Passing the Torch: Eight Years of Leading Digital Learning Innovation at Boston University

As I reflect on the past eight years serving as Associate Provost for Digital Learning & Innovation (DL&I) at Boston University, I am filled with a deep sense of fulfillment. The time has come for me to step down from this role to focus on my enduring passion for teaching and research at the Questrom School of Business. My tenure has been a remarkable journey, highlighted by creating and leading BU’s Digital Learning Initiative from 2013 to 2016 and the DL&I Provost Office unit from 2016 until today. Both efforts have significantly advanced digital learning and academic innovation across the university.

In this position, my colleagues and I have achieved incredible milestones that include:

  • The development of 24 MOOCs, reaching 800,000 learners globally
  • Playing a crucial role in launching BU’s highly successful online MBA and BU Virtual
  • Incubating lifelong learning initiatives across our Schools of Medicine, Communication, Public Health, Theology, and Social Work
  • Leading the university's COVID-19 emergency response for teaching and learning
  • Pioneering the use of AR/VR in instruction
  • Initiating several active learning projects across both campuses

Our office has served as a partner, incubator, catalyst, and accelerator, supporting faculty and departments eager to innovate their teachingChris Dellarocas methods. We have also been at the forefront of promoting thoughtful technological advances in education, through our active participation in key BU committees and governance bodies.

The Digital Learning & Innovation Office is exceptional, brimming with talent, and poised to continue breaking new ground in educational projects that promise to further enhance teaching and learning at our esteemed institution. Current initiatives include:

  • A multi-year project to transform large lecture courses to increase student engagement and bridge achievement gaps among diverse student groups
  • Contributing to the university’s efforts to improve faculty literacy in generative AI
  • Managing innovative education grants, including those fostering the use of generative AI in the classroom
  • Spearheading the use of learning analytics to rigorously assess the impact of teaching and learning interventions

I am confident in the strong foundation we have established, and I believe it is the right time for new leadership to take this vibrant office forward into its next chapter of growth and innovation.

Serving as Associate Provost has been an extraordinary honor. I am immensely grateful to my amazing team and our outstanding faculty for the opportunity to collaborate and create lasting memories. Together, we have tackled challenges and celebrated numerous successes. As I transition back to faculty, I look forward to continuing my contribution to Boston University’s ongoing advancement.

Best regards,
Chris Dellarocas
Richard C. Shipley Professor in Information Systems


Please also read the DL&I community response to Chris' farewell address.