Retired Dean to Receive Award for Lifetime Achievement

Instructional Technology Council to Honor Bob Knipe

Batavia, NY- Though he retired as GCC’s dean of Learning Technologies in June 2013, Robert (Bob) G. Knipe’s legacy in the distance learning community lives on. He will be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award when the Instructional Technology Council holds its eLearning 2014 conference in Orlando, Florida next month. “It was a real surprise,” Knipe said. Bob and wife Linda will travel to Orlando to receive the award at a special recognition luncheon on Monday February 17, 2014.

Knipe served as dean of Learning Technologies at GCC from 1990-2013. He helped develop and grow GCC’s online course offerings giving rise to the current 14 degrees or certificates that can be earned fully online. Online enrollment is now 15% of GCC’s total enrollment. Knipe also initiated the OWL (Online Western NY Learning) Alliance, collaborating with five regional community colleges to allow students enrolled at one of the schools to more easily access courses from all five online. His colleague Martha Dixon from Erie Community College nominated him for the Lifetime Achievement Award, and several other SUNY colleagues provided documentation. “It’s humbling when you’re recognized by your peers,” Knipe said. “That’s the group of people who you respect the most and who know your body of work the best. It’s very humbling and gratifying.”

Knipe will be honored along with Michael Catchpole, Ph.D., from North Island College in British Columbia, Canada, for whom Knipe has the utmost respect. “I’ve known Mike for 30 years and he’s really a top notch guy in the field,” Knipe said. Before coming to Batavia, Knipe spent many years in the Pacific Northwest and earned degrees from Everett Community College, Western Washington University and Indiana University, with additional graduate work at Washington State University. Prior to GCC, Knipe worked in higher education in Oregon and Idaho in media services, distance learning, teaching communications and teacher education courses and as a high school English teacher.

He is a multiple Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation team member, founding member of several distance learning and instructional technology organizations, an author and frequent presenter. Before coming to GCC he helped found a media managers’ professional organization, and was very active getting distance learning off the ground at the state level in Oregon. Bob was also instrumental in forming the SUNY online learning managers’ professional association. Bob has also served on numerous committees for the State University of New York (SUNY) and Instructional Technology Council (ITC), been a consultant for distance learning programs, and co-developed and taught an Instructional Design course for faculty. His most recent contributions have been in the area of online student persistence and assessment. Bob takes pride in having been “present for the creation and evolution” of distance learning programs at two community colleges.

Though retired, he remains active professionally and in the community. He plays the French horn with Genesee Symphony Orchestra, Batavia Concert Band and serves as operations manager for both; is president of Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council (GOArt!), active with several other musical and service groups, and is a community volunteer, father and grandfather. Of retirement, he says “I highly recommend it. It’s great.”

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ITC is a leader in advancing distance education. It works to encourage innovative and exemplary practices in educational technologies, providing a forum for members to share expertise and materials. At its eLearning conference, ITC will also present awards for:
•Outstanding eLearning Program (Tyler, TX Junior College)
•Outstanding Blended Course (Radiographic Pathology, Cuyahoga Community College, OH)
•Outstanding Fully-Online Course (Introduction to Humanities, Miami Dade College, FL)
•Outstanding eLearning Faculty (Donald Orso, Ph.D., Anne Arundel Community College, MD)
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Editor’s Note:
A photo of Bob Knipe is available here: