Technology Updates:  Paradigm Shifts in Prestige Universities
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

The threads below are somewhat dated.  For my more recent writings on this topic go to 

News Flash on April 20, 2000

Question 01:  
What is the most important thing every professor in higher education should do this very instant?
Answer:  Take a look at four articles  Newsweek, April 24 
Click here for excerpts and comments by Bob Jensen

I might note a Columbia University professor featured in one of the articles will appear in one of my forthcoming workshops.   I mention this because several months ago I lined Professor Kirschenheiter to present a module on the UNext program in a day-long workshop that I developed for August 12 (Saturday) in Philadelphia two days prior to the start of the American Accounting Association Annual meetings.  In addition, there will be modules from Chuck Hickman (Academic Vice President of University Access), Dan Stone (Illinois research professor who will discuss the SCALE program at the University of Illinois), and Tony Catanach (our AAA Pew Scholar from Villanova who will discuss the revolutionary lecture-free year of intermediate accounting in the BAM Program).  Of course Bob Jensen will also do his thing in that workshop.  Details are not yet available, but you will eventually find these details at 

Question 02:
did Business Week call the hottest online higher education program?  Click here for the answer.

Question 03:
What is the most important distinction to keep in mind when considering online "prestige" degree programs of the future?
Answer:  Remember that there are two kinds of prestige online diplomas or certificates as distinguished below:

Question 04:
How does the Wharton/IBM partnership differ from the UNext-type partnerings?  Click here to view the answer.

How does the Babson/Intel partnership differ from the UNext-type partnerings>  Click here to view the answer.

Question 05:
How are top business schools teaching each other's students?  Click here to view the answer.

Question 06:
How will the services provided by colleges and universities change fundamentally in the next decade?  Are we being realistic?  Click here to view the answer?

Question 07:
What is happening in this regard on the Canadian front?  Click here for the answer.

Question 08:
What major publishing firm has formed a university and is awaiting accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges?  Click here for the answer.

Question 09:
What is so important about the prestige of the logo versus accreditation? How can programs become accredited?  Click here for the answer.

Question 10:
Are some online education programs, even prestige programs, scams?  Click here for the answer.

Question 11:
Do you want to by a shares in a prestigious university? Is this possible? Click here for the answer.

Question 12:
What is the leading research study on the cost of developing an online program (including a spreadsheet that you can use in your own institution)?  Click here for the answer.

Question 13:
What are the five leading distance education websites according to Yahoo?
The answer is at 

Question 14:
How can I find links to distance education programs and financial aid for such programs?
The answer is at 

Question 15:
What is the past, present, and future of course authoring technologies?  What are knowledge portals of the 21st Century? 
Go to 

Question 16:
How can I find online courses and programs?  
Go to 

Question 17:
How can I find online high school courses and programs? 

Go to Prestige High Schools Join the Act

My document below contains threads from my weekly editions of New Bookmarks at 

The four Newsweek articles on April 24, 2000:
Click Here for Excerpts

Knowledge Portals of the 21st Century

The Prestigious Online MBA Programs at Duke University

Duke Corporate Education (A For-Profit Corporation)

UNext: The Anti-University?

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School Partnership with IBM

The Babson/Intel MBA Program

Distance Learning:  Are We Being Realistic?

How Top Business Schools Are Teaching Each Other's Students 

What is So Important About Logo Prestige Versus Accreditation?


Accreditation Issues

How to Discover and Analyze the Costs of Developing an Online Program

Are Some of These High Profile Ventures Scams?

The Virtual University (Possible Scams)

The Bubble Bursts for Education Dot-Coms

Corporatization of the Academy

Examples of Problems and Progress

Earlier Articles:
Paradigm Shifts in Research and Funding of Faculty

Paradigm Shifts in Distance Education 

What is Morningside Ventures started up by Columbia University?

What is E-SKOLAR started up by Stanford University?

Paradigm Shifts in Faculty Allegiances (including the free Academy Online journal)

Who Are These Prestigious Professors Online?

Harvard Sues to Set a Precedent

A Virtual Revolution in Teaching 

The Union Label is Everywhere

Paradigm Shift in University Management and Strategies 

Securing Our Future:  A Manitoba Innovation Corridor

Prestige High Schools Join the Act

The past, present, and future of course authoring technologies --- 

How to find online courses and programs? 

Selected Key Links and References


The Four Newsweek Articles on April 24, 2000  
  (The above Newsweek web site has a broken link to the "College Online" link below.)

"College Online"  
by Daniel McGinn, Newsweek, April 24, 2000, pp. 54-58

McGinn presents a very nice, albeit somewhat frightening, overview of schools that will probably become the major players in online distance education.  Typical full-time college students living on campus now comprise only 16% of the total student population in the U.S.  This leaves 83% in the U.S. and millions of students around the world that are eager for new online education alternatives.  He claims that 75% of all U.S. universities will provide online coursework to about 5.8 million students by the end of Year 2000.

The first truly online college to receive regional accreditation in the U.S. is the Jones International University at  McGinn is quite complimentary about the rigor and pedagogy of this university.  Degree programs include the following:

Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication
Master of Arts in Business Communication
Master of Business Administration

Duke's Global Executive MBA program receives highest marks.  The GEMBA link is at 

Various other programs are mentioned such as University Access at  and the University of Phoenix at .

McGinn discusses concerns about how "a handful of well-credentialed 'content experts' who write the curriculum, and armies of 'instructional faculty.'"  The American Association of University Professors is fighting to prevent accreditation of programs designed in this fashion.

McGinn mentions that a researcher named Thomas Russell has collected 355 studies showing that there is "no difference" in terms of learning between onsite and distance education, although most of the studies cited used interactive TV in a synchronous mode.  The jury is still out regarding asynchronous online courses.

The Achilles' heel of distance education to date have the high student dropout rates.  Brian Mueller from the University of Phoenix contends that the key to student retention is the creation of a "highly social online experience" in each course.

"The New School" 
by John McCormick, Newsweek, April 24, 2000, pp. 60-62

What is most important to me is "The New School" article that describes the planned pedagogy of how UNext intends to teach courses online developed by Columbia University, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Chicago, and the London School of Economics.  In a nutshell, the pedagogy is "problem-based learning" in a confrontational style that is not intended for the faint of heart.

Rosenfield's team wants to totally re-engineer professors' old-fashioned "stand-and-deliver" courses. At UNext, a "course" requires perhaps 30 hours of work. Four or five courses make up a "course suite," the equivalent of a campus semester of, say, marketing. (Tuition works out to 80 percent of the roughly $2,600 that a semester course costs at a top B-school.) Clients like Bank of America and Owens-Illinois, the packaging giant, are enrolling pilot groups of employees for classes that begin this spring. UNext will eventually offer M.B.A. and other graduate degrees; the sheepskins will be from Cardean (CAR-dee-an) University, a UNext subsidiary named for a Roman goddess who guarded doorways (think portals). This sounds better, Rosenfield says, than a degree from a dot-com.

I might note a Columbia University professor who is leading the way in delivering Columbia's courses in Mike Milken's UNext online distance education program is mentioned in "The New School" article cited above in the April 24 editon of Newsweek:

Rosenfield's team wants to totally re-engineer professors' old-fashioned "stand-and-deliver" courses. At UNext, a "course" requires perhaps 30 hours of work. Four or five courses make up a "course suite," the equivalent of a campus semester of, say, marketing. (Tuition works out to 80 percent of the roughly $2,600 that a semester course costs at a top B-school.) Clients like Bank of America and Owens-Illinois, the packaging giant, are enrolling pilot groups of employees for classes that begin this spring. UNext will eventually offer M.B.A. and other graduate degrees; the sheepskins will be from Cardean (CAR-dee-an) University, a UNext subsidiary named for a Roman goddess who guarded doorways (think portals). This sounds better, Rosenfield says, than a degree from a dot-com.

Now suppose you do sign up for assessing profitability. You'll be grouped into a new class of about 25 students. You'll have two faculties instead of just one: a cluster of experts who've put together your course, and the part-time instructors—all with master's degrees or Ph.D.s —who were hired less for research scholarship than for teaching ability. Your course is the progeny of a Columbia professor named Michael Kirschenheiter and a UNext team led by Don Wortham, an educational psychologist. Taking the course resembles using the Net itself to research a problem: applying your wiles, rooting out information, piecing together solutions. "What we don't tell you," Wortham says, "is 'Here's what to do next.' It's an adventure."

"Tangled Wires in Harvard Yard" 
Newsweek, April 24, 2000, Page 62

As at most universities, the continuing-ed department is the boldest experimenter. This spring computer-science professor Len Evenchik is conducting a class by posting videotaped lectures from last fall to a new group of students. Like that one, most of Harvard Extension School's 18 online courses are for techies, but on a recent evening, classics professor Greg Nagy and three T.A.s discussed Euripides in front of 35 students—and two video cameras. Webcasting allows six more students—one in Singapore—to take the class.

Some online students say they miss campus life. But most appreciate the cachet of Harvard on a resume. When Keith Davis, a systems consultant in St. Louis, mentioned his Harvard online coursework in a job interview, "They were impressed," he says. For now, the school's migration online will remain slow and experimental. But if it ever opens its doors widely, could be higher education's killer app.

"So You Want to Be an Internet Prof," --- this article is only on the web at 

Eisendrath tells the Klingon story to newcomers being trained in the more demanding ways of UNext. The job, he says, should be far more satisfying than working as a graduate assistant at a brick-and-mortar university. "For starters," says Eisendrath, "if you teach for UNext, you wouldn't feel like you were just beavering away for some research professor. The class is yours to teach."

The material, however, wouldn't be yours. UNext has 150 education and info-tech experts who are building its courses from scratch, using materials culled from world-class professors at its five partner universities. That group of professors in effect constitutes one of UNext's two faculties. The other consists of part-time instructors who can live anywhere they choose, and who actually teach the students. Being hired less for research scholarship than for teaching ability won't appeal to everyone. But for those who really do want to share knowledge with students, the online game may be a good one. Here's a clue to UNext's thinking: Eisendrath wants his staff to listen carefully to what job candidates discuss during their interviews. Do they seem focused on their own achievements? Or do they spend more time talking about students and how to help them learn? "This job isn't about attracting research money," Eisendrath says. "We need people who can help students, who can write well, who can project an engaging personality."

The ideal UNext instructor is someone 30 or older who has spent enough time in the real world to know how it connects to academic subjects. All must have a master's degree at a bare minimum; a doctorate is, of course, even better. Alan Drimmer, who hires instructors, says pay rates depend largely on workload, but applicants can figure on earning at least 90 percent of what adjunct professors get for classroom teaching at top-flight universities. A rough estimate of how that works out: if you spend 10 to 15 hours a week teaching one course for 12 weeks, you'll earn about $3,000. Four courses a year means $12,000. Unless, of course, you're better than average, in which case UNext will do something that almost no other school will do: pay you a bonus!

So far, the company has hired 66 instructors across the United States. Many now teach at the college or graduate level; some work in the private sector, often in fields like finance. Once courses are up and running this summer, each will be expected to check in on his or her class of 25 or so students at least once a day, six days a week. Eisendrath expects the heaviest workloads to come on Mondays and Tuesdays as instructors grade the homework, or "deliverables," that students submit by e-mail over the weekend.

Do you want to by a shares in a prestigious university?

One alternative used by prestige universities is to partner with an online course development and delivery corporation such as UNext (a corporation that will deliver business courses developed and owned by Stanford University, Columbia University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Chicago, and the London School of Economics.   See  

Another alternative is for a university to form a corporation (and possibly sell investment shares to the public) and then deliver online and onsite courses through the private corporation.  One such company is the new Duke Corporate Education.   (Wanda Wallace watchers may want to note that our respected and talented Dr. Wallace has gone corporate.)


DURHAM, N.C. - Duke University's Fuqua School of Business is forming a private corporation to become the first business school to provide tailored, top-to-bottom educational services to the world's major companies, Dean Rex D. Adams announced Friday.

Blair H. Sheppard, currently Fuqua's senior associate dean for academic programs, will be president and CEO of the new enterprise.

Named Duke Corporate Education Inc., the company will provide corporate clients with business education designed specifically for their needs. It also will expand Fuqua's innovative distributed-learning consulting services to help corporations establish or radically improve their manager training programs and corporate universities.

"In my four years as dean, this is one of the most significant announcements I have had the privilege to make," said Adams, who will serve as the chairman of the company's board of directors. "Building on our success in customized executive education, we will be out front in teaching across multiple layers of management - anywhere in the world. Duke Corporate Education will house and expand our current tailored executive education operation and also our newly formed Corporate University Advisory Services and e-Learning Solutions groups of distributed-learning consultants.

"Faced with the accelerating pace of change and a growing dependence on talent, companies are looking for Duke-quality education to support strategic transformation, help develop managers and serve as an ongoing investment in human capital," Adams said.

He said the market for corporate education is now about $40 billion annually and is growing at 25 percent a year.

Duke University will be the majority shareholder of Duke Corporate Education. Private equity groups are expected to make major investments in the enterprise.

An agreement has been reached with Pensare Inc. to provide the distance-learning technology for Duke Corporate Education. Pensare, based in Los Altos, Calif., is the global leader in e-learning business networks. Pensare first partnered with Duke in October 1999 to co-produce a new curriculum and e-learning platform to support The Duke MBA - Cross Continent program. The Cross Continent program, which welcomes its inaugural class of 100 students from around the world in August 2000, offers a unique blend of classroom-based and online MBA education from campus locations in Durham, N.C., and Frankfurt, Germany.

Sheppard said the school "is a natural for leading this brand-new industry. We have been known for delivering innovative executive education, and creating this stand-alone business maintains our momentum and leadership. We will be providing a one-stop shop for corporate universities, delivering top-to-bottom education that is truly unique."

Other schools have formed private companies, but Sheppard said Duke Corporate Education will be the first to deliver programs at every level of a corporation, not just upper management.

He said initial clients of Duke Corporate Education will include Deutsche Bank, Ford, Siemens and Ericsson. Its offices will be in Durham, in close proximity to Fuqua, he said.

Joining Sheppard at the company will be
Wanda T. Wallace, formerly associate dean for executive education, who will be director of customer relations and program operations; Professor John Gallagher, former director of Fuqua's Computer Mediated Learning Center, who will be head of research and development; and Professor John McCann, a specialist in e-commerce.

Sheppard said Judith A. Rosenblum will join the company in a leadership role. She is the former chief learning officer for The Coca-Cola Company and a former vice chairman for learning, education and human resources at Coopers & Lybrand.

Fuqua's second type of executive education program, open-enrollment courses taught to managers from multiple companies, will remain under Fuqua's non-profit umbrella. These include Fuqua's highly acclaimed Program for Manager Development and Advanced Management Program courses. New courses will be developed in the coming months.

Richard Staelin, the Edward S. and Rose Donnell professor of marketing at Fuqua since 1982, has been named associate dean for executive education to lead open-enrollment education.

The search for new revenues sends increasing numbers of universities to contract with corporations to provide continuing education for their employees. The University of Michigan's College of Engineering, for example, arranges with the university's Transportation Research Institute to provide week-long minicourses each summer to keep Ford's engineers up-to-date on advances in computer-aided design. This is just one of many new cozy relationships between higher education and industry.
Vision 2010 at 

Question:  What did Business Week call the hottest online higher education program?

Answer:  The Duke University Global Executive MBA (no longer called GEMBA) program is one of the most successful and prestigious online degree programs in the world.  You can read the following at 

The Duke MBA - Global Executive (formerly GEMBA) is an innovative master's degree program offered by The Fuqua School of Business for executives and high-potential managers of global corporations. Thanks to a unique format that combines multiple international program sites with advanced interactive technologies, Global Executive students can work and live anywhere in the world while participating in the program

Now Duke has also launched its Cross-Continental MBA program as described at 

The Duke MBA - Cross Continent program allows high-potential young managers to earn an internationally-focused MBA degree from Duke University in less than two years utilizing a format that minimizes the disruption of careers and family life. The inaugural Cross Continent class will be enrolled in August 2000. Two class sections will be enrolled concurrently: one will be based primarily at the Durham, NC campus of Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and the other in Frankfurt, Germany at The Fuqua School of Business Europe. Ongoing classes are held through the use of interactive communications technologies. Students will attend nine weeks of residential sessions (8 one-week sessions plus a week of orientation), mostly on their primary campus, with at least one session on the other campus. Students will complete 16 courses (48 credit hours) over the course of the 20-month program.

These are the first 10 FAQs about Duke University Global Executive MBA (no longer called GEMBA) program as given among other FAQs at 

Q1. How is the Global Executive program different, in terms of academic content, from other Executive MBA programs (e.g., weekend EMBAs)? What makes it global? A1. The Duke MBA - Global Executive is every bit as academically demanding as Duke's other two MBA programs. Global Executive uses the same faculty base, the same rigorous grading standards, and provides the same Duke degree. However, the content has been adjusted to include more global issues and strategies to serve a participant population that has far more global management experience. Like most other Executive MBA programs, the Global Executive program is a lock-step curriculum, meaning that all students take all courses. The courses are targeted at general managers who have or will soon assume global responsibilities. The program is designed for those who want to enhance their career path within their existing company. International Residencies: See Q8 Global Student body: Unlike traditional Executive MBA programs which usually have a regional draw, the flexibility of Global Executive accommodates a student body from around the globe. Not only are the students diverse geographically, but they are also diverse in the types of global management experiences that they bring to the classroom.

Q2. How accessible is the faculty on-line? A2. Faculty/student contact is actually significantly greater in Global Executive than in other Executive MBA programs due to the 24 hours/day, 7 days a week nature of Internet mediated learning. In addition to weekly real-time office hours, faculty monitor class and team bulletin board discussions and respond to e-mails on a regular basis. Faculty vary in availability, usually due to the subject matter and other teaching/research commitments. However, you can expect that, on average, faculty will respond within 24 to 48 hours.

Q3. What is the purpose/value in having international residencies? A3. International residencies are an important ingredient in a global MBA program as they add to the value and richness of the classroom component by providing various lenses (social, economic, cultural, etc.) through which to view various economies and systems. Instead of simply studying about an economy, Fuqua provides an experiential component which adds value to the learning experience that cannot be duplicated in Durham. This is accomplished using a variety of means, including visiting regional companies, having regional speakers, bringing in company representatives to supplement case discussions, and simply by experiencing the region outside of classroom time. Additionally, being away from job responsibilities and family in an unfamiliar culture also helps build the intimacy and team spirit of the group. Oftentimes, Global Executive students who reside in the residency location act as hosts and expose the class to experiences and cultural insights that the average tourist would not encounter.

Q4. Can group or individual projects be done that are directly related to the sponsoring the company? A4. There are several opportunities to work on issues facing your company, although it is important to note that these opportunities vary depending on the professor and the course. For instance, one course may ask your learning team to analyze some aspect of a corporation; if your corporation has challenges that interest your teammates, you may be able to persuade your team to focus on your company. Another course may ask you to write analyses based on your experience within your corporation. Regardless of the specific project, the courses are designed so that you can implement course materials in your daily work within a reasonable amount of time.

Administrative Q5. Given the rigor of the program and the necessary time commitment, how do I fit this into my life? How are current Global Executive students handling it? A5. The Global Executive program will definitely require some prioritizing in your life. When deciding to apply to the Global Executive program, you need to make sure that those around you--your spouse, family, and co-workers--understand the commitment you've made and support your undertaking. Some companies help to alleviate workload by providing their employees with additional support (e.g., staff support, time off), but most Global Executive students see no relief in their responsibilities. Global Executive students vary in how they handle the Global Executive workload (e.g., some may do school work all weekend, some may set aside 3 hours every day). The important point is that you need to find a routine that works for you and for your team and stick with it.

Q6. Do I have to attend all of the residencies? A6. Yes, attendance at all of the residencies, for the entire residency, is a requirement.

Q7. Can I use my own laptop during the program instead of the one that the program provides? A7. The Global Executive program provides each student with an IBM ThinkPad, all of the program software, and technical support. In order to provide the necessary technical support, it is imperative that everyone be on the same platform. If you are using different hardware, we cannot provide assistance. A well-maintained laptop is critical to the distance learning component of Global Executive. The Fuqua School of Business Distance Learning specialists maintain, upgrade, and trouble-shoot Global Executive laptops during each residency. Some students have decided to purchase an additional hard drive in order to use the ThinkPad for work and Global Executive. Upon graduation, the ThinkPad becomes the property of the student.

Q8. How good/reliable does my Internet access have to be? A8. In order to be a solid contributor to your team and to the program, you should be able to connect to the Internet for at least 45 minutes at a time for a total of at least five hours per week.

Admissions Q9. How technologically savvy do I need to be to succeed in Global Executive? A9. During your first residency, we provide an extra week for orientation. Part of this orientation focuses on getting students comfortable with understanding and using the technology. Most students are familiar with word processing, e-mail and the World Wide Web, but many have not been exposed to spreadsheets, electronic bulletin boards, chat rooms, and messaging services. There is a wide range of computer skills among the Global Executive students, but we recommend that you have some basic skills on the computer (e.g., EXCEL, Word, PowerPoint) to succeed in Global Executive.

Q10. What "type" of student are you looking for? A10. Although each applicant will be assessed on his/her unique qualities, here are some characteristics that the admissions committee looks for in a Global Executive applicant:

Minimum of 10 years work experience Soon to be or already involved in significant global job responsibilities An enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and commitment to assure success in an intellectually challenging global learning endeavor. Quantitative aptitude and the intellectual ability to complete a rigorous graduate degree program at Duke University Highly proficient in English A clear understanding of the commitment required to succeed in Global Executive.

UNext: The Anti-University?
Forwarded by Jagdish Gangolly, an on-line learning company which has attracted such investors as Michael Milken, the financier, and Larry Ellison, chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation, is generating a lot of discussion in academic circles. Among its higher-education partners supplying course content are Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, and Stanford Universities, the University of Chicago, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The posting below is a response by Donald Norman, UNext president, to a controversy resulting from a talk, "UNext: The Anti-University?," that he gave in early June, 2000 at the Training Directors' Forum Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. My thanks to Arun Tripathi for calling this event to my attention.

Rick Reis UP NEXT: Helping Newcomers Become Good Teachers


Tomorrow's Academy
--------------- 887 words ---------------

At a recent TRAINING DIRECTORS' FORUM E-NET --A discussion-driven newsletter for training managers In this issue --Prof. Donald A. Norman (President of UNext and renowned Cognitive Scientist) has given good and stimulating feedbacks on the philosophy and criterion of UNext Learning Systems.

TDF E-Net Editors note: Donald A. Norman ( stirred controversy with a presentation at Training Directors' Forum Conference earlier this month in which he criticized academic practices such as lectures and grades ("UNext: The Anti-University?," June 7). Here Don Norman-- president of e-learning provider LLC (  ) of Deerfield, IL -- tells more.

By Donald A. Norman

I am both amused and dismayed by the reaction to the report of my talk at Training Director's Forum in Phoenix.

At UNext, we take education very seriously, even if I don't always take myself so seriously. Education - and lectures -- should be fun.  But I guess I had better be wary of the fact that Internet learning is so controversial these days that sometimes a footnote in a talk can become the headline.

Let me try to clarify the message I delivered. We -- UNext -- form real partnerships with our consortium universities.  We are not the "anti-university." Rather we are the university for those who cannot attend physical universities.  We offer courses to busy working professionals who do not have time to attend school -- not even night school -- or the workers in nations who do not have ready access to university education, especially graduate-level courses in business administration.

We worry a lot about pedagogy. We know that we cannot offer the same rich social interaction possible in face-to-face, residential universities. So we work hard to create an on-line learning community.  We don't use lectures because we believe that the lecture format simply does not work over the Internet -- and for that matter, is not the most effective way to learn in any setting.


We are fierce advocates of learning by doing, so all our courses are problem-based -- yet with substantive content that we co-create with our consortium universities: Carnegie-Mellon, Chicago, Columbia, London School of Economics, and Stanford.

Do we question university practices? Of course - and every quality university does as well. Why lectures? Why grades? Why fixed schedules?  We question in order to do better, to understand the pedagogical argument behind the tradition. Sometimes, the tradition is no longer relevant. Sometimes, it is important, valuable, and should be maintained.

One mark of the educated citizen is the questioning citizen: We question.  Are our courses good? You bet. I taught for more than 30 years as a faculty member of Harvard and the University of California-San Diego. The courses I am helping put together at UNext are better than the ones I taught at Harvard and UCSD.

We work harder to develop the right pedagogy and content, and to structure the course to promote learning.  We test and test and test. Each course is tested with students three different times, in three different ways, before we release it for teaching by carefully trained instructors of our university, Cardean University. And even then we watch, observe, test and improve.


Let me answer two of the questions that emerged in response to my talk at Training Directors' Forum Conference:

Q Are MBA courses from a traditional institution better than on-line ones?

A Asking the "better or worse" question is asking about the wrong dimension. Our courses are of the same quality as the best traditional ones, but they are also very different, for they are aimed at a different audience, with the material delivered over different media and with no in-person interaction.  Interaction among Cardean faculty and students happens in an on-line community enabled by technology and nurtured by exceptional educators.  We aim at people who couldn't go to a traditional MBA institution. We recommend that people go to a traditional school over an on-line one if they have the choice.

But what of those who do not have that choice? We offer an alternative.

Q Do traditional grades matter? Why?

A They matter for traditional assessment, course credits, degree programs, and accreditation. But in the real world, no, they do not matter.  What does matter is how effective the learning is and how effectively the student can apply what has been acquired.  Traditional grades are often the result of out-of-context examinations that do not really assess true knowledge, or an ability to apply that knowledge.

Moreover, in the real world, we expect people to work together effectively, in teams. If you don't know something, it is fine to ask others for help.  Not so with the grading process. So the true team builder might be penalized.

It is important to understand the reason for grades and their limitations, even if we do stick to conventional grading.

In conclusion, on-line universities are different from facilities-based ones. They therefore need to be assessed on different grounds.  It is not one versus the other -- the one expands the horizons of the other, but is intended for different people under different circumstances.

Let us not put this as "us" versus "them": Let us make it into cooperative exploration of learning and teaching.

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School and IBM are Delivering E-Business Courses Online --- 
(Note that unlike some of the UNext partnerings with prestigious business schools, the Wharton/IBM partnering will entail use of Wharton faculty on an ongoing basis rather than just a course development one-shot involvement).

WHARTON ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF SEPARATE EDUCATION GROUP AT UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA Partners with IBM to Combine Expertise in Distributed Learning & Technology April 27, 2000 — The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania today announced the creation of a separate education group that will extend its already significant presence and capabilities in executive education, distance learning, and online dissemination of business knowledge. The School's current award-winning distance learning initiative, Wharton Direct, will become part of this new enterprise. Wharton also announced plans to form a business alliance with IBM that will leverage the organizations' combined resources to provide products and services in the management education arena, initially focusing on e-Business transformation. The alliance between Wharton and IBM will draw on their respective leadership in business education and technology to help major corporations worldwide provide access to top-quality learning and collaboration for middle and senior managers across a dispersed workforce. The alliance will focus on relationships with corporations that seek to use management education as a platform for organizational change and transformation. Beyond the founding partners, discussions continue with other organizations that may become part of this business education alliance.

"Wharton is clearly recognized as one of the top business schools in the world and has done extensive analysis of the impact of technology on both the learning process and organizational efficiency," says Laura Sanders, VP Distributed Learning, IBM. "We are looking forward to working with Wharton as the School expands its resources and faculty expertise to wider audiences."

"Traditional, non-Web enterprises are recognizing the enormous potential of e-business as the key to market growth and improved customer service," says Patrick Harker, dean of the Wharton School. "Wharton is leveraging its unparalleled resources and expertise in business education to provide `bricks-and-mortar' organizations with the knowledge and skills they need to transform into `bricks-and-clicks' powerhouses."

The alliance will offer a series of courses designed to help businesses address the challenges they face in the e-Business arena. In addition to online course modules and live learning events, the programs will build collaborative learning communities within the organization and offer managers access to a deeper level of business research and resources. The courses will include a combination of standardized and customizable content. In this way, companies can benefit from the cost-efficiencies of basic content development while gaining the advantage of selective customization to meet their specific needs.

Unlike many Web-based or other distributed learning content offerings, a core element of these programs will be the ongoing involvement of Wharton faculty. While much of the knowledge offered would be accessible on an anytime/anywhere basis by participating corporate managers, the combined products and services will include facilitation by, and interaction with, Wharton faculty, teaching assistants and a network of industry experts and practitioners.

