A True Terrier, Eric Friedman Tabbed to Lead BU’s Office of Distance Education


How much does Eric Friedman love and believe in Boston University? Enough that he received a degree from the school in 1990 (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, CAS).

Enough to get another degree from the university in 1993 (Master of Education, SED).

Enough to then get another degree from the university in 1995 (Master of Social Work, SSW).

And, now, enough to lead the office that helps bring a BU education to people all over the globe.

Eric was recently named the Director of the Office of Distance Education, promoted from the Associate Director position he held for the previous six years, during which the department doubled in size and saw its place among the leaders in online learning verified by a variety of national accolades and awards.

For much of his tenure Eric has focused most closely on student and faculty support, while lending his technical expertise to help shape policy and develop processes across the entire operation, though more recently he has led ODE into a series of significant collaborations with other offices and colleges as the university expands its offerings in distance education. Since Eric took over as interim director in March, and was promoted to the post permanently in October, the office has played a major role in BU’s introduction of MOOCs, has implemented a College of Communication project for integrating incoming Chinese graduate students, has launched a blended Doctor of Ministry program with the School of Theology, and has initiated several other exciting high-profile projects soon to follow.

“I believe Eric’s creativity as well his background and experience as an educator and project leader are ideal attributes for insightful expansion and diversification the marketplace demands,” said Dr. Tanya Zlateva, dean ad interim of BU’s Metropolitan College, in announcing Eric’s installation.

“Eric has an ambitious vision for growth and flexibility in the digital learning space. In recent conversations with him I have been impressed by the confidence and insight with which he approaches new opportunities. He understands and embraces the potential of digital learning and his love of the field motivates his colleagues to take on new challenges.”

That love of the field comes is something that comes through on a daily basis, and is part of the reason why his staff considered the news of Eric’s ascension to the directorship cause for a champagne celebration. As pleasant as he is professional as he is passionate about the work being done, he’s a delightful boss for whom people are inspired to be productive, innovative, and collaborative.

Oh, and it helps, too, that despite being a native of New Jersey, he’s now fully embraced pretty much everything about the city of Boston …






… right down to its heavy Irish influence:


So it’s fitting that now he’s in charge of seeing that the world gets to share in some of what his city — and his school, three times over — has to offer.

“I am thrilled to be taking the helm of the Office of Distance Education,” Eric said. “I couldn’t ask for a more talented and more dedicated staff, or a more supportive environment in which to work than BU. The collaborative and innovative spirit here is overwhelming and gives me a tremendous feeling of pride in the work we do. In the time I have been here we have accomplished a great deal, but there are new challenges and opportunities for growth and progress in our future. I have no doubt that we will continue to forge ahead with the same energy, enthusiasm, and success as we have in years past.”


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For a bit more on Eric personally, check out his answers in the blog’s “Getting to Know …” post from earlier this year.

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