NA Market

uPlanner Welcomes Seasoned Academic and Leader as New Advisor for US Market Expansion

uPlanner is delighted to welcome Liliana Naranjo to the uPlanner team. With a rich background in academia and a deep commitment to advancing higher education, Liliana joins us as our new advisor for the US market. Her extensive experience in educational leadership makes her a perfect fit to assist higher education institutions in enhancing their academic management operations. Liliana’s passion for improving educational quality aligns seamlessly with uPlanner’s mission to innovate and empower institutions on their path to academic excellence. 

We recently sat down with her to learn more about the path that led her to her newest professional adventure as advisor. Take a look!

Q: Welcome Liliana! Could you share a little bit about yourself?

I graduated from Universidad del Norte, in Colombia, with a degree in Industrial Engineering. I also hold a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the same university. Subsequently, I pursued a doctoral degree in Education with a focus on leadership in higher education here in the United States, at a university near Fort Lauderdale called Nova Southeastern University. I completed my doctorate in 2018, where I conducted doctoral research on the added value of higher education in professional competencies. I believe my experience closely aligns with my aspirations within the advisory role I aim to fulfill with uPlanner.

I have had diverse professional experiences in Colombia, starting as a professor immediately after graduating from university. I began teaching two months after graduation and have continued ever since.

My roles have included directing a leadership program initially, followed by serving as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Universidad Libre, known for its campuses in Bogota and Barranquilla, Colombia. Subsequently, I worked as the Northern Regional Director at ICETEX, a pivotal organization in Colombia responsible for student financial aid in higher education. During my tenure, we successfully implemented initiatives like the Axel credit program, which has since evolved under different names.

After ICETEX, I was appointed Rector of Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios in the Caribbean region. Starting with Barranquilla, I expanded Uniminuto significantly during my term, increasing enrollment from 1,600 to 6,000 students and expanding from one city to multiple locations with over 30 academic programs in both distance and online learning formats.

My experience bridged administrative and academic realms, supporting Colombia’s National Council for Accreditation (CNA) in accrediting university programs. As a dedicated adjunct faculty member in the United States, I currently work for Provider Network Solutions in the financial sector and teach at Broward College, a large public institution, and Broward International University, a private university. I am currently involved in curriculum design for new programs at both universities, alongside my role as an Advisor for uPlanner.

Liliana Naranjo, Advisor.

Q: What is your perspective on advancing the quality of higher education today and how do uPlanner’s solutions align with this vision?

Quality in education can be analyzed from many angles. For example, universities face challenges in maintaining quality due to the diverse backgrounds and academic preparation of students. This diversity affects how quality is measured, often based on student performance from entrance exams to graduation.

Another critical factor is faculty. Well-prepared professors with advanced methodologies and deep expertise, significantly enhance educational quality. Physical infrastructure and educational resources also play a crucial role, particularly with the rise of digital transformation since the pandemic. Online education has become increasingly important, requiring significant technological development to maintain quality.

Physical campuses also remain vital, providing spaces for study, research, and recreation, which contribute to the overall educational experience. 

When discussing quality, we must also consider efficiency in resource use, student retention rates, and graduation rates. This is where uPlanner is crucial. uPlanner’s advanced technology ensures efficient resource utilization, helping institutions avoid unnecessary infrastructure investments. Its solutions also enable effective student tracking and enhanced communication between students and staff, thereby improving overall educational quality, among other key advantages in curriculum development. 

Q: What excites you about your new role as advisor for uPlanner?

First and foremost, my passion for education and academia, which I’ve prepared for and have significant experience in. Helping others adds a special ingredient to this role. Education is a right, and by contributing to this field, we can make a meaningful impact. For instance, many people in higher education are the first in their family to become professionals, and uPlanner was born out of a passion to help along in this journey. 

My experience with various universities and as an advisor for other entities, has allowed me to build strong relationships with university leaders and gain insight into higher education. I believe I can bring many ideas forward to uPlanner, helping the company expand its technical capabilities and make a real impact in the education sector.

Q: How do you plan to build and sustain meaningful connections with stakeholders and potential clients and what challenges do you perceive going in?

An interesting strategy is to start with the state of Florida, where I have nurtured great relationships among the latino community.

I think it will be necessary to take into account the sheer size of universities in the US. If you think about it, colleges like Broward College have a significant number of students in a state  that isn’t as large as others. Imagine discussing states that are much larger and highly populated. So, it’s a significant challenge and a great opportunity. Therefore, we need a strong strategy for where to start, which is something I am currently developing.

While investment within higher education fluctuates at times, the reality is that American universities are constantly evolving because they do invest in technology, which is a great advantage.

Another important aspect is not limiting ourselves to just universities or colleges as there may be other types of organizations or institutions interested in all the added value that uPlanner offers through its technology. I think it can also appeal to other types of institutions that may be related to education but aren’t higher education institutions specifically. 

Q: What does education mean to you?

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is transformation. Education, to me, means change; it means striving for excellence. It’s about how education can profoundly change a person’s life in many ways simply by being more educated, by gaining access to better and higher levels of education. So, for me, it’s ultimately about the transformation that a human being can undergo by acquiring greater knowledge, culture, and experience, which ultimately shapes them into a better person and enables them to also want to help others. That’s what education means to me.

Delve deeper into how uPlanner can revolutionize your curriculum management and enhance accurate forecasting. Contact us today.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *