Kristine Billmyer became the Dean of Columbia's School of Continuing Education in 2009. She came to Columbia from the University of Pennsylvania, where she has served as executive director of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies and associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences since 2005. She also held an adjunct associate professor role at Penn’s Graduate School of Education and previously served as executive director of Penn’s English Language Programs.
Billmyer has enjoyed a distinguished career as both a teacher and higher education administrator for more than two decades. A nationally recognized scholar in her field, she has published widely on cross-cultural variation in language use and the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence by second language learners.
At Penn, she crafted an enhanced vision of continuing education and repositioned its College of Liberal and Professional Studies to respond to the educational needs of emerging professions with programs that integrate knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. Billmyer established the college as a campus-wide partner supporting and encouraging innovation, effectively recruiting students of talent and high potential, and establishing programs that are sustainable at robust levels.
She expanded the college’s national and international programming, cultivating partnerships with international universities and organizations that lead to dual degree programs and multi-year grants to host critical language, academic and culture programs at Penn and abroad. Through the innovative Learning Commons, Penn faculty are now delivering an array of online learning experiences to outstanding students from across the country and around the world.
Billmyer received a B.A. in psychology and Spanish literature from Vassar College, a Master of Education degree in English education from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in educational linguistics from Penn.