RESTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ellucian, the world’s leading provider of software and services built to power higher education, today announced that it has appointed Stephen Laster as its chief product officer (CPO). Laster is a seasoned technologist, business leader, strategist, eLearning designer and educator, with an extensive background in higher education.
As CPO, Laster joins Ellucian’s executive team to lead all aspects of product direction and strategy across the product, and research and development organizations. Laster will guide Ellucian’s platform, products, and solutions to meet industry needs and accelerate opportunities for digital transformation in the cloud for Ellucian’s more than 2,700 customers worldwide.
“Stephen is both a practitioner and visionary who brings a deep understanding of the education industry and the opportunities and challenges it faces to Ellucian,” said Ellucian President and CEO Laura Ipsen. “I am thrilled to have Stephen join Ellucian at such a pivotal time to enhance and accelerate our technology vision and strategy as more of our customers are transforming in the cloud to achieve greater student success.”
“At a time when higher education institutions are working to solve increasingly complex problems with ever-tightening budgets, it becomes imperative for the solutions they choose to not just fit the specific needs of the industry, but also enable institutions to keep up with future innovations,” said Laster. “I’m excited to join Ellucian and to help align our solutions to fill this critical need in higher education technology.”
Laster comes to Ellucian from Penn Foster where he served as chief digital & learning officer. In this capacity he led the technology, courseware, and education practices to advance the impact and engagement of the organization's learning experiences, both in pursuit of learner success and to advance the technological capabilities of the firm. Prior to Penn Foster, Laster served for more than a decade in technology leadership roles related to higher education, including as chief digital officer at McGraw-Hill Education, chief information officer at Harvard Business School and director of curriculum innovation and technology at Babson College.
His expertise in this field is widely respected and has led to advisory positions for organizations such as EDUCAUSE Corporate Advisory, IMS Global, Microsoft Higher Education, The Online Learning Consortium, Preserve, Inc., and Babson College. A frequent commentator on education technology and innovation, Laster has spoken and written articles for ASU GSV, EDUCAUSE, IMS Learning Impact and Campus Technology.
Laster holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.
Ellucian is the market leader charting the digital future of higher education with a portfolio of cloud-ready technology solutions and services. From student recruitment to workforce analytics; from fundraising opportunities to alumni engagement; Ellucian’s comprehensive suite of data-rich tools gives colleges and universities the information they need to lead with confidence.
Working with a community of more than 2,550 institutions in over 50 countries, Ellucian keeps innovating as higher education keeps evolving. Drawing on its comprehensive higher education business acumen and suite of services, Ellucian guides its customers through manageable, sustainable digital transformation—so that every type of institution and student can thrive in today’s fast-changing landscape. To find out what’s next in higher education solutions and services, visit Ellucian at www.ellucian.com.