ASU faculty raises questions about on-line doctorate | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 22, 2015

ASU faculty raises questions about on-line doctorate

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 11:12 AM

Faculty members at Arkansas State University are raising questions about the university's decision to offer a doctorate in education in educational leadership on-line.

The executive committee of the ASU chapter of the American Association of University Professors asked for advice from the national AAUP, which wrote Chancellor Tim Hudson about the issue Dec. 16, in a letter I received today.

In it, the AAUP said faculty members perceive "disregard for the legitimate role of the faculty in academic decision making and insensitivity to faculty concerns."

According to AAUP, faculty members were informed of planned changes and planning meetings were scheduled last year. Then, they were told in April that online arrangements had already been made under a contract with Academic Partnerships. In May, the faculty was informed of specific changes in the doctoral program. The Graduate Council of faculty voted 14-0 to reject the changes on the ground that they couldn't be made without significant curriculum changes. The Shared Governance Oversight Committee, appointed by the administration, disagreed. The AAUP said this decision was made without first hearing from faculty in the Center for Excellence in Education, where the program is based. Nonetheless, the ASU Board of Trustees approved the program in September.

Criticisms from the faculty:

...the transition of the doctoral degree to an online format would likely require a reduction from 14 to 7-week courses, a reduction in admissions requirements, the discontinuance of course sequencing, the elimination of course prerequisites and the elimination of research tools. In addition, the faculty members are concerned that the anticipated large increase in the number of doctoral students will result in a significant disruption to the faculty's ability to properly supervise dissertations.

The AAUP says it is concerned that the matter might infringe on shared faculty governance, which include setting degree requirements. The letter said, based on information only from faculty, that ASU appears to have ignored the faculty handbook. It asked for more information. It also urges ASU not to implement the program "until the faculty has had full opportunity to address the situation and participate in the decision-making process."


It is only the latest sign of tension — see University of Arkansas — as brick-and-mortar colleges join the rush to compete with on-line colleges.

I received this response from ASU to my initial query, a statement from Dr. Lynita Cooksey, provost and vice chancellor academic affairs.

“We received a letter from the American Association of University Professors in December on the last day of the semester. As we were on winter break, we replied that our administration would provide comments to the AAUP in January. We plan to have that response ready by the end of January.”

Her brief letter to AAUP says there are "errors of fact" in the AAUP letter.

Jeff Hankins, a systemwide spokesman for ASU, added:

It’s important to note that a very small number — we’re told 30-40 — of our 502 faculty members are members of AAUP.

He added later that ASU currently has 1,659 students enrolled on-line, though the particular doctoral program hasn't begun. The classes are managed and taught by ASU. Academic Partners gets 50 percent of the take for marketing the classes.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Thank Goodness. The Friday open line

    • "White House staffers are sending out resumes and preparing to flee the chaos of the…

    • on September 22, 2017
  • Re: Thank Goodness. The Friday open line

    • That the Republicans would even THINK about replacing "Obamacare" with this monstrosity tells you everything…

    • on September 22, 2017
  • Re: Thank Goodness. The Friday open line

    • I'm rather surprised there was no thread about Dear Leader Kim Jung Un calling out…

    • on September 22, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation