By Steve Kolowich
Professors in the philosophy department at San Jose State University are refusing to teach a philosophy course developed by edX, saying they do not want to enable what they see as a push to “replace professors, dismantle departments, and provide a diminished education for students in public universities.”
The San Jose State professors also called out Michael Sandel, the Harvard government professor who developed the course for edX, suggesting that professors who develop MOOCs are complicit in how public universities might use them…(Read more)
By Steve Kolowich
The faculty of Duke University’s undergraduate college drew a line in the sand last week on online education: Massive online experiments are fine, but there will be no credit-bearing online courses at Duke in the near future.
The university’s Arts & Sciences Council, the governing arm of the undergraduate faculty, voted down a proposal to join a consortium of top colleges offering for-credit online courses through 2U, a company that specializes in real-time, small-format online education.
2U’s defeat at Duke marked the second time in a month that undergraduate faculty members at a top liberal-arts college had struck down a proposed deal with an online-teaching consortium. On April 16, professors at Amherst College rejected an invitation to join edX, a nonprofit provider of massive open online courses.
Like the Amherst faculty, members of the faculty council at Duke passed an alternative resolution affirming that they intended to pursue online education—just not like this one, right now...read more
BOZEMAN — Tenured faculty at Montana State University have voted to decertify the union that has represented them for the past four years.
Members of the Associated Faculty of MSU voted 190-185 in favor of dissolving the union. Union president Sandy Osborne said six contested ballots weren’t counted.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the parent union decided not to challenge the election. MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver said he didn’t see any election irregularities.
Some professors began working toward decertification last fall, arguing union representation cost more than it was worth and negotiated the same small raises that other university system employees received.
The MEA-MFT is still affiliated with the faculty union representing about 200 adjunct, or non-tenurable, instructors.
By Alexander Card
A recent report by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) revealed salary information for higher-education institutions nationwide, allowing for insight into how Ohio University compares at both the national and state levels.
The release of the AAUP report coincides with the ongoing consideration of three resolutions by the OU Faculty Senate, all of which in some manner decry existing disparities between faculty and administrative salaries, and claim that statistical analyses of faculty salaries can misrepresent these disparities.
The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession is an in-depth analysis of various economic trends occurring among institutions of higher education, but focuses in particular on certain aspects of professors’ employment rates and salaries. Weighing in at about 80 pages, the report is a behemoth, full of countless graphs and charts, as well as explanatory commentary by the AAUP. Read carefully, however, the daunting document weaves a cautionary tale about the direction of higher education and the challenges faced by public university faculty…read more
The faculty of the University of Toledo College of Nursing have voted for collective bargaining and will form a unit as part of the UT-AAUP. The vote for Collective Bargaining was 70% (24 to 10).
The secret ballots were opened by the State Employee Relations Board (SERB) at 2:30pm on April 23, 2012. The election will be certified at the next meeting of SERB in mid-May. The UT-AAUP has been working for the past five years to secure UT-AAUP representation for the CON faculty and was met by extensive litigation and delays from the administration of President Lloyd Jacobs.
The UT-AAUP Executive Board is pleased that the Nursing faculty has finally been able to vote and is further pleased that they have voted for collective bargaining.
Overnight, MOOCs — with free tuition for all, attracting unprecedented enrollments reaching into the hundreds of thousands, and the involvement of world-class faculty — have captured the imagination of the press, public and even legislators looking for ways to expand the availability of higher education at minimal cost.
But thus far little attention has been paid to the quality of MOOCs. Quality in online learning can be defined in many ways: quality of content, quality of design, quality of instructional delivery, and, ultimately, quality of outcomes. On the face of it, the organizing principles of MOOCs are at odds with widely observed best practices in online education, including those advocated by my organization, the Quality Matters Program. Many of the first MOOCs are providing quality of content, but are far behind the curve in providing quality of design, accountable instructional delivery, or sufficient resources to help the vast majority of students achieve a course’s intended learning outcomes.
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/04/25/moocs-do-not-represent-best-online-learning-essay#ixzz2RUdryBgr
Inside Higher Ed
By Don Troop
In releasing his administration’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year on Wednesday, President Obama said the proposal would replace “the foolish across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting our economy,” a reference to the effects of the federal sequester that began last month.
John Nelson, managing director of the health-care and higher-education rating teams at Moody’s Investors Service, the credit-rating agency, observed in a recent interview that few politicians at any level of government favor the way the sequester’s $85-billion in automatic cuts will affect research universities. “I think most elected officials recognize the importance and growing value of research universities to economic development,” he said. “They don’t want to hurt research universities…read more
By Dan Berrett
A controversial curricular revision at the City University of New York that has been roiling the system for more than two years is approaching its endgame—and tensions show little sign of abating.
The revised curriculum, called Pathways, has sparked dueling advertisements, a nearly 6,000-signature petition calling for a moratorium on efforts to put it in place, accusations that administrators threatened the jobs of uncooperative faculty, and a steady stream of opinion pieces and public pronouncements for and against, both within and beyond CUNY.
The dispute has also resulted in an unusual pair of lawsuits about curricular control that crystallize many conflicts that have beset public higher education nationwide. Running through the debate at CUNY are broader worries about an ascendant managerialism in academe and the marginalization of the faculty; impatience with the inefficiency and slow pace of change in higher education amid shrinking public support; concerns about the costs borne by students; and predictions that the push to graduate students more quickly will result in a lower-quality education...read more
Last week, FIRE sent a letter to Appalachian State University’s (App State’s) Board of Trustees supporting the grievance of tenured sociology professor Jammie Price, who in 2012 was wrongly suspended without due process and ordered to complete a “professional development plan” that violated her academic freedom. FIRE has followed Price’s case since it became public and first expressed our concerns over Price’s treatment to App State Chancellor Kenneth A. Peacock in May 2012.
Media attention for Price’s case has been widespread. The Chronicle of Higher Education has covered itrepeatedly. So has Inside Higher Ed. Popular blogs Gawker and Jezebel have noted it as well. And regional publications like the News & Observer and the Watauga Democrat have paid much attention to the case too, focusing on how the App State faculty have responded.
Here are the basic facts of the dispute, as we summarize in our letter to Board of Trustees Chair Michael Steinback: (read more)