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University of California Begins Weighing Its Options

The Los Angeles Times reports that yesterday the University of California began mulling over a list of proposed changes that...


\nThe Los Angeles Times
reports that yesterday the University of California began mulling over a list of proposed changes that could help to cut its enormous budget gap, which forced it to raise tuition next fall by 32 percent on its 10 campuses, which include UCLA, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis.

The members of the Commission on the Future split into five working groups last year and came up with an initial round of recommendations for the Commission to consider. Among the ideas: Developing a path for earning undergraduate degrees in three years, replacing some classes taught in the classroom with online versions, having fees differ from campus to campus (Berkeley and UCLA would become more expensive), more appropriately funneling university funds toward research areas that have less access to outside funding sources, and increasing the number of out-of-state students and foreign students to the schools (which has been successful at places like the University of Michigan).

While no changes are likely to be pushed through anytime soon, one of the proposals that should encourage strong debate among the faculty is the online education debate:
One plan discussed Tuesday said UC should develop 40 basic online courses in a pilot program to help students graduate on time and cut costs. "I think the question is whether we are leaders or followers," said commission member Christopher Edley Jr., dean of UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall law school and a strong advocate of Internet education.

You can read the entire set of recommendations in this Commission of the Future report.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user Sarah Smith-Sell.










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