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The Corporatization of the University UUP Technology and Intellectual Property Issues Committee Karen Volkman karen.volkman@plattsburgh.edu SUNY Plattsburgh Glenn McNitt mcnittfg@newpaltz.edu SUNY New Paltz Expansion of Postsecondary Distance Education in the U.S.

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slide1

The Corporatization of the University

UUP Technology and Intellectual

Property Issues Committee

Karen Volkman

karen.volkman@plattsburgh.edu

SUNY Plattsburgh

Glenn McNitt

mcnittfg@newpaltz.edu

SUNY New Paltz

expansion of postsecondary distance education in the u s
Expansion of Postsecondary Distance Education in the U.S.
  • Distance Education at Postsecondary Institutions 1997-98, published by the National Center for Education Statistics is still the definitive survey
  • This survey indicates that 78% of public 4-year institutions and 62% of public 2-year institutions offer distance learning courses
slide3

The Pie Chart on the Right Shows Enrollment in

Credit-Granting Distance Education Classes

Distance Education at Postsecondary Education Institutions:

1997-98 http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2000/2000013.pdf p. 31

corporate america also tracks university distance education
Corporate America Also Tracks University Distance Education
  • International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that in 2002 approximately 85% of 2-year and 4-year institutions will offer distance education courses
  • IDC refers to increased enrollments as the “elearning market”
slide5

IDC Corporate Analysis on Market Potential

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jhtml?containerId=pr51213

elearning on wall street
“Elearning” on Wall Street
  • Some of larger distance education corporations have graduated from venture capital to publicly traded companies on U.S. stock exchanges
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education has created a special index to track the performance of these companies
slide7

Note that the “for profit” higher education

companies outperformed the S&P 500

http://chronicle.com/free/v48/i35/35a03601.htm

slide8

Why? All companies showed significant

increases in enrollments; especially the

U. of Phoenix

http://chronicle.com/free/v48/i35/35a03601.htm

slide9

The U. of Phoenix is part of the Apollo group.

This company outperformed the rest of the

for-profit index.

http://chronicle.com/free/v48/i35/35a03601.htm

distance education by category
Distance Education by Category
  • State or community college distance education systems
  • Course Management System Vendors
  • Virtual Universities
  • Corporate - University Joint Ventures
state or community college systems
State or community college systems
  • Mixture of non-profit and for-profit
  • SUNY Learning Network (SLN), NYU Online, and U of Maryland University College are examples
  • Typically accredited same as home system, such as Middle States or North Central
course management system vendors
Course Management System Vendors
  • Vendors provide software platform environments for faculty to build their courses
  • The course environment simplifies organization and faculty interaction with students without having to know programming
  • Generally don’t provide course content
  • Examples: WebCT and Blackboard
virtual universities
Virtual Universities
  • Completely online institutions
  • Most faculty are part time
  • Many are aimed at working adults
  • Accreditation varies; some have North Central
  • Often taught by practitioners; have more practical training focus
  • Examples are Capella U., U. of Phoenix, and Western Governors University
corporate university joint ventures
Corporate -University Joint Ventures
  • Content contracted through corporate entity
  • Course offered through university
  • Course content is provided in module format for selection into course
  • Typically content is created by faculty stars
  • Teaching assistants can be subcontracted through company to “monitor” course
slide15

Who Are the Corporate - University

Joint Ventures?

A Virtual Revolution: Trends in the Expansion of Distance Education p. 13

http://www.aft.org/higher_ed/downloadable/VirtualRevolution.pdf

watch the work corporate university ventures
Watch the WorkCorporate -University Ventures
  • Many of these ventures are new on the horizon
  • These ventures tend to approach at the system level to gain entry
  • They focus on large enrollment classes, such as general education
  • They contract with expert faculty to develop various modules for a class
watch the work in your backyard
Watch the Work in Your Backyard
  • Global Education Network (GEN) approached SUNY Central this academic year
  • GEN wanted to provide courses to meet the SUNY General Education requirements
  • GEN distributed recruitment emails to SUNY Faculty
    • See recruitment email
gen deals with general education
GEN Deals with General Education
  • GEN’s premise is that system wide entry level courses are difficult to find enough faculty to cover
  • GEN assumes that there is less interest in humanities courses offered via distance learning
  • GEN contracts with five or six superstars to assemble course content
slide19

NCES data doesn’t support a dearth of

humanities courses via distance education

Distance Education at Postsecondary Education Institutions:

1997-98 http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2000/2000013.pdf p. 39

what s the story behind gen
What’s the Story Behind GEN?
  • GEN was started by venture capitalist Herbert Allen and Williams College Professor Mark Taylor
  • $20 million has already been invested
  • GEN originally sought professors from private elite liberal arts colleges to develop content
  • Few such institutions have signed on
slide21

GEN even seems to be interested in

marketing distance education via PBS

corporatization of the university what core values do we lose
Corporatization of the UniversityWhat Core Values Do We Lose
  • Academic freedom
  • Academic work ethic
  • Freedom for research
  • Traditional university interaction
wither academic freedom if you re not the superstar
Wither Academic Freedom If you’re not the “superstar”
  • Dinner Module menu to choose from
  • No creation of own class content
  • Simplified mass production
  • Loss of departmental control of curriculum
  • Loss of comparison to traditional class based course
  • Different standards of assessment
  • Class can be contracted to outsider
wither academic freedom what happens to your tenure
Wither Academic Freedom What Happens to Your Tenure?
  • How can you be evaluated for teaching someone else’s content?
  • Different expectations of both you and your students for the contract course
  • Second class citizen of faculty
  • Differing expectations of terminal degree
wither academic work ethic
Wither Academic Work Ethic
  • Faculty have no reason to be engaged
  • Faculty have no opportunity to share research with their students
  • Subcontracted faculty are not part of campus life; serving on governance and other campus functions
  • Department level work ceases to be relevant
wither freedom for research
Wither Freedom for Research
  • Classes devolve into degree mills
  • Devaluation of faculty scholarship
  • Students miss opportunity to share and participate in faculty research
  • Enrollments, not scholarship are rewarded
  • Practitioner level scholarship emphasis
  • Devaluation of humanities scholarship
wither the traditional university
Wither the Traditional University
  • No sense of engagement of peers
  • Devaluation of university peer system of department and faculty governance
  • Reliance on outsiders to teach
  • Loss of traditional interaction with students both in class and at campus forums
  • Loss of intellectual community
what will be the condition of the university

What Will Be the Condition of the University?

What Risks Does Corporatization of the University Ultimately Impose?