"This is a mold-breaking initiative that combines the academic expertise of one of the world's leading business schools with the commercial expertise of one of the world's leading technology corporations," says Judith Rodin, president of the University of Pennsylvania. "Wharton and IBM will establish a new model and a new standard of excellence in the use of technology to enhance the delivery of business education," she added. "The prospects of this partnership are extraordinary."

Wharton's new education group will be headed by Robert E. Mittelstaedt, Jr., currently vice dean, Executive Education, at Wharton. "Wharton and IBM together will bring an unbeatable combination of content, technology, problem-solving and global marketing capability to help companies worldwide cope with the challenges of e-Business," says Mittelstaedt. "IBM knows more about real e-Business than any other company. In addition, their advanced distributed learning offerings make IBM an ideal company to help us provide applied learning in this space." Specific offerings in conjunction with IBM will be announced later this year.

The Wharton School is recognized around the world for its leadership and broad academic strengths across every major discipline and at every level of management education. Founded in 1881 as the nation's first collegiate business school, Wharton has nearly 5,000 students enrolled in degree programs, 8,000 participants in its executive education programs, and a network of more than 73,000 alumni in 130 countries.

Babson, Intel To Unveil MBA Deal
From Technology News, December 17, 2000 --- 

Students used to go to business school. More and more, business schools are going to them.

Babson College, a business-oriented institution in suburban Boston, planned to announce an agreement Monday with Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip maker, to customize a master of business administration degree for Intel workers.

After the program gets up and running in May, Babson professors will fly to Intel locations around the country for a series of intensive seminars with classes compromised mostly of Intel employees. (Dan Gode noted the typo when he informed me about this article.)

Between seminars, students will work, often online, on learning projects, many of which will be directly related to the work they do. In 27 months, graduates can earn an MBA, a degree that normally requires two years of full-time study.

Business schools in recent years have aggressively built bridges to the private sector, many of them raking in money with executive education programs. Companies such as Intel, which will cover the full tuition of $52,500 for its employees in the Babson program, get an important tool for retaining employees. Intel wants well-trained workers, but it doesn't want them to leave to pursue an MBA.

There are other advantages for Intel: students will work on Intel-specific case studies and projects, so the work won't just be academic.

``It has tremendous value-add for Intel, because while our employees are getting their MBA, they're able to take that knowledge and apply it immediately to the work that they're doing,'' said Alan Fisher, Intel's extended education program manager.

"Distance Learning:  Are We Being Realistic," by Diana Oblinger and Jill Kidwell, Educause Review, May/June 2000, pp. 31-39. --- 

In the last few years we have begun to think of higher education as a market. The size of the education market — pre-school, K–12, higher education, and adult learning — has been pegged at $665 billion a year. That makes the amount that America invests in lifelong learning more than the total spent on national defense.2 Estimates for higher education alone indicate that it is a $225-billion-a-year market.

The shift in perspective about higher education — from a “cottage industry” to a substantial market — has attracted the attention of firms such as Merrill Lynch, Banc One, and a host of venture capital groups. Education is being looked at as a market—one that has strong growth prospects. In fact, the price point of education (e.g., tuition and fees, which range from several hundred to many thousands of dollars) is far higher than the price points of the Internet’s first big industries—books, CDs, or flowers. E-learning is viewed by many as a “killer app” of the Internet. Investors are eager to put their money into educational start-ups because they believe there will be huge payoffs.

Such investors have been active in the distance education market for several years now. Since 1994, thirty-eight initial public offerings (IPOs) and thirty follow-on offerings have been completed, raising $3.4 billion in equity., which recently raised $50 million in capital from its IPO, traded at $200 million of market capitalization on its first day of trading. Many venture capital firms also have invested in the educational technology sector, as Table 1 indicates.


Companies Financial Sponsor Carlyle Group
WebCT CMG@Ventures
BancBoston Capital, Inc.
Kestrel Venture Management
Learning Ventures Cherry Tree
Varsity FBR Tech Venture Partners
Mayfield Fund Pritzker Family St. Paul Ventures
Academic Systems Kleiner Perkins Vulcan Learning Systems
University Access Franklin Street/Fairview Capital
Rockefeller & Co.
Pensare GE Capital
Battery Ventures
Source:  PricewaterhouseCoopers, "Overview of e-Learning," January 26, 2000

Higher education provides a variety of services. These activities constitute a value chain — the end-to-end services that make up a college education. One way to conceptualize this value chain is to think of the activities as falling into several categories:

Historically, higher education institutions have provided the entire value chain for students.  Today, a number of new entrants to the educational field are also providing some of these services. A categorization of some of those new entrants is shown in Table 2 (from PricewaterhouseCoopers, "Overview of e-Learning,"  January 26, 2000):

The bottom line conclusion of Oblinger and Kidwell is that colleges and universities of the future may no longer attempt to provide all services in the above value chain.  They will instead position themselves where they retain comparative advantages.

Examples of Problems and Progress

Preparing Future Faculty --- 

A great set of links on the future of education ---  

What's new and remarkable in online educational technologies? --- 

Equilibrium Dialysis Experiment from the University of Toldeo

The Interactive Patient at Marshall University

Writing Classes on the WWW

Education Program for Gifted Youth at Stanford University

CyberEd at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

Virtual Online University

Paradigm Shifts in Research and Funding of Faculty

Excerpt  from my February 29, 2000 Edition of New Bookmarks 

"New Profits for Professors," February 28, 2000 Edition of Newsweek, Pg. 52 
Universities grapple with new ways to turn ideas into cash
By Thomas Hayden Newsweek, February 28, 2000 

Nobody ever went into academia to make a fast buck. Professors, especially those in medical- and technology-related fields, typically earn a fraction of what their colleagues in industry do. But suddenly, big money is starting to flow into the ivory tower, as university administrators wake up to the commercial potential of academic research. And the institutions are wrestling with a whole new set of issues. The profits are impressive: the Association of University Technology Managers surveyed 132 universities and found that they earned a combined $576 million from patent royalties in 1998, a number that promises to keep rising dramatically (chart). Schools like Columbia University in New York have aggressively marketed their inventions to corporations, particularly pharmaceutical and high-tech companies.

Now Columbia is going retail—on the Web. It plans to go beyond the typical "" model, free sites listing courses and professors' research interests. Instead, it will offer the expertise of its faculty on a new for-profit site which will be spun off as an independent company. The site will provide free access to educational and research content, say administrators, as well as advanced features that are already available to Columbia students, such as a simulation of the construction and architecture of a French cathedral and interactive 3-D models of organic chemicals. Free pages will feed into profit-generating areas, such as online courses and seminars, and related books and tapes. Columbia executive vice provost Michael Crow imagines "millions of visitors" to the new site, including retirees and students willing to pay to tap into this educational resource. "We can offer the best of what's thought and written and researched," says Ann Kirschner, who heads the project. Columbia also is anxious not be aced out by some of the other for- profit "knowledge sites," such as and Hungry Minds. "If they capture this space," says Crow, "they'll begin to cherry-pick our best faculty."

Profits from the sale of patents typically have been divided between the researcher, the department and the university, and Web profits would work the same way, so many faculty members are delighted. But others find the trend worrisome: is a professor who stands to profit from his or her research as credible as one who doesn't? Will universities provide more support to researchers working in profitable fields than to scholars toiling in more musty areas?

"If there's the perception that we might be making money from our efforts, the authority of the university could be diminished," worries Herve Varenne, a cultural anthropology professor at Columbia's education school. Says Kirschner: "We would never compromise the integrity of the university." Whether the new site can add to the growing profits from patents remains to be seen, but one thing is clear. It's going to take the best minds on campus to find a new balance between profit and purity.

Columbia's Cybercash 

Revenues From 
Patent Royalties                  1998              1999 
                                                 In Millions
Columbia                            $86.0             $95.8 
U. of California                     79.8               80.9 
Florida State                         46.6               57.3 
Yale                                     33.0*             40.7 
Stanford                               61.2               40.1
*approximate sources: Columbia, UC-OTT, FSU, Yale, Stanford


Paradigm Shifts in Distance Education

Columbia Establishes Company to Develop Digital Media/Online Learning Site and Programs 

Columbia Establishes Company to Develop Digital Media/Online Learning Site and Programs BY VIRGIL RENZULLI

Columbia has established a company, Morningside Ventures, Inc. (MV), to create an online learning center to produce and distribute high quality educational resources. The company, which will develop an overall new media strategy for Columbia, will compete in the commercial marketplace for learning and will build strategic alliances with businesses that have significant reach on the Internet, such as search engines, portals, Internet and broadband access points and news information sites.

Ann Kirschner, former vice president of interactive programming and development for the National Football League, has been named MV's President and CEO, and Vikram Nagrani, a former principal at Morgan Stanley, has been named the company's chief operating officer.

This new venture will consider the feasibility of a wide range of innovative education models that would augment traditional, campus-based Columbia education programs and will consider the entire spectrum of academic disciplines from arts and sciences to law and medicine.

In one dimension of this effort, the Graduate School of Business has already reached an agreement with, a start-up company, to provide education material primarily for post-graduate education, probably courses in finance, accounting and marketing. This is a non-exclusive agreement to license intellectual property, the rights to which Columbia will retain.

"Columbia will continue to offer its traditional, campus-based degree programs. Indeed, applications to our undergraduate and graduate schools are at record levels," President George Rupp said. "However, interactive, online, multi-media programs will be among the most important educational developments in the 21st century. We believe it vital that Columbia, both because of its academic strengths and its research in new media technologies, should be a leader in this movement. The content of education, whether on campus or online, is best provided by outstanding colleges and universities."

Provost and Dean of Faculties Jonathan R. Cole added, "The mode of production and consumption of knowledge is undergoing changes no less dramatic than the changes from a pre-industrial to industrial society. Knowledge-access to it and the creation of it-will be the engine that will fuel change in the 21st century. Columbia must lead the development of quality in this domain. We will continue to preserve all that is great in our current research and teaching structure, and develop, through digital media, new ways of enhancing still further that quality. That is what we are trying to do in establishing Morningside Ventures."

Executive Vice Provost Michael Crow, who was instrumental in the creation of Morningside Ventures, explained that the University thought it necessary to create Morningside Ventures as a for-profit company.

"After a thousand years, university-based education is undergoing a fundamental transformation," said Crow. "In addition to the classroom and the textbook, we will have interactive, multi-media learning initiatives on the Internet. Because of the technologies required and the non-traditional revenue streams involved, corporations will play a major role in these new forms of education. We felt we needed a for-profit company to compete effectively and productively."

Said Kirschner, "Columbia is one of the oldest and most intellectually rich universities in the nation, and through these initiatives, we hope to extend and enhance the University's international reputation for academic excellence and to reflect its uniqueness and integrity. "Interactive technologies, such as the Internet and digital television, are creating additional dimensions for learning. The technology, itself, is stimulating the creation of information that is increasingly current, diverse and targeted.

"Although the international marketplace for interactive learning is at the early stage of development, there are already thousands of courses available online. But there is very little in the way of context for these courses. We intend to use the Internet to make connections to a worldwide audience, provide a sense of community, respond to daily event and participate in a dynamic marketplace of ideas."

Kirschner has been involved in the telecommunications and interactive communications business in cable, satellite and online ventures. At the National Football League, she directed the introduction of new programming ventures in emerging technologies such as interactive television, on-line services and electronic publishing. She created some of the most successful sports sites on the Internet, including, and Team NFL on America Online, and she developed strategic partnerships between the NFL and leading programming, technology and distributions companies.

Before joining the NFL, she was a co-founder of PrimeTime 24, a satellite television venture, and was director of new business for Westinghouse/Group W Cable. She received a Ph.D. in English from Princeton, where she was a lecturer in English literature.

Vikram Nagrani was a principal at Morgan Stanley in the institutional equity division, where he advised hedge funds and other institutional fund managers on investment opportunities in listed equities in Asia. He was also responsible for helping to develop Morgan Stanley's emerging markets franchise.

Following on the heels of Morningside Ventures started up by Columbia University, the new E-SKOLAR venture firm of Stanford University may set a whole new trend in the mission of universities and further blur the bright line between non-profit education versus corporate education ---,1367,36227,00.html 

Stanford University, which has trained many of the best minds in Silicon Valley, jumped into the Internet fray Tuesday, spinning off its first startup company to market a high-speed medical search engine for physicians.

E-SKOLAR, based on an internal service developed and used by Stanford's medical school, will allow doctors to search multiple medical references including textbooks, medical journals, drug databases, and clinical guidelines.

The Push for Online Medical Info Why Doctors Hate the Internet Safe E-Health Requires Patience Docs in the Dark Ages Check yourself into Med-Tech Mind your own Business news

"E-SKOLAR has provided us with a great opportunity to respond to the needs of physicians worldwide," Eugene Bauer, vice president for Stanford University Medical Center and dean of Stanford's School of Medicine, said in a news release.

"We believe the service will significantly raise the bar of medical practice by bringing one-click knowledge to the point of care."

As one feature of the e-SKOLAR service, physicians will be able to earn continuing medical education credits -- a "Webucation" strategy designed to place the company in the forefront of those developing Internet-based training schemes, which some investors believe could be the "next big thing" for Internet companies.

Paul Lippe, chief executive of the new company, said it would help physicians to take advantage of Stanford and turn the university, "from a training resource to a sustaining resource."

"Addressing important challenges, such as improving medical care, by leveraging the Web, can do good while creating a very good business," said Lippe, a former senior vice president of business and market development at Synopsys, an electronic design automation company.

E-SKOLAR marks the first direct Internet play for Stanford, which boasts former professors and alumni who started companies ranging from computing giant Hewlett-Packard Co. to Internet portal Yahoo. Stanford owns a majority stake in the new company, which plans to distribute stock options to employees and hopes one day to achieve a successful initial public offering on the stock market.

UNext is becoming a major player in partnering with prestige universities --- was created to deliver world-class education. We are building a scalable education business that delivers the power of knowledge around the world. To bring people the finest curricula, we collaborate and co-brand with leading knowledge institutions. Ultimately, we plan to form partnerships with leading establishments throughout the world.

With a wealth of history and knowledge, our academic consortium helps create and authenticate our online education. They vet course content based on their own experience and long-established standards. Their experts work closely with to capture their knowledge in an online environment. Through close collaboration, we're bringing people everywhere the latest and best in business education.

The people at - academics, cognitive scientists, computer engineers, and designers- work with these institutions to create state-of-the-art online learning.'s first online learning community is called Cardean University. will continue to create other educational services that fit within our core competency: developing scalable, world-class knowledge businesses for delivery over the internet.

 Partnerings of UNext include some of the most prestigious business schools in the world.  You will find the following at 

Columbia University
 Founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England, Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. Overall, the university has produced 54 Nobel Prize winners and 12 National Medal of Science winners. Fifteen Columbia scholars have received the MacArthur Foundation award. For further information regarding Columbia University, visit their web site at:

The University of Chicago
 The University of Chicago is one of the nation's leading private universities and is affiliated with 69 Nobel Prize winners. Founded on October 1, 1892, by John D. Rockefeller, the university - with support of the University of Chicago Hospitals - is also a major economic anchor for the city of Chicago. Moreover, 11 members of the university's faculty have been named Nobel laureates. For more information, visit the University of Chicago web site: 

Stanford University
 Founded by Leland and Jane Stanford on October 1, 1891, the university has produced 12 Nobel Prize winners and 20 MacArthur Foundation award recipients. Stanford's School of Engineering consists of nine departments and offers the graduate degrees of Master of Science, Engineer, and Ph.D. For additional information, visit the Stanford University website at:

London School of Economics and Political Science
 The London School of Economics and Political Science is one of the largest colleges within the University of London. Its studies cover the social, economic, and political problems of countries on every continent. Originally founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, the school offers a wide range of master's and Ph.D. programs. For more information, visit the school's web site at: 

Carnegie Mellon University 
Carnegie Mellon University is an internationally recognized research university that was founded in 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Also recognized as a pioneer in the uses of computing in education, Carnegie has one of the world's most sophisticated computing environments. With a distinctive blend of academic programs, the university currently consists of seven colleges and schools: the Carnegie Institute of Technology, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Mellon College of Science, the Graduate School of Industrial Administration, the School of Computer Science, and the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. For more information, visit the Carnegie Mellon University Web site at: 

Another heavy player will be Pensare --- 

Pensare has developed an innovative Internet-based infrastructure to support thinking and action within your organization called a Pensare Knowledge Community™. These Knowledge Community online learning solutions combine applied e-learning techniques and human interaction with validated content from the world’s top business schools and innovators to help your company compete in the new economy. By connecting your people through these customized Internet-based solutions, Pensare can transform your organization into a learning organization.

At Pensare, we believe Knowledge Community™ online learning systems are optimal vehicles for individuals in the workplace, and the organizations that employ them, to be continuously equipped with the latest in business thinking and practices to produce results and advance their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Shared knowledge means greater innovation and faster attainment of business goals. And, it means your company retains this important knowledge even when key employees leave.

Not to be outdone by UNext, Pensare has its own impressive list of partnerships with prestigious universities --- 

Pensare partners with world-class business schools, consultants, technology providers and seminar providers to offer fresh, current and most effective business practices for the new economy.

In working with our customers and partners, we leverage the expertise of each of the partners to solve customer issues in a manner unmatched by any single vendor or collection of vendors. In so doing, we continue to drive forward creatively and technologically, building long-lasting relationships for the benefit of all.

Duke University
Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Pensare are partnering to coproduce and deliver a new accredited Duke for resale among its corporate customers and other business schools seeking to develop their own degree-granting programs. As part of this agreement, Pensare will provide the Internet MBA program. The alliance also gives Pensare exclusive distribution rights to the jointly developed curriculum—based technology platform, to produce the courses in an online format, and to provide ongoing support for the program.

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business ( was founded in 1969 and is widely regarded as a worldwide leader in management education and research. Fuqua was ranked No. 7 in Business Week’s most recent rankings of the best business schools. It is also a leader in non-degree executive education, training more than 2,000 executives each year.

Harvard Business School Publishing
Harvard Business School Publishing creates products for individuals and organizations that believe in the power of ideas and their impact on the practice of management. Harvard offers materials in a variety of platforms and delivery methods that are distinguished by their integrity, quality and relevance, reflecting the educational mission of the Harvard Business School and its access to leading authors and companies. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard Business School Publishing is a not-for-profit, wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard Business School. Additional information is available on the World Wide Web at .

The Wharton School
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is regarded as an innovative leader in executive education, enrolls more than 9,000 participants annually. The School is recognized around the world for its leadership and broad academic strengths across every major discipline and at every level of management education. Founded in 1881 as the nation’s first collegiate business school, Wharton has nearly 5,000 students from more than 60 nations enrolled in degree programs, and is committed to creating the highest value in the understanding of business and the practice of management worldwide.

Additional information is available on the World Wide Web at .

What major publishing firm has formed a university and is awaiting accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges?  

Harcourt Higher Education --- 

Harcourt has submitted an application to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education for higher education degree-granting authority. Massachusetts law prohibits stating or implying that the outcome of this application will be positive. All information is provided herein with the understanding that Harcourt's plan to license degree programs in Massachusetts is contingent upon approval by the Board of Higher Education

Excerpt  from my November 9, 1999 Edition of New Bookmarks at

Ivy Online

Elite universities and professional schools are scrambling to "leverage their brands" and make extra money through online education.


Also see 

Some excerpts from,1449,7122,00.html

Columbia is not alone in its Internet ambitions. The nation's elite universities, long secure in their centuries-old reputations, face a rapidly changing world in which any school, from the University of South Alabama to UC Berkeley, can put its courses online and court a global market for continuing education. Fearing that they will be left behind, Ivy League administrators are becoming dealmakers, and buzz phrases like "leveraging brands" and "tapping intellectual capital" echo from the Stanford Quad to Harvard Square.

In recent months, Stanford, the London School of Economics and other top-tier schools have followed Columbia's lead, signing with UNext to trade their name and curricula for equity in the startup. Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, meanwhile, have struck deals with Pensare, a Silicon Valley company that creates online courses. Harvard will receive stock warrants in Pensare, as will Duke University, which is licensing a complete MBA curriculum to the company.

(The UNext web site is at )
(The Pensare web site is at )


Education As Commodity

Thanks in part to the Net's ability to distribute courses to students anywhere at any time, learning is becoming another commodity, part of the $740 billion "education industry" that has attracted keen interest on Wall Street. Scores of community colleges and universities have embraced distance learning in recent years, putting courses online for people who are too busy or live too far away from institutions to attend classes. Meanwhile, online-only schools, such as the for-profit Jones International University, have emerged to capitalize on the growing demand for adult education.

The ultimate "brand" in education is a Harvard, a Stanford, a Columbia degree; the ultimate market for those schools is overseas, where there's a relative surfeit of universities and the names Harvard and Stanford are as recognized in corporate circles as Coca-Cola and Pepsi. But the Ivys have been late to move online, reluctant to put their jealously guarded reputations in the hands of the private partners that are needed to provide the technology and financing to create Internet courses.

Helen Chen is the type of potential student the top-tier schools covet but could lose to more wired competitors. The 32-year-old Harvard graduate wants to obtain an MBA but expects she'll have to do so online because the demands of her job at consulting firm Mitchell Madison Group prevent her from attending a traditional program. But Chen is still looking to enroll at a top-ranked school. "I have a pretty good undergraduate education and I don't want to get just any MBA attached to my name," she says.

The needs of people like Chen are forcing elite universities to embrace the Internet, acknowledges Harvard Business School Dean Kim Clark. "Education used to be done in the early stage of someone's life and maybe once or twice after that," he says. "We are moving into an era where organizations are much more fluid, the pace of change is much faster and much more international. There's much more need for just-in-time, just-right education. The Internet is becoming central to education because it allows you to meet these kinds of needs."

There are other motivators, however, behind university administrators' enthusiasm for the Net. For decades, they have watched professors transform the knowledge they acquired in the university's employ into royalties from books that publishers then sell back to the universities. Now that this gold mine of intellectual property can be packaged and sold online, universities are determined to share in the profits. "The idea that all of this content – we used to call it teaching and learning – can be turned into content with an economic value is extraordinary," says Geoffrey Cox, a Stanford University vice provost. "Frankly, if anyone is going to get the economic value of that, it will be the university."

How Top Business Schools Are Teaching Each Other's Students 

Top Business Schools E-Align
Jun. 29, 2000

Beginning this fall, three high-ranking, competing business schools will collaborate to offer classes to each other's students via full-motion video-conferencing and other Internet technologies.

School officials expect it to become a popular feature, despite logistical difficulties and a prevailing belief among detractors that the quality of the education might suffer.

The Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan Business School, and the Darden School at the University of Virginia will offer each other's students classes specializing in e-business.

"So much of business education is the network-building between the students," said Haas Dean Laura Tyson. "What is nice here is that people in each location will now be able to have a new selection of classes to choose from, and a new selection of people to work with."

"In essence, this program is not only about sharing knowledge but about sharing communities," she said.

Each school will offer its own courses in e-business and technology. Class preparation materials and research will be distributed over the Internet, and students will communicate during class with each other and with faculty via video-conferencing and Internet chat rooms.

For example, a student at Berkeley's Haas School could elect to take Darden's course on e-business. The Haas School will offer a course on financial issues in the Internet sector, including valuation of high-technology companies. Michigan will teach a course on understanding and strategically applying Internet technologies.

The University of Michigan's alliance with the other two schools grew out of its video-conferencing and Internet chat room classes used by its MBA students studying abroad in Brazil and Korea. The university's MBA abroad program began in Hong Kong in 1985, when professors used video-conferencing and other Internet technologies. Although that program is no longer taking place, programs in Korea and Brazil are.

Michigan Dean of Business B. Joseph White went to Brazil to teach students who were using the technology.

"I came away from the teaching experience with the feeling that the students were achieving a very strong level of education," White said. "I feel very confident in the quality of education and fairness of grading that can be achieved through video-conferencing and the Internet."

"If I didn't feel it would work, I wouldn't propose (the alliance between Michigan, Haas, and Darden)," he added.

There are skeptics out there.

Mihir Mankab, a recent graduate of the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, said it was difficult to enroll in a popular e-business class offered at his school. Due to its popularity, the class used video-conferencing and Internet chat rooms so that more students could participate.

The rest of the article is at,1367,37220,00.html 

What is So Important About Logo Prestige Versus Accreditation?

If the credit earned on a course carries the logo of Harvard University, Stanford University, London School of Economics, Motorola University, AT&T University, or some other logo with high brand recognition, prestige, and respect for quality control, it matters very little whether the program is officially accredited.  This is why startups like UNext are so eager to pay huge amounts of money to partner with institutions having prestige logos.  

For other online programs that do not carry prestige logos, accreditation looms as a troubling issue.  Very few programs that are not extensions of existing accredited institutions (like UCLA Extension is an extension of UCLA),  Western Governors University ( ) is an example of a competency-based online university that has been hung up for years earning its regional accreditations.  You can read the following at 

SALT LAKE CITY - In follow-up to the WGU site visit for candidacy for accreditation that took place February 7-10, 2000, the Interregional Accrediting Committee (IRAC) today announced that they have been unable to decide this issue and have deferred action on WGU's application for six months. IRAC has asked WGU to submit further information about its unique model.

"While we would have preferred more certainty, this is part of the process for a new institution," stated WGU president Bob Mendenhall. "Traditional accreditation is a three stage process-eligibility, candidacy, and accreditation...and it takes some time. WGU's status as an eligible university has not changed, and no negative judgment about the quality of our degrees is implied by this deferral."

WGU provost, Dr. Chip Johnstone added, "The fact that five major universities already accept our associate degrees in transfer through articulation agreements, that several states recognize our master's degree for teachers, and that twenty major corporations provide substantial financial support for WGU's continuing development is a tremendous show of quality support for WGU. While our candidacy will take longer to achieve, it is not surprising that the uniquely innovative nature of our model is difficult for traditional educators to evaluate."

WGU Co-Chair Gov. Mike Leavitt of Utah, stated, "The needs of society for education and training are changing more rapidly than traditional education can meet. WGU was developed as a new and unique distance education initiative to address those needs. We realize that it will take time for the traditional accreditation agencies to feel comfortable with this kind of innovation, but the market is demanding it and it will happen. WGU will continue to move forward in a positive and quality manner and work diligently to provide IRAC with what they have requested to make a decision regarding our candidate for accreditation status over the next six months."

"Over the last 10 years, traditional educational institutions have not been able to keep pace with society's or industry's needs. The result is that we have gone around traditional education processes," added WGU board member Gov. Jim Geringer of Wyoming. "That was the reason for the creation of WGU. We expect that the traditions will change out of the necessity to certify competency in new ways. Education must adapt so that it can actually certify competency, not just certify that a student has been exposed to education, and that is what WGU is all about. The deferment of WGU's candidacy status demonstrates the impact WGU is already having on higher education and the need for change. We will continue to move forward with our exciting initiative."

About IRAC

IRAC is the sixteen-member committee that represents four regional accreditation commissions that was formed to conduct the accreditation process for WGU. The commissions involved in IRAC are the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission on Institutions of Higher Education), Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (Commission on Colleges), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities and Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges).

About WGU

WGU is a degree-granting, competency-based, online, distance-education institution. With just a few clicks at, a student can find competency-based degree programs, an online catalog of quality distance-learning courses, an online library, bookstore, and one-on-one access to a personal WGU mentor, who will guide the student through his or her customized degree program. WGU was founded and is supported by 19 states and governors as well as 20 leading corporations and foundations. Current WGU competency-based degree offerings include an MA in learning and technology, an AA, three AAS degrees in information technology, and an AAS degree in electronics manufacturing technology.

You can read more about existing WGU degree programs and certificate programs at 

Very few corporate programs are regionally accredited in the U.S. unless they are partnered with accredited colleges.  One exception is Jones International University ( The first truly online college to receive regional accreditation in the U.S. is the Jones International University at  has regional accreditation.  Some like Harcourt Higher Education at  are in the midst of seeking regional accreditation.

Accreditation Issues

For general background on accreditation, you can enter the search term "Accreditation" at 

There are three sources of accreditation:

Richard Newmark forwarded the following information to me about the relatively new Association for Online Excellence:

For a new entity, AOAE has been quite busy -- they've accredited schools from Adams State College to Youngstown State University. (  )

You might want to check to see if your university is on the list -- and the university legal department might want to contact AOAE.

