‘UMUC is not like everybody else’: Tensions flare over school’s direction

Jun 17, 2019 by

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UMUC President Javier Miyares said the school is responsive to the needs of its population — adults with limited time and immediate need to complete credentials to advance their careers.

It has been five years since the University of Maryland University College considered shedding its status as a public institution and embracing life as a private school to become more competitive in the online education market.

University leadership worried that state rules would hinder partnerships with software firms or other private-sector companies that seemed necessary for the school to gain an edge as it faced stiff competition from the likes of Arizona State University. The proposal was met with skepticism from faculty who said it would undermine the college’s reputation.

The school relented after winning exemptions from the state from policies concerning procurement. But some of the tensions between administrators and faculty that flared five years ago remain.

Those tensions over the direction of the school speak to a broader conflict in higher education, where faculty and administrators are caught between traditional notions of learning and evolving online education. As colleges and universities embrace older, working students by offering more streamlined and flexible courses, some educators worry academics will be compromised. School leaders say without innovation, the sustainability of their institutions will be at risk.

CONTINUE: ‘UMUC is not like everybody else’: Tensions flare over school’s direction – The Washington Post

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