Office of the Vice President

Vice President of Continuing Studies

Dr. Richard Novak has been with the Division of Continuing Studies (formerly the Division of Continuous Education and Outreach) since its inception in July 1996 and has served as Vice President since 2013. He has been engaged with online learning at Rutgers since 1997. 

He is also an associate member of the graduate faculty in the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, teaching face-to-face, hybrid and fully online courses beginning in 1993. Dr. Novak is Past-President of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), the principal US organization for professional and continuing higher education. He continues to serve in various leadership roles with UPCEA.

As the Vice President for the Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS), Dr. Novak provides executive leadership for a large and diverse University-wide division at Rutgers University that includes over 150 employees at 20 units and 20 locations, that coordinate hundreds of credit and non-credit programs, enrolling thousands of participants, reaching audiences from pre-school youth to retirees, on and off campus and online, and providing various support services to faculty, staff and students across the University. In addition, DoCS operates the University Inn and Conference Center and iTV, the University's high definition broadcast television studio.

In 2004, Dr. Novak was presented the Walton S. Bittner Service Citation for Imaginative Leadership in the Advancement of Continuing Education and Distinguished Service to the Association by UPCEA. In April 2011 he was awarded the national Excellence in Online Administration award.


Welcome to Continuing Studies!

Welcome to the Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS). DoCS began in 1996 as the Division of Continuous Education and Outreach as part of an effort to coordinate and support continuing education, distance education and outreach at Rutgers University, across all of the campuses. Since then, DoCS has grown to include over 150 employees at 20 units and 20 locations, that coordinate hundreds of credit and non-credit programs, enrolling thousands of participants, reaching audiences from youth to retirees and providing various support services across the University. Our educational services include a range of services that rely on state-of-the art technologies.

DoCS is engaged in all three components of the Rutgers University mission of research, teaching and service. This site provides an overview of the services provided through DoCS, with easy-to-use links to the various DoCS units and staff. Please contact us if we can be of service. 

-- Dr. Richard Novak

Why lifelong learning?

Lifelong learning is one of the most effective ways to deal with change, and change is constant - change in our personal lives, change in our work lives, change in our local communities, governance, associations and organizations. The change in the iPhone alone has required constant learning and re-learning by customers. How much more important is learning that is geared towards serious enrichment or career-advancing pursuits?

One of the most influential management writers, Peter Drucker, wrote: “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” At DoCS, we are all about teaching people how to learn, as we provide and support the delivery of educational programs for all ages from childhood through senior adult. We offer or facilitate the offering of lifelong learning in a wide variety of formats – online, hybrid, face to face – in asynchronous and synchronous delivery modes, for credit leading to a degree or non-credit leading to a certificate, on one of the main campuses or at one of our regionally distributed higher education centers. We develop educational media to make learning more engaging. We assist in course development and we coach instructors in the most effective pedagogy to keep learning interactive and interesting.

We are committed to the support of lifelong learning in all its formats for audiences of all ages because of the many benefits that accrue to the individual and our communities. Lifelong learners are happier, healthier and live longer. Those who continue with formal education have a significant financial advantage over the course of a lifetime. And a well-educated citizenry makes for a better society for all of us. Why lifelong learning? Simply stated, because it is good for your health and good for everyone around you.

-- Dr. Richard Novak

DoCS Commitment to Customer Service

Commitment to customer service is a hallmark of DoCS and is evident daily as staff regularly exceed expectations to meet faculty and student needs. That standard of service does not magically develop; DoCS is committed to recruiting skilled, caring staff and supporting them with an unwavering commitment to professional development. As a result, service and continuous learning have become part of the division’s DNA and help define DoCS as a learning organization. 

Embracing both entrepreneurial thinking and creative problem solving, DoCS staff take great delight in extending the impact of Rutgers across various sectors and in all different modalities, while generating revenue that supports the traditional academic enterprise. Finally, DoCS dedication to lifelong learning for all ages includes a special commitment to, and expertise in, serving non-traditional adult learners in both credit and non-credit courses and programs.

-- Dr. Richard Novak