On a related note, tomorrow (Tuesday July 18) I'll be offering an online chat focusing on how to evaluate school websites from 1 to 3, Central time. Drop by to join in.

.Kristin Evenson Hirst Guide to Distance Learning  

AOAE has a relatively long list accredited programs, including some major colleges and universities.

"Does Accredited Really Mean Accredited?" by Sally Johnstone, "Syllabus, January 2001, p. 22.  The online versions of these short articles in Syllabus are usually not made available on the Web.  The Syllabus home page is at 

Except where a U.S. distance education course is from an accrediting body recognized by either the U.S. Secretary of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), Ms. Johnstone casts doubt on the value of the accreditation.  There are "about 100 accrediting bodies that are unrecognized."  Some are very dubious accrediting bodies.  Obviously some are more prestigious than others.  Ms. Johnstone states the following:

This is a good question for a potential student to ask.  For most of us, accreditation refers to the regional or professional accrediting associations that have historically validated our traditional colleges and universities.  They assure that institutions have the intellectual, organizational, and financial capabilities they claim to have.

One accrediting group that is becoming well-known among distance learning providers is the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).  It has been around since 1926 and was originally developed to assess correspondence schools.  Lately, several non-traditional online providers have gone to the DETC for accreditation because the DETC process for evaluation can be completed in a much shorter time frame than the regional accreditation associations' processes.  However, students studying at an institution accredited solely by the DETC are unlikely to be eligible for federal student loans and grants.

The CHEA homepage is at 

The DETC homepage is at 

In my opinion, the impossibility or impracticability of getting appropriate accreditation is what is driving many distance education providers to partner either with established accredited colleges or with prestigious corporations.  For example, accreditation becomes less important if the transcript can be stamped with such logos as Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Ernst & Young, etc.  However, for college credit, having accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education still has special meanings in the U.S. even if there is a wide range of quality of schools having such accreditations.  These special meanings include transfer credit to other colleges, qualifications for admittance to graduate programs, and government funding of loans and grants.

How to Discover and Analyze the Costs of Developing an Online Program

Question:  What is the leading research study on the cost of developing an online program (including a spreadsheet that you can use in your own institution)?

Answer: In this age of exploding technology, three things are still certain --- death, taxes, and cost accounting.  The bottom line for universities and corporations developing online courses will ultimately boil down to revenues minus costs.  Measuring and accounting for costs of online courses is an enormous problem that entails joint costs, indirect costs, and economies of scale.  Brian Morgan at Marshall University is sharing a tremendous research study into cost analysis of online courses and programs.  He also shares a worksheet that readers can implement for their own programs.

Links to Dr. Morgan's paper and a worksheet to determine the cost of an online education course --- 

Are Some of These High Profile Ventures Scams?

The Virtual University 
by Nicholas Confessore
The New Republic, October 4, 1999

Distance learning, education gurus like to say, is as old as the horse and buggy. After all, farmers in the United States and Europe were taking correspondence courses since the time of the industrial revolution. Nevertheless, distance learning's latest incarnation--the "virtual university," replete with the dazzling accoutrements of the information revolution--has recently been the subject of bitter academic debate. When the Colorado-based Jones International University (JIU)--a.k.a. "The University of the Web"--became, in March, the first fully accredited, entirely online university, the American Association of University Professors promptly dispatched a letter to the accrediting agency to express its "shock and dismay." One Georgetown University professor calls Internet-based distance learning "a new version of a trade school" and, worse, "the joke of the twenty-first century."

But the ten students in Anne Kellerman and Palmer Agnew's virtual classroom are generally content to ignore the furor. After all, each holds down a full-time job, most have more pressing worries such as kids and car payments, and at the moment--week five of "F2058: Internet and Online Teaching Tools"--they are trying to master the vagaries of Web boards, html, and RealAudio.

F2058 is one of approximately 150 courses offered by (OLN), a private, Los Angeles-based company loosely affiliated with the University of California at Los Angeles. Though OLN's catalog--which ranges from "D8310T: Accounting for Non-Accountants" to "D7491T: Writing the Situation Comedy"--is heavy on business and information technology, the classes themselves are similar to their low-tech antecedents. F2058 has lectures (which students read online), assigned readings (some in textbooks, some from Web-based sources), projects (group and individual), and discussions (via group e-mail lists). The difference, of course, is that none of the students in F2058 have ever met. Mary Anne Mather lives in Massachusetts; Bill Knapp lives in Jersey City; Mike Pastore hails from Bellevue, Washington; Patrick Lim is in Hong Kong; others are scattered throughout California. For that matter, instructors Kellerman and Agnew live in upstate New York, and the classroom--such as it is--exists on a server in Toronto.

To the students in F2058, at least, the attractions of distance learning are obvious: in education jargon, OLN's classes are almost entirely "asynchronous." Students are expected to read the week's lectures and complete projects on schedule, but exactly when they do so is up to them. Exchanges take place over hours or days--whenever students choose to log on and post a question or response. Students need only a mid-range PC, a modem, and an Internet connection to participate; if you can surf the Web and send e-mail, you can take a class. The classes, in turn, run on relatively simple, self-installing software. You can register online, pay online, and go through orientation online.

Whether Internet-based distance education is as good as traditional education is debatable. That students--particularly working adults--are flocking to such programs is undeniable. In August 1996, OLN had 17 students. This fall, it will have enrolled roughly 6,000 people hailing from every state and 43 countries. By the end of the millennium, predicts OLN's CEO, John Kobara, "we project well over 10,000 in enrollments."

Internet-based distance learning isn't quite the future of higher education. Though "traditional" four-year and two-year institutions have lately been jumping on the distance-learning bandwagon, the undergraduate degree earned entirely online is still a rarity--even JIU requires that those matriculating in its bachelor of arts program have already earned 60 credits at another, usually non-virtual, university.

The natural market for distance learning lies, instead, within the fastest-growing segment of the otherwise stagnant higher education industry: continuing and professional education for working adults. According to the College Board, almost half of all people enrolled in higher education in the United States are participants in part-time classes or training--one reason why some of the most prestigious universities in the country (including Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Columbia, and the University of Chicago) run continuing education programs, or "extension schools," often at a big profit. Last year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) pulled in revenues of $92 million, while the Harvard Extension School--which serves nearly 60,000 part-time students--earned a hefty $150 million.

Now, many of these schools--and, increasingly, prestigious business schools eager to tap the higher-end "executive education" market--have seized upon distance learning as their brave new world. UCLA's continuing education program, UCLA Extension--which enrolls about 70,000 students per year, earning revenues of roughly $42 million--is the preeminent example. In essence, OLN is a for-profit spin-off of UCLA Extension. Originally founded as Home Education Network to distribute and market videotapes of UCLA Extension's lectures, OLN began offering online classes in 1997, under a licensing and royalty arrangement with the school. Each of the courses OLN offers is also offered by UCLA Extension, and the syllabi are identical. OLN, in turn, has various corporate partners and backers: it is "a Premier Course Provider of the AT&T Learning Network¨ Virtual Academy," according to its website, and investors include Houghton Mifflin, St. Paul Venture Capital, and the Times-Mirror Company.

Such distance-learning partnerships are becoming increasingly common. Last October, NYU spun off NYU Online, Inc., a private company--to which NYU supplied $1.5 million in start-up capital--that will offer noncredit, online courses to corporate training programs. (NYU's scps, in partnership with IBM, also offers 45 online courses through its "Virtual College" program.) Stanford, the University of Chicago, the London School of Economics, Columbia, and Carnegie Mellon have all signed deals with, which will "provide state of the art learning engines and knowledge as rapidly as it is created and taught at the world's most respected and distinguished educational institutions." In January, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Direct program, a division of the Wharton School of Business, inked a deal with the Los Altos, California, based Pensare, Inc., which will develop and market Wharton-derived online "courseware"--combinations of short lessons, examples, and exercises--to training programs at the likes of Unisys and Hallmark.

Here, too, the attractions are obvious. New technologies have greatly accelerated the pace of workplace change, fueling the millennial boom in continuing and professional education. Extension schools can only enroll so many students, but private distance-learning companies can--in theory--fit in anybody who wants to enroll. And why partner with community colleges when you can strike a deal with UCLA? Why develop courseware with Penn State's Smeal business school (ranked number 49 in the country by U.S. News & World Report) when you can enlist the prestige and customer-drawing power of Wharton (ranked number two)? Private distance-learning companies get to sell, as one Pensare vice president put it, "well-recognized, branded content," while the universities get a stream of licensing or royalty fees--not to mention a slice of the Silicon Valley gold rush. In 1998, corporations spent about $100 million on Internet-based training; by 2002, according to the International Data Corporation, they will be spending about $6 billion per year.

Educators are a naturally conservative bunch. So, it's not surprising that many tend to see distance learning as a sort of educational alternate reality where classes become "content," universities become "providers," and corporate representatives speak enthusiastically of "branding." But, for the most part, earlier debates about distance learning are beginning to subside. The prevailing attitude now seems to be one of cautious optimism: distance learning has potential, but, like anything else, it needs to be researched, tested, and reviewed. One measure of the diminishing hostility: In August, the Department of Education announced $10 million in awards to colleges, universities, companies, and nonprofit organizations to "help adults gain access to distance-learning opportunities." "It's not an issue--it's a phenomenon," says Kay Kohl, executive director of the University Continuing Education Association, "and universities are adapting to it."

But vocal critics remain. Some teachers worry that software and computer companies have managed to fool schools into making massive investments in distance learning and other technologies without any real pedagogical justification. David F. Noble of Toronto's York University, an oft-quoted critic of distance learning, is even more harsh: distance learning is "pedagogically meaningless," he told me. OLN, Noble insists, is "a scam."

The Bubble Bursts for Education Dot-Coms Downturn in Internet stocks speeds a shakeout for the industry
The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 30, 2000

After raising $55-million in that initial public offering, in mid-December, has seen its stock sink steadily, from a high of $17.50 a share to about $3 as of last week. As just one consequence of this decline, Mr. Helmick was forced to sell part of his stake in the company to cover unrelated losses he incurred in other investments.

ECollege isn't the only outfit being roiled by the market. The online bookseller went public in February with a share price of $10. Within a month, the price began to plunge, and shares have been trading below $2 since late May. Two other companies that had intended to go public, and, have canceled those plans -- at least temporarily.

CollegeClub, a Web site that markets a variety of academic and recreational services to students, had hoped to raise $85-million after buying up a number of smaller Internet businesses, including a course-notes site called With that route now closed, CollegeClub says it will now explore "a variety of strategic options" to support its growth. Those include finding new investors, a merger partner, or a company interested in acquiring it. CollegeClub also has replaced its chief executive officer, Michael C. Pousti., which offers online admissions services, cited market volatility in canceling the company's planned public offering. Other industry insiders say the privately held Hungry Minds, a portal for students looking for online courses, may soon be bought. The company has reportedly had trouble raising venture capital.

College administrators say that since the companies with the strongest business models will survive -- at least in theory -- choosing a dot-com company to work with could become somewhat less dizzying. "A shakeout will simply help us sort out who the viable contenders are," says Michael J. Offerman, dean of continuing education at the University of Wisconsin System.

Investors and officials at a range of dot-coms say many companies with bad business models will find it harder to land venture capital from now on. And even some companies with stronger models are feeling the pinch. "I think there has been a reality check in the entire market," says John E. Kobara, the president of, a company hired by the University of California at Los Angeles and others to help market and deliver their distance-education courses.

Corporatization of the Academy --- see 

If you have not yet checked out The Nation article ("New U" in April 17th issue) I mentioned, you may want to look at Aronowitz' book The Knowledge Factory -- LA227.4.A76 2000. It should be in browsing as soon as it clears book return.

Also, in Reference LB2324.N45 1999 there is Academic Keywords: A Devil's Dictionary of Higher Education by C. Nelson and S. Watt. You can't check it out, but it's a good read in reference.

Both books deal with the corporitization of the university and point out some of the absurdities, inconsistencies, and values that operate in such models. Nelson and Watt are funnier than Aronowitz, but Aronowitz gives a history of higher education in the US that is rather informative and chilling. Aronowtiz also has curricular comments that are relevant to our continual reinvention of the curricular wheels (for corporitization's sake). Since reduced health benefits and outsourcing are two parts of the same corporate downsizing strategies that are related to marketing imagery, faculty members might want to check out some of this info.

Remember to look for the Union label................

Bill Spinks 

There are also several good articles in the April 2000 issue of Business Officer published by NACUBO (Nat'l Assoc. of College and University Business Officers): "Lead or Bleed: Colleges, Universities, and the E-Universe," "Webster University Goes Online Big Time," "Hard Thinking About Soft Machines and Information Technology," and "Anatomy of a High Tech Learning Center." I have a copy in the Dean's Office, Sci., Math. & Engrg., if you want to borrow it or make copies.
Warinner, Pamela J 

Note from Jensen:  I found the link to the "Lead or Bleed" article at 

“The next big killer application for the Internet,” contends Cisco Systems chief executive officer John Chambers, “is going to be education. Education over the Internet is going to be so big it will make E-mail usage look like a rounding error!” Assuming there is any validity to Chambers’s assertion, colleges and universities had best ask themselves “Are we gonna hang 10 on this wave or wipe out?”

The "Webster University" article is at 

The university’s answer was as audacious as it was ultimately prudent: Go online big time. Today, Rein’s world is decidedly different. She’s said goodbye to most of the shelves of books for which she was responsible, and Webster’s faculty and students have said hello to computers and printers, to ‘Passports’ (Webster’s online library and research system), to more than 60 searchable databases and 7,500 full-text periodicals plus everything available on the Web. If they can’t find the full-text article they want online, all they have to do is speed off an E-mail to the main library. A day or two later, they’re reading the hard copy fax of the article. If it’s a book they’re after and they live in the U.S., Webster will ship it to them by UPS second-day air. Some things remain unchanged even in a world turned upside down. Rein still has a staff and a budget and a main campus library full of books to run. And there are still physical satellite libraries—but these now contain only a reference collection and a small array of periodicals, as well of course as the ubiquitous computer terminals.

