Dr. Ashley’s legacy as a leader in extended and distance learning is notable. Warren’s contributions to Cal State University – Dominguez Hills began in 1989 when he was hired, after a stint at NBC, by the Division of Extended Education to develop programming for CSUDH’s shared instructional television channel (ITFS). With academic credentials and professional experience, Warren played a key role in building the reputation of CSUDH in academic programming delivered via live television broadcast, video and online media. He developed the ITFS resource into a mechanism for providing college level courses to high schools — the early beginnings of what would later become the Young Scholars Program — and for sending programs into local communities by contracting for space on their educational and public service channels; one of the first CSU campuses to do so. By contracting with the Los Angeles Board of Education the campus offered the first televised MBA in the System, establishing a framework for what would later become the online program. Warren became director of the center for Mediated Instruction & Distance Learning (MIDL) in 1998
Warren was an innovative educator, ever aware of how new and existing media resources could be applied effectively to credit and noncredit programs. Early on Warren expanded the technologies by which the campus was able to deliver distance learning by introducing programming through two way video and satellite. Through a grant from Pacific Bell the campus developed the first bachelor’s degree in the System to be offered through two way television. In partnership with Nursing, Dr. Ashley developed the campus’ first distance learning BSN which was offered nationwide over satellite and which paved the way for the later development of the online nursing program. CSUDH became the first campus in the System to receive WASC approval for a distance learning masters with the development of the online MSQA. By late 1990s CSUDH had become the System leader in distance learning and was cited in Forbes for its programming and technological expertise.
Dr. Ashley’s genius lay in his ability to see the “personalities” of the various technologies and to develop the appropriate use and programming. He actively partnered with faculty and units across campus to accomplish interesting courses and programs such as the Applied Studies TV/online degree completion program which effectively combined live and archived cable and web lecture broadcasts with Blackboard LMS. Warren dedicated himself to his work and profession; he was available 24/7 for students, faculty and his valued staff.
Warren will be greatly missed– for so many reasons– by his staff in MIDL, campus colleagues and of course his family.
An excerpt from a famous Emily Dickinson poem seems fitting, only imagine Warren’s sailing vessel Threshold as the “Carriage”.
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just ourselves
Warren is survived by his daughter, son, four grandchildren and five siblings.
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