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Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

On-Line and In Debt

Despite assurances last fall that UCOP's proposed online program would only be funded through donations, the University has now announced that it will borrow several million dollars to support the first steps towards the Edley-versity  Although the official UC News buried mention of this decision in the middle of an article touting a Grant from the Gates Foundation, the fact remains that the funds that have been raised are not sufficient to fund the online project.  If they were UC would not be incurring debt to support it.  Vice-Provost Greenstein assured the Chronicle of Higher Education that UC would most likely raise other funds and not have to use all of its available credit.  That would be reassuring, of course, if UCOP hadn't insisted that there would be no need to borrow money in the first place.

Perhaps UCOP, recognizing the large numbers of students who go into debt at online universities has decided--in an act of solidarity--to go into debt with them.  It is hard to understand otherwise why they would go back on their commitments.

At least, according to UCOP, these funds are not being taken from any other place where they could serve an educational purpose.  According to the Chronicle, Greenstein insisted that  ”'It’s not like we’re taking student-fee money,...It can’t be used for anything else. I’m not shutting the Spanish department to do this program.'” Given their track record on this subject I know that I am comforted by that statement. 

3 comments:

cloudminder said...

Daily Cal- not UCOP- actually provided the number!/dollar figure of the loan:

"The grant's April 7 announcement was made the same day as a decision by the UC to extend a $6.9 million loan to the online project. "

Michael Meranze said...

Thanks Cloudminder. For those who want it the Daily Cal link is:
http://www.dailycal.org/article/112717/controversial_online_instruction_program_moves_for

Catherine Liu said...

This is grotesque. And they wonder why faculty and staff have grown to distrust administrative attempts to "innovate."

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