In October 2007, EDUCAUSE Vice President Richard N. Katz met with several senior leaders of the Open University: Professor Brenda Gourley, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University; Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching; Professor Andy Lane, Director of OpenLearn; Niall Sclater, Director of the Virtual Learning Environment Programme; and Professor Steve Swithenby, Director of the Centre for Open Learning of Mathematics, Science, Computing and Technology (COLMSCT). The Open University (OU) of the United Kingdom was the world's first successful open entry distance-teaching university. Begun in 1969 with a staff of 70–80, the university was founded on the belief that communications technology could bring high-quality degree-level learning to people who had not had the opportunity to attend campus colleges or universities. The first students enrolled in the OU in 1971, and by 1980, total enrollments had grown to 70,000, with more than 6,000 people graduating each year. In 1999, the university conferred its 200,000th graduate. Today, more than 155,000 undergraduates and more than 30,000 postgraduates are enrolled in the OU’s programs. Nearly 70 percent of these students work full-time, and more than 50,000 OU students are sponsored by their employers. Another 40,000 OU students are based outside of the United Kingdom either directly with the university or through its educational partners.