Dr. Robert Hayes is the associate provost of the Office of Teaching Innovation and Digital Education (formerly the College of Continuing Studies). Prior to this appointment, he served as associate dean for Online Learning in the College of Continuing Studies. In that role, he oversaw the College’s robust portfolio of online academic and continuing education programs, including ACCESS Virtual Learning, New College Life Track, The University of Alabama Online and UA Early College.
Since joining the team in 2018, Dr. Hayes has led in advancing The University of Alabama’s distinction as a national leader in the distance and online education market, including rebranding Bama by Distance to The University of Alabama Online, launching 22 new academic degree programs and increasing high school dual credit, undergraduate and graduate student enrollment. Under his leadership, OTIDE has implemented Quality Matters as the guiding framework for quality assurance in online teaching and learning, introduced 24/7 technical support for faculty and students and improved UA’s standings in U.S. News & World Report rankings for Best Online Programs.
Dr. Hayes served in several professional roles across The University of Alabama since 2005. He managed marketing, communications and fundraising activities for the Division of Student Life, where he oversaw a comprehensive rebranding of the division and grew the portfolio of endowed support accounts by more than $4 million. Dr. Hayes served six years as assistant dean and director of Student Services in the College of Arts and Sciences; through this role, he introduced a First Year Advising Center, expanded pre-professional programming for undergraduates, introduced an experiential learning center and incorporated strategic interventions that improved the College’s recruitment, retention and graduation outcomes.
Prior to his work in Academic Affairs, Dr. Hayes directed UA’s Bama Bound Orientation program in the Division of Enrollment Management, where his team welcomed the largest consecutive freshmen classes UA had seen in its history to date.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Science in Counseling and College Student Personnel from Jacksonville State University, and he earned a PhD in Instructional Leadership from The University of Alabama. His dissertation engaged critical race theory as a mechanism for understanding the experiences of African American male scholars in engineering academic programs at a predominately white institution.