Also see 

Paradigm Shifts in Faculty Allegiances

Instead of partnering with a university, it is also possible to partner with faculty of prestigious universities.  One of the leading distance education programs seeking such partnerships is University Access --- 

We work in partnership with professors from leading business schools, including the London Business School, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

UA is a privately held, venture-capital-backed company that was founded by CEO Alec Hudnut and President Tom Geniesse in 1996. Our major shareholders include Franklin Street/Fairview Capital, Intel, Rockefeller & Company, several private investors, and employees. We enrolled our first student in September 1997 and have since expanded to approximately 3,000 students and 125 undergraduate, graduate, and corporate clients. Our strategic partners include Intel, PBS, the AACSB (the accrediting body for business schools), Harcourt Brace, McGraw-Hill, and

University Access, the leader in online business education and training, creates superior courseware combining world-class content with cutting-edge instructional design and pedagogy. UA provides all aspects of a turnkey online learning solution: technology for the learning platform, content design and production, virtual campus to host students, and training and support for instructors and students. University Access enables its clients -- typically academic institutions and corporations -- to deliver the best in online business education and training to their constituencies. UA has won fifteen industry awards for excellence in distance learning content, including highest honors from the U.S. Distance Learning Association. UA also received the Growing With Technology Award from Inc. Magazine/Cisco Systems for its "innovative use of networking and the Internet.

To view a 6 minute video overview of University Access and its products, click on the link at 

You'll need the free RealPlayer G2 to view the clip.

In addition, University Access has made some strategic institutional partnerships.  One such partnership is with the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the lead accrediting agency of higher education business programs in the United States. One of the first products of this partnership is an online journal called Academy Online having Chuck Hickman as the Executive Editor ---  Mr. Hickman was a top executive in the AACSB for over 20 years prior to becoming the Academic Vice President of University Access.  This online journal is free.  You can subscribe at

Strategic partnerships in University Access --- 

Strategic Partnerships
University Access is aligning itself with organizations and corporations in strategic ventures that extend the University Access brand and provide valuable distribution outlets for the company's world-class library. These relationships are mutually beneficial as they strengthen investment goals and enhance the profiles of these partner organizations as supporters and conduits of superior distance-learning products.

Click on the name of the organization to learn about our strategic partners: PBS/ALS AACSB Intel Publishing E-Library

Click here to request more information on how to strategically partner with University Access, or contact business development at 888-960-1700 extension 2220.

PBS's Adult Learning Service (ALS), the largest provider of technology-based college credit, and University Access have partnered to combine quality broadcast television with a compelling Internet component. For years, ALS has offered telecourses that combine televised classes with written course-support materials.

Teleweb courses build upon the telecourse model, adding an Internet component that allows professors the opportunity to interact with students in an innovative format. Given the proven success of the University Access courseware and the PBS Adult Learning Service, this partnership will help define the future for higher education in the distance-learning market.

Find out more about University Access's partnership with PBS Adult Learning Service by clicking here.

Providing the best possible services for business education requires more than a great Web site and award-winning courses. It also requires staying abreast of the issues most relevant for business educators in today's world. For this reason, University Access partnered with the AACSB, the International Association for Management Education, in the publication of @cademyonline, an online journal that highlights current forces influencing distance and higher education. In addition, University Access is an active corporate member of the AACSB, the International Association for Management Education. University Access attends and presents at AACSB conferences and symposia throughout the year.

AACSB is a not-for-profit corporation of educational institutions, corporations and other organizations devoted to the promotion and improvement of higher education in business administration and accounting. Organized in 1916, it is the premier accrediting agency for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting. AACSB is also the professional organization for management education. More information is available via the AACSB Web site.
To maintain its leadership role in making a quality education accessible to anyone, University Access has teamed up with to deliver streaming video of course lectures. The alliance between University Access and, the leading aggregator and broadcaster of streaming media programming over the Web, represents the first time a complete broadband distance education experience is delivered solely over the Internet. Additionally, a free hour of programming for each course is available for preview, allowing students to sample the course before committing to register for it.

UA's partnership with Intel focuses on creating and delivering next-generation broadband education content. UA and Intel have demonstrated UA's broadband courseware at online learning and technology conferences. In partnership with Intel, we plan to beta test our broadband product with undergraduate business students in Spring 2000. In addition to this strategic partnership, Intel holds an equity interest in UA.

University Access has partnered with leading publishing companies to integrate our business courseware with their world-class textbooks.

These partnerships include The Dryden Press, a division of Harcourt College Publishers; Thomson Learning's South-Western College Publishing; and Irwin-McGraw Hill.

University Access' partnership with Electric Library extends research capability for UA registered students.


Who Are These Prestigious Professors Online?
It would help if you could supply me with names of other professors and the course links
Please send names and links to 

Who are the prestige professors from prestige universities who are now lending their services to both their home universities and online learning corporations?  For a sampling, I will feature a few of the University Access instructors from  Also see the FAQs at

Readers may read more about the trends in prestige university online partnerings at 

The former AACSB executive who is now the Academic Vice-President of University Access, Chuck Hickman, will be presenting a workshop in the afternoon of April 27 --- 

A sampling of the courses at University Access were developed by the following prestige-university professors.  Some still have full time appointments at prestigious universities.  Others were former full-time faculty.  Chuck Hickman (mentioned above) helped line up many of these professors and courses.

To begin with, I will feature Mark Albion!

Mark Albion, a twenty-year veteran at Harvard University and its Business School, is the Founder of You & Company, a career management firm, and helped launch Net Impact (formerly Students For Responsible Business), an international not-for-profit network of MBAs committed to a better world. Albion publishes a newsletter, Making A Life, which is read by more than a million business executives in eighty-seven countries. His work has been recognized by Ronald Reagan, Mother Teresa, and other world leaders, prompting BusinessWeek to name him the "Savior of B-school souls."

Mark Albion's Making a Life, Making a Living online seminar consists of five to six hours of self-paced lessons organized into four modules:

Who Are You? What Do You Want? What Can You Do? Where Are You Going? The seminar is rich with video clips featuring Dr. Albion and interactive exercises and activities that challenge you to think about what you really want out of life. Anchored by an online journal in which participants answer provocative questions, as well as a facilitator-led discussion board, the online seminar offers you a community of peers with whom you can discuss your thoughts.

Making a Life, Making a Living culminates in a long-term personal strategy to help you achieve balance in your life --- 


Credit courses and instructors at University Access include the following:

Developed with Roman Weil, Ph.D., V. Duane Rath professor of accounting at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, this course will prepare students to:
Understand the purpose of the primary financial statements.
Trace transactions that reflect a company's business activities (operating, investing, and financing) through the accounting cycle and ultimately to the financial statements.
Describe the central concepts of recognition, valuation, and classification, and explain how these concepts relate to assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, and expenses.
Prepare common-size financial statements to analyze a company's business activities.


Developed with J. Morgan Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of operations at the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this course introduces descriptive and inferential statistics through such topics as frequency distribution, measures of position, central tendency and dispersion, simple probability, binomial and normal distributions, estimation, and hypothesis testing.  Upon completing the course, students will be prepared to:
Think critically about data and efficiently collect the data needed to properly answer statistical questions.
Use graphical and numerical summaries using Microsoft Excel.
Apply standard inference procedures.
Draw conclusions from such analyses.


Developed with Robert Connolly, Ph.D. associate professor of finance at the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this course covers essential microeconomic and macroeconomic principles as they apply to the study and practice of business.  Upon completing the course, students will be prepared to:
Understand the function and operation of markets.
Name the determinants of demand for products.
Name the determinants of supply of products at the firm and industry level.
Show how business managers can use market prices to determine the optimal amount of a good to produce.
Explore the fundamental concepts of international trade, the determinants of trade patterns, and the impact of tariffs and quotas.
Identify the determinants of productivity and long-run economic growth.
Explain the role of interest rates, saving, and investment in economic growth.
Set forth the causes and characteristics of the business cycle.


Developed with R. Kipp Martin, Ph.D., professor of management science and production management at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, this course provides excellent preparation for courses in accounting, statistics, and economics.  After completing it, students should be able to:
Manipulate and work with mathematical symbols.
Understand the important concepts of slope, function, logarithms, exponential growth, equation solving, and word-problem formulation.
Think in a precise and rigorous fashion.
Appreciate the interesting and important applications of mathematics in the real world.


Harvard Sues to Set a Precedent

The excerpts below come from the front page of The Wall Street Journal, November 22, 1999.

Why Harvard Law School Wants To Rein In a Star-Struck Professor 

Long before Judge Judy and Judge Joe, there was Arthur Miller and "Miller's Court," a television show that helped explain the law to nonlawyers. Mr. Miller burnished his persona as TV host in an acclaimed public-television series examining the media and society.

In Socratic fashion much imitated by later shows, the Harvard Law professor would posit an issue taken from the daily headlines to a panel of experts, then lead them through questions designed to probe where they stand.

Now Mr. Miller has become embroiled in a case that would be perfect fodder for one of his TV shows. "A Harvard professor wants to give an online course at a smaller school," one can imagine him telling the audience in his Brooklyn-tinged baritone. "Who owns his teaching: the professor or the university? Can two institutions offer his lectures at the same time? You decide."

Last summer, Mr. Miller -- one of Harvard's most recognizable names -- signed on with the Concord University School of Law, an online degree-granter set up by Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan Educational Centers, and videotaped 11 lectures for a course on civil procedure. To him, Mr. Miller says, the Web represents what TV did when he started doing "Miller's Court" in 1979 -- the next frontier for teaching law to the masses.

Harvard doesn't see it that way. In a sign of academia's growing unease at the encroachments of the Internet, the university wants to pull the plug on Mr. Miller's Concord affiliation. Harvard says that despite the surface similarities, Internet lectures aren't like an educational-TV program. Concord is a school, with an enrollment of 170 students, who each pay $4,200 a year to attend. Harvard policies bar faculty from teaching for another educational institution during the academic year without getting the dean's permission.

But Mr. Miller argues that he isn't teaching. He never meets, interacts, or exchanges e-mail with any of the Concord students. They are tested and graded by other faculty at the school. When they have questions about the material in the tapes, it is those teachers, not Mr. Miller, who respond to them.

In a six-page letter to Harvard Law School Dean Robert Clark, the professor argued that he hadn't violated the university's conflict-of-interest rules. "I simply do not see any distinction between preparing a few hours of thoughts about civil procedure on videotape for use at another educational institution via frontier technology and the publication, in whatever form, of casebooks, textbooks, hornbooks, student aids, audio tapes, data collections, or other educational material," Mr. Miller wrote.

Beyond the Gates

Mr. Miller says he feels "vilified" and had even questioned whether he wanted to continue teaching at Harvard. And he argues that the implications of his battle over his Concord involvement go far beyond the gates of Harvard Yard.

The university never objected to his high-profile forays into TV, including a stint as legal editor of ABC's "Good Morning America." Indeed, freelancing is a way of life at Harvard, and the university officially permits faculty members to do outside consulting as long as it accounts for no more than 20% of a professor's "total professional effort." Mr. Miller's colleague Alan Dershowitz helped defend O.J. Simpson, and is a regular on "Rivera Live." The head of the Department of Afro-American Studies, Henry Louis Gates Jr., writes for the New Yorker and stars in a PBS series based on an African-American encyclopedia he co-edited.

The 20% rule has sometimes been controversial, in part because deans and faculty often interpret the limitations differently -- and the general conflict rules now are under review by Harvard's provost. The rush to the Internet has complicated matters even more. It can involve a potential audience of millions and at least the promise of a lot of money, all without violating Harvard's policy. A professor's existing course can be downloaded from the Internet and then viewed anytime.

In the case of Mr. Miller, he made all of his videotapes during the summer academic break from Harvard, when he had no teaching responsibilities. Concord students can watch his lectures on the Internet and then participate in online discussion groups with actual Concord teachers. In his letter to the dean, Mr. Miller argued that Internet ventures cannot be considered teaching for another school because "the very fact that these lectures will be videotaped means that I -- in the corporeal sense -- will not be giving them 'at' another educational institution."

'Not a Gray Area'

In Miller vs. Harvard, the experts are divided as to whether he has crossed the line. "This is not a gray area," says Harvard Business School Dean Kim Clark, who gets many requests by faculty eager to cash in on the Internet boom. "If you want to get the content and the impact of Harvard faculty members, you have to do it at Harvard."

"Arthur got jumped on," counters Charles Nesson, a Harvard Law professor who is involved in some Internet ventures but nonetheless says he is ambivalent about the subject. "Arthur loves a show. Harvard's problem is it hasn't offered to produce him. Why are they letting Concord take this gem? If Harvard does nothing, then those with the drive and experience to experiment with new technology will go off and do it somewhere else."

"I see both sides," says Mr. Gates. "The university makes the course possible, but the professor does the course. I've been teaching the same course, with modifications, for 23 years. I've taught at Yale, Cornell and Duke, too, and when I moved to a new university nobody said to me I couldn't take my course with me because the university owned it."

Why is Harvard so irked? "It's the money," says Mr. Dershowitz, who says he turned down an offer by students in his class who claimed they could earn $100 million setting up a site to give legal advice online. "What distinguishes the Internet from everything else is the number of zeroes. The money is so overwhelming that it can skew people's judgment."

"Arthur does this for Concord, and then the Michael Milkens and the Microsofts will come along offering huge amounts of money to Harvard professors," echoes Mr. Nesson. Suddenly, "the cream of Harvard is available online, and it's on sale from Microsoft."

Update from ABC News on April 25, 2000 

The Harvard proposal forbids faculty to teach, conduct research or offer consulting outside of Harvard, either in person or online, without permission from the appropriate dean, according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press. Free time and vacation time are included in the restrictions. Full-Time Instruction The revisions are ultimately aimed at ensuring full-time students get full-time faculty, according to Dennis Thompson, Harvard’s assistant provost and chair of the committee that wrote a report recommending changes. “This policy is about responsibility to students and one’s colleagues,” he said. But some professors say the proposal would infringe on academic freedom, and is even a bit insulting. “Now I have to justify everything I do,” said law school professor Arthur Miller, author of several books and former host of the public television show Miller’s Court. “I find it offensive I now have to go through a process I haven’t had to go through in 35 years.” The committee has been working on the policy for about a year, and passed out proposed changes to faculty members for input last month.

