About Wayne Smutz

Dean Wayne SmutzWayne Smutz is Dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension at the University of California Los Angeles, a position he has held since October 2013. 

With over 38,000 students, offering more than 5,000 classes and programs per year, UCLA Extension serves the professional development, continuing education, and personal enrichment needs of alumni and professionals  and the employees of public and private companies in Los Angeles, California, the U.S. and internationally.

Dr. Smutz leads the academic, financial, operational and outreach efforts of this self-supporting $54.5 million enterprise, which receives no state or campus funding.

Dr. Smutz joined UCLA after serving for more than 30 years in Penn State’s Outreach and Engagement organization. His most recent role was Executive Director of the Penn State World Campus and Associate Vice President for Academic Outreach. In this position, he oversaw all undergraduate and graduate credit programs (90+ degrees and certificates) offered through Penn State Outreach—whether through World Campus online delivery, face-to-face Continuing Education offerings, via the Video Learning Network, or in blended modes. The units under Dr. Smutz served nearly 30,000 students (primarily adult learners) in all 50 states and more than 70 countries. He was the principal investigator on projects that were funded with over $4.5 million in external grants by such organizations as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, US AID, the Bernard Osher Foundation, and various professional associations.

Dr. Smutz is committed to collaborative partnership building between Extension and the UCLA academic community, as well as with Extension and the broader civic community, citizens, businesses, and governments. He embraces a learner-centric approach, with a focus on enhancing access to quality postsecondary educational programs, while providing the support services necessary to facilitate student success. He has a keen interest in using technology when appropriate within the educational context to address such pressing challenges as retention and success, responsiveness to student needs, student engagement, the costs of higher education, and the measurement of educational outcomes derived from both in-class and co-curricular learning experiences. 

Dr. Smutz serves on the boards of the Sloan Consortium and the American Distance Education Consortium. He previously served on boards of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and the Observatory on Borderless Education. He was a faculty member for the Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning in 2011 and 2012.  In 2011, he received the Sloan Consortium’s John Bourne Award for Individual Achievement in Online Learning while in the same year Penn State’s World Campus was awarded the Sloan Consortium’s award for Institution Wide Excellence in Online Learning.  In addition, he received national and regional UPCEA programming and engagement awards.

A native Californian, he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley, and the recipient of an M.A. in political science, along with a Ph.D. in higher education, both from Penn State.