The OERu Council of Chief Executive Officers

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The OERu Council of Chief Executive Officers is an assembly of senior leaders called together for consultation on strategic higher education futures and open education approaches.


The Board of the OER Foundation proposed the establishment of the OERu Council of Chief Executive Officers in 2013 to support the OERu international network of universities, community colleges and polytechnics. The inaugural meeting of the Council was hosted at Kwantlen Polytechnic University on 5 November 2013.

Terms of reference

Role / purpose

The role of the OER universitas (OERu) Council of Chief Executive Officers is to provide executive leadership at the corporate institutional level to facilitate the achievement of the aims of the OERu for the mutual benefit of learners and its members.

Aims of the OERu

Directed by the core principles of engagement the OERu network aims to:

  • Provide free learning opportunities and affordable assessment pathways to enable learners to earn credible qualifications from accredited institutions
  • Offer open online courses and programs based on OER and open access materials
  • Implement scalable technology-enhanced pedagogies
  • Implement scalable systems of technology-mediated learner support
  • Offer assessment and credentialing services
  • Assure appropriate course articulation among partner institutions.


The Council will comprise incumbent Chief Executives (or senior designated nominee) of current OERu partner organisations.

Roles and responsibilities

Council members will endeavour to:

  • Foster collaboration among all partner organisations
  • Provide mentorship and support to OERu partners for collaborative implementation of the OERu
  • Provide advice and guidance to the network on the implementation of the OERu
  • Support the offering of courses and programmes using open education approaches with pathways to achieve formal academic credit
  • Promote the design, development and delivery of innovative open online courses
  • Engender the development and implementation of sustainable and scalable systems for leaner support through community service learning approaches
  • Support the formalization of appropriate credit transfer arrangements between partner institutions within existing policy protocols
  • Share institutional policies and strategies associated with open education practices
  • Discuss strategic higher education futures associated with open education
  • Investigate and deploy emerging business models for the development of sustainable higher education futures.
  • Promote the expansion and development of the network.

Version history

  1. The Terms of Reference are effective from 5 November 2013
  2. Reviewed and confirmed with minor adaptations on 10 November 2014.
  3. Reviewed and added additional roles on 9 October 2015.
  4. Reviewed 5 October 2016
  5. Reviewed 16 October 2017 and replaced "student" with "learner" in the document.

Organisation and office bearers

The Council of CEO's nominates a Chair who is supported by an Executive Committee comprising Vice-Chairs from the major geographical regions of the OERu network.

Office bearers

Name Position Council of CEO office Region
Dr Alan Davis Vice Chancellor and President, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Chair North America
Prof Clive Mulholland Vice Chancellor, The University of the Highlands and Islands Vice-Chair Europe
Prof Marthinus Oosthuizen Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning, North-West University Vice-Chair Africa
Phil Ker Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic Vice-Chair Oceania