Flexible Benefit Thompson said the policy, which still needs approval by a board that includes the university president and seven administrators, should be in place by the end of the school year. He added it will be flexible enough to operate on a case-by-case basis. “The more general concern is that such activities should not conflict with one’s paramount obligations to colleagues, to students, and to the university,” the report read. The proposed changes follow a university decision last fall to force Miller to give up an online course he produced for the Concord University School of Law, an online school founded by Kaplan Educational Centers. Miller said that decision, and the proposed new regulations, frustrate his personal educational pursuits, which he said is a matter of academic freedom. “The question is whether my contract bounds me exclusively to Harvard Law School, or whether I have free choice,” he said. Thompson said professors would still be allowed to disseminate information however they want. They just can’t make money from teaching at another institution, even if it’s electronic. “I don’t see academic freedom at stake at all,” Thompson said. “It does limit the commercial freedom of faculty members in order to promote the educational freedom of our students.”

A message from Bob Jensen on May 1, 2000

Hi David,

But most universities like Harvard allow and even encourage professors to write textbooks and cases for private royalties. Much of the concern boils down to a question about what constitutes "teaching." Design of a course, writing of content, and provision of audio and video for the world have long been acceptable in most colleges as long as the faculty member does not get paid for student messaging, student evaluation, and assignment of grades for an entire course. There is also a distinction between providing such materials selectively (exclusively) or the world as a whole.

For example, Professor Murthy (Texas A&M) and Professor Groomer (Indiana University) grade the online quizzes of my students as long as I continue to adopt their online AIS textbook. However, these online quizzes are only a small part of the total grade, and Murthy and Groomer have no contact with my students regarding any other aspect of the course. I doubt that their universities object to M&G grading of quizzes of all students who purchase access to their textbooks. Texas A&M and Indiana University probably will not object if M&G decide, in the future, to add audio and video supplements to their online books. It would, however, be interesting to know how these universities would react if M&G provided custom course materials available to one university that are not available to any other college in the world that adopts their online texts. The M&G website is at 

What is interesting about the lawsuit in which Harvard sued its own law professor (Arthur Miller) is that what Dr. Miller did for one school (Concord University School of Law) would have probably not upset administrators at Harvard if Dr. Miller had made his video lectures available to the world (e.g., as supplements to a textbook). What Harvard appears to be objecting to in this instance is that Dr. Miller made his video lectures available to only one law school outside the Harvard Law School. You can read about this lawsuit by scrolling upward in this document.

My point is that the definition of "teaching" an online course if fuzzy. Many faculty who write online course materials, provide audio and video lectures, and even grade quizzes can have a clear conscience as long as the spirit and intent are more in line with textbook publishing than with individual course administration. Also there is the simple matter of who the student can claim was his or her professor. Students can hardly claim their professors are Murth and Groomer in my courses.

But the line gets fuzzier and fuzzier as more and more multimedia course materials are made available online by textbook authors. What if an instructor does very little but deliver the final grades in a course "delivered" by the textbook publishers? Who should students claim is the course "instructor?"

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen 
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business 
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 
Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 Email: 

-----Original Message----- 
From: David Albrecht [mailto:albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]  
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2000 9:49 AM 
Re: Moonlighting Professors

This is not unique around the country. At BGSU, the faculty charter specifically prohibits faculty from teaching at another other educational institution., nad had done so for decades. So, not being permitted to teach on Internet-based schools is no loss to our faculty.

However, I read Harvard's situation with great interest, as faculty there have been permitted some freedom in the past, and that now seems to be disappearing due to the creation of Internet alternatives.

Dave Albrecht

A Virtual Revolution in Teaching

These are excerpts from the Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2000 --- 

A Virtual Revolution in Teaching
With colleges running out of classrooms and companies trying to keep down training costs, online education is a concept whose time may have come. But quality control is high on a list of concerns.

     A virtual college campus lives inside the computers of University Access, where thousands of students electronically gather for class inside the stacks of PCs.  Machines abound in the company's ritzy Hollywood offices, where the only physical ties to scholastic tradition are felt pennants from USC and Indiana University that decorate employee cubicles. Clean-cut and perky, the young staffers talk about "digital" this and "futuristic" that with the fervency of Silicon Valley prospectors convinced they've hit upon the next big idea.   Maybe so.
     "The way people want to learn is changing," said Tom O'Malia, director of the entrepreneur program at USC's Marshall School of Business.
     Hoping to attract everyone from middle managers in Shanghai to teenagers in Sioux Falls, S.D., corporations and colleges have invested at least $300 million in the last few years on the Internet college gamble. One in three U.S. colleges now offers some sort of accredited degree online, more than twice as many as last year.
     Demand for online executive training alone--a small piece of the electronic learning pie--will burgeon by 2002 into a $7.1-billion market, according to research analysts at International Data Corp.
     "There's so much money to be made doing this," said Jaime McKenzie, editor of the Educational Technology Journal in Bellingham, Wash. "Everyone's racing to grab students and their checkbooks."
     But although the promise is huge, so are the possible pitfalls.  If schools start mass-marketing their courses online, will they keep their elite reputations? Will students get as good an education as those who physically sit in the lecture hall? What happens as corporations move into the college market and use people with no classroom experience to teach? What's to keep a top professor from freelancing course work to a competing organization? And how much cachet will a "dot-com" degree have in the real world?
     No one has answers, but online education just keeps coming.
     London-based Semple Piggot Norrie Aquino, a legal education company, offers a British law degree program taught entirely on the Internet. Stanford University has lured thousands of students to its online master's program in electrical engineering. And UNext .com, an ambitious start-up backed by convicted junk bond king Michael Milken and built on a fistful of partnerships with elite universities, launched its first six courses last month.
     The demand for online education grows out of a simple problem: There are about to be too many students and not enough classrooms.
     The enrollment at California public colleges and universities, for example, is expected to swell from nearly 2 million students in 1998 to 2.7 million by 2010, according to a report by the California Postsecondary Education Commission.
     Sensing a chance to keep growing without the expense of adding buildings, some of the country's most prestigious schools are examining ways to put their curriculum online. One of the most simple approaches is to partner with Deerfield, Ill.-based, which seeks to capitalize on the reputation of top schools.
     When a major corporation--such as a Disney or a Sony--wants its staff to take finance courses, UNext is betting that the company would rather turn to someone that provides courses with ties to Ivy League schools instead of a local college.
     It's a plan that convinced Columbia University to license its name and contribute business courses to UNext. In return, Columbia and UNext's other founding partners--the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford and the London School of Economics--will receive a cut of revenue from online classes.
     It may seem like a win-win situation, but such deals are far from clear-cut. Partnerships between colleges and start-ups are beginning to raise legal questions, such as how schools can reconcile their tax-exempt status as educational institutions with their for-profit role as Net players.
     "There are no clear answers at this point. It's going to be up to the courts to deal with it," said Scott Soffen, an education analyst at the financial investment group Legg Mason Inc.

     Choosing the Right Course

     What students ultimately see on the screen depends on which school they attend. Fubramani Harihara, a software engineer at computer giant Cisco Systems Inc., wanted to take some electronics classes to expand his technical skills and boost his chances for a higher-paying job. But married, with a child in preschool, the 61-year-old said he had neither the time nor the money to go back to school full time.
     After looking into several Net-based programs, Harihara signed up for Stanford's online electrical engineering master's program. He soon faced the same workload as on-campus students, putting in four to five hours a day to complete assignments and watch prerecorded lectures broadcast over the Web., which caters to non-degree-seeking students, relies heavily on text-filled Web pages and avoids using videotaped speeches.
     "Lectures are dead. They are not a good way to learn," said Andrew Rosenfield, UNext's chairman and chief executive. "People want to learn what they need to know, not what professors want them to know. You can only do that on the Internet."
     In one UNext finance class, the student is cast as a newly hired manager at a PC manufacturer. There is talk that the company could merge with another firm, one that makes hand-held computers.
     The student must study the financial history and business models of the company's biggest competitors, figure out whether the company should pursue a merger, and ultimately find a partner that would be a good match.
     Each step of the way, he must complete a series of homework problems and e-mail them to the course instructor. The workload ranges from a simple list of ideas, to a spreadsheet detailing a company's financial performance, to a detailed memo about why the merger would work.
     To students, the key benefit of such virtual offerings is flexibility and time. Students can log in at their leisure, e-mail their papers and post notes to classmates whenever they want.
     The drawbacks, of course, are that students typically can't buttonhole a teacher's aide to answer a question immediately, can't turn professors into mentors and can't gather spontaneously to bounce ideas off classmates.
     The amount of time given to complete a class can make a big difference in student-teacher interaction, said Lisa Metros, a UNext instructor. "The longer [the] time frame, [the more] people worked at their own speed, and I had more of a chance to interact with everyone. As long as the class remained pretty small, it was easier to manage that personal interaction."
     Metros' experience was echoed in a study recently published by a group of tenured professors at the University of Illinois. Called "The Online Pedagogy Report," it found that online classes can offer a "great educational experience."
     But to be most effective, class size should be limited to 40 people or fewer, according to the report.
     "There is no magic number, but all of the empirical data says it's relatively small," said John R. Regalbuto, a chemical engineering professor who was chairman of the group. "If you want to teach well online, it takes a lot of time." More students mean more costs for the school or lower-quality instruction. "That's the trade-off, and it's one that [profit-oriented] administrators won't want to accept."
     So far, the corporate-run courses tend to be oriented toward business applications, tapping into the market for managerial and executive training. Colleges are experimenting with a variety of courses, with the verdict still out on how well liberal arts--which can emphasize classroom interaction--will translate into online instruction.

     The Ins and Outs of Logging On

     The admission guidelines for these programs range from stringent to wide open. At Stanford, for example, online engineering students must meet the same criteria as those on campus.
     But at corporate-run programs, such as UNext and University Access, classes are open to anyone who can pay the fee. Typically, they market package deals to businesses, which sign up groups of employees in exchange for a break in prices that otherwise can range from as little as $300 to more than $2,000 per student.
     In university-run programs that grant degrees, however, students pay a premium for taking courses over the Net.
     Stanford's online students pay more than their on-campus counterparts: Classes cost $1,600 and $2,000 in the real world, versus $2,985 in cyberspace. The school also resells Internet curriculum to corporations and other schools, collecting licensing fees of up to $50,000.
     The prices are higher, in part, to offset the cost of creating online courses. But the rates also reflect what the market will bear for the convenience of online education--older, working students will pay more, and the companies they work for often foot most or all of the bill.
     "We profile ourselves as a niche marketer," said Andy DiPaolo, senior associate dean at Stanford's School of Engineering and executive director of its Center for Professional Development.
     That's a strange sentiment for an educator, say critics, who worry that online's potential riches have school administrators such as DiPaolo acting more like venture capitalists than teachers.
     But Stanford is not alone in this practice.
     Duke University's Fuqua School of Business offers a virtual MBA program in which working executives travel to different continents each semester for two-week residencies, then do the remainder of the classwork via the Web. Students pay $89,700 in tuition.
     The fee covers--among other extras--a laptop computer, printer, an array of software and dorm expenses. Those who venture to Durham, N.C., to attend Duke in the flesh pay $52,400 for their MBAs.
     Universities say they are still struggling to set the right price points and enrollment limits for online courses. Since cyber-classrooms never run out of desks, there is a temptation to open up enrollment, bringing in a gush of tuition money.
     Some proponents of online education believe that schools should tap the Internet's ability to cheaply reach large numbers of people. William A. Draves, president of the nonprofit group Learning Resources Network, said a single, energetic professor could handle an Internet class of thousands of students.
     But such mass-marketing would destroy the value and exclusivity of the degree, said Blair Sheppard, senior associate dean for programs at Duke's Fuqua School.
     "We could offer 60,000, 100,000 MBAs, but we want to be an incredibly desired product that far more people want than can get," Sheppard said. Two 90-member classes enrolled in the program last fall. "There's a huge temptation to get into the business where it's student-to-computer only."
     While schools try to strike a balance between profits and prestige, many educators are scrambling to define their role in this digital domain.
     In traditional course work, a professor creates and leads each class. But online, professors can easily be replaced once the course is built and posted. On the Net, no one knows who's really answering those e-mail questions.
     At UNext, for instance, the much-touted Ivy League professors won't be teaching the classes. The professors lend their names and insights to UNext's staff, which then creates the electronic material and posts it on the Web.
     The people who actually run the classes are UNext employees--people the company has hired to act as online mentors, grade homework and answer students' questions.
     Some have teaching experience. Others, like Metros, do not.
     "I've held a lot of supervisory roles in corporate finance," Metros said. "I bring real-world experience to the class."
     Yet in the rush to grab talent, universities have found themselves competing against their own instructors.
     This was the case for USC's O'Malia. He was hired in 1997 by University Access, the Los Angeles-based start-up, to develop online courses on entrepreneurship. O'Malia later became a minority shareholder in the company and a member of its board of directors.
  O'Malia declined to say how much he was paid in cash and stock by University Access.
     Industry sources say professors can get $5,000 to $10,000 merely for lending their names to Web programs. For instructors who actually help develop courses and lecture online, the paycheck can be $100,000 or more a year.
     Although O'Malia was working for University Access, his employers at USC's Marshall School agreed to develop Internet material with a rival of University Access--Caliber Learning Network Inc. of Baltimore.
     Critics at the school cite O'Malia's arrangement as a conflict of interest, but USC officials and O'Malia say both arrangements make the university more of a "catch" as an online partner.
     "No one signs professors to exclusive contracts," said O'Malia, who claims that he has been asked to develop courses by 50 different for-profit, online education ventures. "But that's got to change someday."

The Union Label is Everywhere

Because we are small, private, and hands-on university with much made of our faculty/student ratio and access to the interested, informed, and enthusiastic professors, the following article doesn't apply to us directly, but it is the consequence of the corporatizing of the University. It is an report from AFT entitled "The Vanishing Professor." and you might want to look at it while you enjoy your non-adjunct summer. 

The Union label is everywhere.....


C. W. (Bill) Spinks, 
English Dept, Trinity University 
715 Stadium Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78212 USA 
office: 210-999-7577 fax: 210-999-7578

Paradigm Shift in University Management and Strategies

What will happen as colleges and universities become more like businesses:
From Phil Livingston in the FEI Newsletter No. 33 May 19, 2000

The elements of the company's success:

1) Focus on core competency 
2) Outsource with world-class partners (Chellam stressed the need to select partners carefully, after getting to know their business models, their economics and their competitors). 
3) Develop key metrics such as revenue per employee, or price to sales, and track them. 
4) Understand that in the Information Age, people are investments, not costs. 
5) Don't scale functions that dilute the key metrics.

