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Source: Sue Maes, 785-532-5644,
News release prepared by: Greg Tammen, 785-532-2535,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


MANHATTAN -- The Friends of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance is recognizing Sue Maes, dean of the Division of Continuing Education at Kansas State University, for her expertise in building new academic programs and fostering institutional collaboration.

Maes received the Friends of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance Award April 18. The honor recognizes her as an unwavering proponent of online learning and for her belief that technology closes the gaps between institutions across the country and around the world.

The award was created in 2006 to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development and/or operation of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, also known as the Great Plains IDEA.

The alliance is an award-winning multistate alliance of human sciences colleges. It was founded in 1994, with assistance from Maes, as a marketplace for sharing distance education courses and programs at the graduate and undergraduate level. From that, AG*IDEA, an affiliate alliance, also was created. Both alliances are comprised of 30 national universities that have either joined or have signed an intent to join.

Maes is widely recognized as a leading authority in best online practices for interinstitutional and/or multistate collaborative program development and delivery.

"I believe the formation of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance is one of the most significant innovations in higher education in perhaps the last decade," Maes said. "The Great Plains IDEA has fostered a spirit of academic collaboration among peer higher education institutions. Beyond the spirit, the alliance has found a way to build, price and sustain new degree programs that alone would have been impossible for any one single institution to launch.

"I am deeply grateful to be honored for my early leadership in the building of the Great Plains IDEA," she said.