who is darcy hardy?


Dr. Darcy W. Hardy is a nationally-recognized thought leader and strategist in distance and online learning. She is currently Associate Vice President and Client Success Director at Blackboard Inc.  In this role, she works with universities and university systems as they grow and improve their online learning efforts - as well as how they effectively use educational technology in the process. Her focus is on strategy, policy & process, organization, faculty development and course quality, and she regularly helps institutions dig beyond the technology to identify issues and challenges. Prior to her current role within Blackboard, she led a team of nationally-recognized experts in higher education, e-learning and distance education, and information technology, that helped institutions design, develop and grow their educational programs, and drive transformation while managing institutional change.

Before joining Blackboard in 2014, Dr. Hardy spent over 30 years in public higher education within the University of Texas System, with her final three years completing an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointment in the US Department of Labor (2011 and 2012) and the US Department of Education (2013). Her work primarily focused on President Obama’s historic $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, providing expertise on the use of online and technology-enhanced education to reach adults and the workforce.  At the US Department of Education, she worked in the Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE), continuing her work with the TAACCCT grant program whileproviding expertise on how to reach low-skilled and other adult workers with online literacy programs.

From 1997 to 2010, Dr. Hardy served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas System and Executive Director of the UT TeleCampus. The award-winning UT TeleCampus partnered with the 15 UT universities and health institutions to offer over 30 fully online programs, seeing approximately 20,000 enrollments annually. Under her direction, the UT TeleCampus was honored with dozens of state, regional and national awards from such organizations as USDLA, UCEA, TxDLA, WCET and the International Association of Business Communicators for courses, programming, communications, and faculty excellence. The UT TeleCampus was (and continues to be) recognized nationally as one of the first models and benchmarks for multi-campus, collaborative online education. 

Dr. Hardy received her PhD in Instructional Technology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1992. She was a founding member and is past president of the Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA). Currently, she serves as Chair Emerita with the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), where she was a member of the Board of Directors from 1999 to 2018, and served as president in 2004/2005. She is the co-founder of the popular USDLA-sponsored International Forum for Women in E-Learning (IFWE), an event that focuses on issues faced by women in the industry as well as on the importance of networking and mentoring in the growth of women leaders for tomorrow. 

Dr. Hardy was inducted into the USDLA Hall of Fame in 2009 and received the Mildred and Charles Wedemeyer Outstanding Distance Learning Practitioner Award in Madison, Wisconsin in 2006. In addition, she was inducted into the Texas Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame in 2006, and received the WCET Richard Jonsen award in 2005. Her publication (which she co-edited with Dr. Don Olcott), Dancing on the Glass Ceiling: Women, Leadership and Technology, received the 2005 Charles Wedemeyer Publication Award from the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA), and served as the launching point for the IFWE events. She served as the Interviews Editor for The American Journal of Distance Education from 2005 until August 2009. 

Dr. Hardy has served and continues to serve on various editorial and advisory boards and has delivered hundreds of presentations, keynotes and workshops on distance education, online learning and leadership. She and her husband have two daughters and one son-in-law, all of whom graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. She and Rick, and their cat, Norma Jean, reside in the lovely Texas Hill Country city of San Marcos.