Digital and Lifelong Learning

Digital and Lifelong Learning at Carolina aims to:

  • extend UNC-Chapel Hill learning opportunities to those who might not otherwise have access, removing barriers to a great education
  • improve the quality of education across the entire University, reflecting the new learning imperative: personalized, experiential, adaptable, and entrepreneurial
  • maximize and share resources across campus in a financially responsible way, efficiently and transparently stewarding University resources.

We work with units to support the development of digital programs and pedagogies, as well as other flexible/nontraditional learning experiences.

In addition to program leadership and support, our vision is to establish and nurture a faculty-driven Research Hub, spearheading new research and literature on digital, flexible, and lifelong learning and promoting its application to UNC-Chapel Hill programming and pedagogy.


Todd A. Nicolet, PhD, is Vice Provost for Digital and Lifelong Learning at UNC-Chapel Hill. In this role, he provides leadership and direction for all the University’s digital, flexible, and lifelong learning programming. He holds a doctorate in higher education administration from UNC-Greensboro, a Master of Arts in English from UNC-Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree in literature from Eckerd College.

Dr. Nicolet was most recently Vice Dean at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health from 2016 to 2019, where he led strategic initiatives that advanced the School’s mission, including development of the MPH@UNC program and a joint MPH with UNC-Asheville and MAHEC. Dr. Nicolet also had direct oversight of six administrative units at the School: Finance, Human Resources, Instructional and Information Systems, NC Institute for Public Health; Research, Innovation and Global Solutions, and Strategic Analysis and Business Intelligence.

From 2007 to 2016, as Associate Dean for Operations at the UNC School of Government, Dr. Nicolet led six units, including the library, information technology, publications, marketing, events management and registration, and support services areas. He also directed and played a central role in the launch of MPA@UNC, the University’s online Master of Public Administration degree program.

Dr. Nicolet previously worked at the Gillings School from 2001 to 2007, initially providing project management for the “CDC Responds” webcast series and eventually serving as manager of the online instruction group and associate director of instructional and information systems. Earlier in his career, he worked at a startup company that provided turnkey solutions for online education at higher education institutions across the country.

Upcoming Milestones

As we launch this new initiative, we are meeting with leadership across campus to discuss their priorities, needs, challenges, and opportunities. This will help us plan our path forward.

Over the next few months, we plan to:

  • Select a University Online Program Management (OPM) provider to deliver services and help build in-house capacity
  • Evaluate digital, flexible, and lifelong learning programming on campus, identifying strengths and opportunities
  • Begin forming networks of stakeholders who are interested in knowledge sharing and collaboration
  • Determine any needed changes in our reporting structure to streamline campus services

Stay Connected

If you’re interested in being a part of this project, please consider joining our mailing list for the latest updates, milestones, and opportunities for collaboration.

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