Alan Tait is Professor of Distance Education and Development at the Open University UK,and has a long record of practice, publication and the support of professional development in distance and e-learning. He was Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the Open University UK2007-2012, and was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Education and Language Studies. Hewas Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Distance and E Learning (EURODL) 2005-2013, was from 1989-1998 Editor of Open Learning, was President of the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) from 2007-2010, and Co-Director of the Cambridge International Conference on Open and Distance Learning. Alan is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning for Development, to be produced from the Commonwealth of Learning for the first time at the end of 2013. He is Visiting Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark, a senior member of St Edmunds College, University of Cambridge, and a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Distance Education at the University of London. In 2012 Alan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Moscow State University for Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
He has worked widely in developing countries, and for international organisations such asUNESCO, the European Commission, the Commonwealth of Learning, and the International Extension College. Recent publications include Distance and E Learning, Social Justice and Development: the relevance of the Capacity Approach to the mission of open universities, in the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 2013; Tait A and O’Rourke J (2013) ‘Internationalisation, Social Justice and Open, Distance and e-learning: working with the grain’, in Online Distance Education – Toward a Research Agenda, Anderson T and Zawacki-Richter O, (Eds.), Athabasca University Press, in press;‘What are Open Universities for?’, in Open Learning, 2008, Vol 23:2, pp 85-94, ‘Leadership Development for Distance and E Learning’, 2007, in the International Handbook of Distance Education, Eds. Evans T, Haughey M and Murphy D, pp 499-512, and ‘Planning Student Support for Open and Distance Learning’, in Open Learning, 2000, Vol 15, No 3, pp 287-299.