Securing Our Future:  A Manitoba Innovation Corridor --- 

Education & Training: Towards an Academic and Business Partnership


World-wide markets and political forces are conspiring to generate a new design for educational institutions. Traditional institutions are facing enormous threats not only to their conventional business but also, in some cases, to their very existence. At the same time, they are presented with enormous opportunities for significantly changing their role in preparing people for productive careers and meaningful lives.

The Law of the Telecosm and Moore’s Law are having their effect on the education sector. Previously captive local markets are able to look farther and to more educational options than ever before. Time and place are shrinking in importance for potential customers as they look to broaden their knowledge, skill sets and employability. Our local educational institutions less constrained by time and place as well are considering their opportunities in a global marketplace. At the same time, education providers from other locations are considering our local market as their potential. All potential customers are looking for cost-effective solutions to their education needs.

According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine,

"Four years ago, 93 accredited cybercolleges existed in the United States; today there are 762. One million U.S. students are plugged into virtual-college classrooms (compared with 13 million enrolled in brick-and mortar institutions), and some estimate that number will triple by the year 2000. New competitors from outside the academy are vying for a share of the growing market, and technology is removing the barriers to entry"

The following examples suggest the magnitude and scope of the digital learning opportunities that are presenting themselves:

Business Schools all over Canada, including Queen's University, Athabaska College, University of Western Ontario and the University of Manitoba are offering online courseware of one form or another. TeleEducation NB, with it's provincial network of over 100 learning sites offers quality education and ensures equitable access for New Brunswick’s population. In a good number of sites, TeleEducation NB offers audio conferencing, audiographics, videoconferencing and Internet as modes of communication between student and instructor. Public institutions and private training companies offer courses covering all aspects of human activity in either or both of the province's official languages. The University of Delaware (, offers more than 100 distance learning courses, two distance degree programs and over 1700 enrollments from 12 states. The Western Governors University, (, a distance learning consortium created by the governors of 11 western states, as well as Simon Fraser University offers courses only online. The Internet University (, a compendium of more than 30 colleges and universities, offers over 700 courses online. The World Lecture Hall ( offers hundreds of courses from universities all over the world, many with multimedia components. The evidence shows that digital learning is possible, is being done, and is being pursued by many organizations. It is an opportunity in which we must participate fully and compete effectively.

New Education & Training Environments

Our colleges and universities are preparing themselves for the challenges presented by the digital age, recognizing the shift in demand, and responding in kind. However, the significant threat of educational opportunities unburdened by the requirements of time and place will challenge our ability to compete. Success will come with the creation of institutions charged with the task of supporting our intellectual capital, combining it with our business capital and focusing that capital on survival.

President Munitz of the California State University (CSU) suggests that the potential for intellectual capital to produce initiatives needs to be blended with the economic realities and needs of the new economy:

"More than 100 potential initiatives to advance CSU's mission were winnowed down to a "first wave" of 11 about to be implemented. Increasing the size and scope of nontraditional education delivery methods, including distance learning---instead of building new campuses and hiring new faculty---is now viewed as the optimal means to absorb the influx of new students. "If you look at different models for transformation and expansion"' comments Munitz, "the economics are profoundly in the direction of technology."

Eli Noam has pointed out forcefully that the Internet, digital libraries, e-mail, telephones, fax machines and air travel have made it easier for the faculty to establish stronger loyalties to national professions than to local institutions. He rightly points out that the move toward collective knowledge building is already happening. Our challenge is to focus that knowledge toward market goals.

Peter Drucker adds his suggestions regarding the future for the traditional institutional model:

"Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won't survive. It's as large a change as when we first got the printed book. Do you realize that the cost of higher education has risen as fast as the cost of health care? And for the middle-class family, college education for their children is as much of a necessity as is medical care—without it the kids have no future. Such totally uncontrollable expenditures, without any visible improvement in either the content or the quality of education, means that the system is rapidly becoming untenable. Higher education is in deep crisis."

Crisis means that things will change. As Drucker points out, it makes little difference how futurists view the change. Change is upon us and things will become much different.

Noam and Drucker’s observations aside, it is clear that a college education will continue to be an essential credential for a good job. However, students will look to achieve that credential in vastly different ways. Many will come to their education from the context of employment. Others will choose a self-directed course of study. Still others will revel in the intense environment of a well-taught class.

The new education consumer will also have new demands. They will seek the knowledge and skill sets that allow them to compete on an international level. They will choose the service providers who offer flexibility, quality, and portability of learning. Educational value for money independent of time and place will become the watchwords. To service the new customers of education, institutions must respond to this most basic shift. The successful educational organization will resonate with these changes and will attract students and their employers in greater numbers than ever.

Consider the following:

Knowledge Universe expects to become a cradle-to-grave educational brand. Co-founded by Oracle’s Larry Ellison and former junk-bond king Michael Milken, KU views the education market — from pre-school to retirees — as a continuum. KU has already purchased a range of education related companies estimated to be worth 4 to 6 Billion. One of its major thrusts, Knowledge University, will be an online post secondary school offering degree, certificate, and continuing education programs to corporations and individuals. Distance learning will be an essential part of the company’s strategy. DigitalThink a US based cyberschool boasts 30,000 students. Focused on corporate training, DigitalThink’s web-based courses range from computer programming to wine appreciation. The company offers interactive quizzes, live chat sessions, and personal tutoring via email. Pensare Corp boasts 16,000 users of MUD’s (multi-user domain) for corporate role-playing. Employees are trained while they create usable work, and Pensare catalogues the knowledge they acquire in an institutional memory database. Productivity Point International boasts 1 million students in North America. They recommend the software needed to bring a company into the information age, then teach employees how to use it. Training happens at one of PPI’s 133 centres or through distance-learning programs. Lucas Learning is leveraging the StarWars brand to reach 10 to 14 year olds. Their first title, StarWars DroidWorks, puts students on the floor of a robot factory to teach them the principles of energy, light, magnetism, motion, and force. The Learning Company and Broderbund recently merged to create an edutainment giant with 20 million registered users. Broderbund’s edutainment line including Carmen San Diego, Riven, and Myst combined with TLC learning products such as MayaQuest make the merger an important new education hybrid. MindQ Publishing offers its highly interactive Developer Training for Java modules in 223 corporations in North America. These modules teach Java programming skills and let developers learn at their own pace. MindQ boasts clients such as Sun Microsystems, IBM, Microsoft, Asymetrix, and Borland. What these examples suggest further is that the trends in education are toward an increasing choice for consumers, an increasing role for education-business partnerships, and an increasing need for entrepreneurship and innovation. The financier and the teacher must put their heads together. The pronoun of success is "we".

Clearly, the role of the New Media content industry in the future of education is an important one. We are left however with two fundamental questions. How can we ensure that our Universities and College’s can respond to the education demands of the digital age, that their response is timely and that the product of that response can be exploited in larger markets? The answers lie in partnering business with education.

Why Education and Business?

If Manitoba is to succeed in (a) developing a globally competitive position in the future training market while (b) developing a digital education and training capability out of which we can compete for the long distance education/training market then our business and academic players must converge. Two strong arguments support this conclusion.

The first argument is that business needs the pedagogical strengths provided by the education sector. Innovation is at the heart of the new economy. The process of innovation and the process of developing innovators require idea discovery at their core but need much more to be successful.

New ideas and new classroom practices are only half of the innovation process. New ideas shift discourse and in turn shift the actions of those practising the discourse. While new ideas emphasize originality and novelty, they will not necessarily result in innovation by themselves. New classroom practices are drawn from new ideas and influence students to adopt new practices. While this step in the innovation process clarifies and integrates the principles of the new ideas, it does not necessarily result in innovation.

Innovation occurs at the point where new products and tools are created from the new ideas and classroom practices. The most successful ideas and practices are those that enable people to produce economically viable innovations in their own personal environments. And, ultimately, innovative products must be sold to ensure their economic viability. Markets must be tested, customers contacted, and new descriptions about people's roles and identities in the world developed.

The education sector traditionally values new ideas and new classroom practices highly. Business on the other hand, focuses on product development and market success. Taken together, the entire innovation spectrum is met by an education - business collaboration.

As more and more curricula development takes place within a business setting, the skill sets involved in the innovation process will become an important ingredient in the making of a quality educational product. The pedagogical skills that University and College professors have gained over many years of practice will become essential in any product or service aimed at the educational market.

A "business design" for universities suggests that in order to adapt to shrinking funding, basic research will be performed primarily by faculty with proven records of accomplishment. The classroom application of basic research will rise in stature because it will be directly tied to the teaching of competencies, which will be central to the new educational institutions. Academics will participate in more of the "productizing" of new ideas improving the quality of product content as a result. This contribution to an education/private sector partnership will be critical in developing course curricula and courseware. These types of skills will prove to be very important to any partnership that expects to succeed in a highly competitive educational world.

The second argument in favour of an academic/business partnership is that in the same way business needs academia so too academia needs business. Our education sector must build its product development and marketing capability if they are to meet the growing challenge from new on line education providers. Innovative programs and services that do not follow the traditional academic model need to be "productized" and pushed to market. The first programs will be the demonstrators that change attitudes and understandings. A business-like approach will be the result of this collaboration - a collaboration that has potential across a wide range of activities from computer and internet based training development to the development of more certificate-based courses, the placement of technology on campuses and even online universities.

The two major players in this seem poised with complementary goals. Educational administrators see it as a service to their students and a potential for larger markets; and private sector customers and content developers see the potential for improved customised training and increased business.

Add to this mix a strong New Media content sector and we have a home grown Education and Training Industry that can compete with new products and services. Educational institutions will grow, our fledgling new media industry will grow in support of the institutional response and business, education, and new media all will share in the benefits of the digital economy.

Prestige High Schools Joint the Act

December 21, 2000
Good morning Professor:

Given your wide experience with the net, you might already be aware, but I just discovered that the use of technology to educate is not limited to the ivy halls of universities and colleges. The Kiplinger Letter contained a reference to virtual high schools which "give students in rural, poorly funded areas Web access to courses taught in wealthier schools." Doing an Internet search, I found numerous entries including sites in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Florida, Missouri and Indiana. <>  contained the following:

A new model for high school learning is emerging throughout the world. Known as virtual high schools (or VHS), these alternative "halls of learning" are growing out of the worldwide need to provide an equal opportunity for a quality education to each and every student, regardless of location or time.

Increasingly, this new approach is providing a solution to the problems facing administrators today including chronic teacher shortages, more regulation, and increasing demands from students and parents for new ways to learn.

A VHS can supplement any school district's curriculum and help solve learning problems. VHS courses are delivered online, and teacher support can be administered locally or through the Independent Study High School. Students log in to take a class, anytime and from any place with Internet access. Sophisticated communication tools furnish the mechanism for contacting teachers, taking tests, and chatting with other students. <>  provides a listing of media articles concerning virtual high schools at  <

Hope your holiday is filled with joy and peace and the blessings of the season. I have fond memories of our 4 Christmases in San Antonio ... though having grown up with the white Christmases of NYC, I never got used to wearing T-shirts and shorts when that blessed event came amidst 70-80o temperatures!

Janet Flatley 
AVP-Controller 1st Fed S&L Assn 
Pt Angeles WA

Some Key Links and References

Ann Kirschner is probably the only Net executive who's gone from George Eliot, the author, to Jumbo Eliott, the New York Jets' offensive tackle, and back again. A one-time Princeton University English professor, she was recently the brains behind but is now back in academia at Columbia University, only this time as a fully fledged Netrepreneur.

Her job is this: to make a hit of Morningside Ventures, the for-profit venture founded and funded entirely by Columbia University in the hopes of providing an entree into the online instructional market – one of the promises of the Net and a new competitive arena in the university world. Columbia, like many of top schools, has caught this "distance-learning" bug – the promising business of offering classroom instruction and research entirely online.

Stanford University announced Wednesday it is joining with three other universities to participate in, an Internet education company developing business education curriculum that will be taught over the Internet.

The participating universities are Stanford, Columbia University, the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics and Political Science. UNext's academic advisory board includes Kenneth J. Arrow, a Nobel Prize winner in economics and an emeritus professor at Stanford.

While Stanford has been approached by many entities seeking partnerships in Internet education, understand the interests of the university, said Geoffrey Cox, vice provost and dean for institutional planning, learning technology and extended education.

The courses offered by will be targeted primarily through corporations at students overseas, Cox said. They will not compete with Stanford's existing educational opportunities.

"I think everyone expects that education is one of those areas that is going to expand rapidly with new technology," Cox said. "And one of the ways it's going to expand is to allow access to all kinds of people who are very far away from traditional universities or who can't afford the time to come and participate.

"We were impressed with the people from UNext. They seemed to really understand the interests of the university in formulating their whole approach to this sort of thing. They're largely people who've worked in research universities and have a good appreciation for how the faculty care to work.

"In general, this is the kind of new opportunity opening up that we need to begin experimenting with."

In a separate announcement, said it will introduce its new business curriculum through an education community called Cardean, whose courses will be based on the latest academic theories and content provided by UNext's university affiliates.

Available initially through corporations, students seeking career growth will be able to take single courses or complete areas of concentration for a certificate degree, officials said in a statement. Over time, Cardean will provide core business courses in accounting, finance and marketing.

"The whole idea behind UNext is that anyone who has access to a residential education experience should take it ­ that's always going to preferable," Cox said. "This is aimed at people who are really very far away from a good business education."

Stanford faculty most likely to collaborate initially with UNext are in the School of Engineering in areas that complement a business curriculum, such as Operations Research and Engineering-Economic Systems, Cox said.

"We think it's a very attractive financial arrangement, and a relatively low risk for the university," Cox said.

While Stanford faculty would help develop UNext's curriculum, they would not be interacting with students, Cox said. UNext plans to engage professors from other universities to serve in a support role for students taking the Internet courses, he said.

"Our involvement will be with the upfront creation of the courses ­ the content," Cox said.

UNext expressed interest in Stanford because of the university's engineering offerings and the work the university has already done in distance learning through the Stanford Center for Professional Development, Cox said.

The university will continue to develop distance learning initiatives of its own, he added, noting that the university's relationship with UNext does not prevent it from continuing such efforts or from engaging in partnerships with other universities. At the same time, there is the potential for other schools and departments at Stanford to work with UNext, he said.


What are the best and worst colleges according to the controversial website called --- 

The rankings are not consistent with the US News rankings at

Tuition Plans for each of the 50 states ---