in higher education, both from Penn State.


UPCEA is the association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. With innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications, we support our members’ service of contemporary learners and commitment to quality online education and student success. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA builds greater awareness of the vital link between adult learners and public policy issues. Visit www.upcea.edu.