The University of Arizona Global Campus, also known as Global Campus or UAGC, today announced the completion of the acquisition of Ashford University from Zovio Inc., and the appointments of Nivine Megahed as chair of the Global Campus board of directors and Paul Pastorek as interim CEO. The Global Campus board of directors has appointed Craig Swenson as Global Campus president.
Today’s announcements follow the recent approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, or WSCUC, and mark the final steps towards Global Campus being fully operational in serving approximately 35,000 students with accessible, flexible, high-quality higher education.
As student populations increasingly turn to online platforms for higher education, and institutions seek to make classes available to more students, Global Campus will meet students wherever they are in their educational journey, with a focus on ensuring that nontraditional and underrepresented students have access to online higher education that is both affordable and high-quality. Students and potential applicants can find more information on the new Global Campus website, uagc.edu.
Megahed, an independent appointee to the nine-member UAGC board, will serve as chair for a term of one year. Currently president of National Louis University, Megahed is a clinical psychologist by training and has more than 30 years of experience making higher education more accessible. A champion of students, she has overseen multiple colleges, universities and other organizations where she has been an innovator in spearheading the development of new educational models and an operator focused on educational quality and student success.
“My passion is creating a higher education environment that fosters student success,” Megahed said. “Along with my colleagues on the UAGC board, each of whom is highly qualified in their field, we are now working together to set strategies and deliver programs to meet the expectations of the current and the next generation of Global Campus students.”
Pastorek, who formerly served as acting chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Loyola University in New Orleans, state superintendent of schools in Louisiana and general counsel for NASA, is transitioning to the role of Global Campus interim CEO from Global Campus interim president. In Pastorek’s new role, he will lead the transition from Ashford University to The University of Arizona Global Campus under the guidance of the UAGC board, and ensure that the new relationship with education technology provider Zovio is successfully integrated to effectively support the Global Campus.
“We have a tremendous opportunity here to build upon an established program and build an educational ecosystem that works for working students,” Pastorek said. “My role will support the board in that endeavor.”
Swenson will serve as president of Global Campus. He has served as president of Ashford University since 2016 and has presided over two other institutions and was chief academic officer at two others. His career in adult-serving universities spans 35 years. He brings broad experience in distance education, online learning and competency-based instruction.
“Our first priority is to ensure a smooth transition for Ashford University students to The University of Arizona Global Campus,” Swenson said. “Beyond that, our new affiliation with the University of Arizona will provide additional resources and opportunities to foster student learning and achievement.”
As part of UAGC’s acquisition of Ashford University, Zovio will continue to provide innovative and data-driven education technology services to Global Campus under a long-term strategic services agreement.