Dean of the School of Professional Studies
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Karen Sibley is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Dean of the School of Professional Studies (SPS) at Brown University, Providence, RI. Dean Sibley is also the Vice Chair of the Department of Education at the University She is responsible for creating innovative educational opportunities that reach a global audience of learners and include new blended learning (minimal residential requirements) post-graduate and Master’s degree programs, programs for Brown alumni and professionals in leadership positions, innovative faculty efforts in digital education, and programs for K-12 students and teachers. She also serves the University through exploration of new potentials for collaboration across institutions, with new technology platforms and in areas of civic engagement and general institutional innovation.
The School of Professional Studies was formally launched at Brown on July 1, 2014. The School develops and oversees executive Master’s degrees, undergraduate and pre-college summer programs enrolling over 6,500 students, online courses both credit and non-credit, and the Choices Program which develops social studies curriculum materials for use in high schools across the United States and around the world. SPS collaborates with Brown’s Graduate School to enhance outreach to students seeking residential masters degrees and will engage with Brown’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship to support fast-track innovation under the leadership of that new unit. SPS is also a partner to activities under the leadership of the Office of Global Engagement.
Sibley is a forward thinking academic leader eager to deploy innovative technologies and address fast-changing circumstances. In her work she creates access to high quality learning opportunities in times that demand continuous knowledge acquisition and capacity enhancement across the learner spectrum, from young people to mid-career and senior executive leaders.
Sibley has long been involved at a national level and served in many leadership capacities in higher education professional organizations. She has made substantial contributions and served as a mentor to many in the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, Association of University Summer Sessions, and the North American Association of Summer Sessions all of which she served as President. Sibley is past Chair of the Alumni Advisory Board for the Executive Doctorate, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her Doctorate in Higher Education Management. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She completed the HERS leadership program at Wellesley College and the Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership. Sibley began her career as a teacher of high school English and writing.