U-C Senate to consider Global Campus alternatives

By Rachel Small

Along with addressing the addition of four new minors and graduate students’ dissertations copyrights, the Urbana-Champaign Senate will discuss drastic changes to the Global Campus program.

Nicholas Burbules, chair of the senate’s executive committee, said he plans to announce that University of Illinois President B. Joseph White has asked him to head a task force to plan an “alternative model” for Global Campus.

Burubules said White plans to bring three proposals about the future of Global Campus to the May Board of Trustees meeting: keep it, shut it down or find an alternative model that will still provide affordable online higher education. Burbules said his group plans to draft an alternative model by April 15 and present it at the May Board of Trustees meeting.

“It hasn’t been a secret at all, and the group’s already been formed and working, but I think this is going to be the first time a lot of people are going to be hearing about it,” Burbules said.

Two other items on the agenda deal with addressing changes to the Global Campus program.

First, the name of the degree received from the program will be discussed. If Global Campus continues, it will be offering degrees under its own accreditation. If the proposal is accepted, degrees issued by the program that are not partnership programs will state that they are Global Campus, as opposed to Urbana-Champaign degrees.

The other item is a resolution that reminds faculty that they must gain permission from the appropriate departmental administration in order to commit to work for outside programs. Burbules said the resolution was formed with specific regards to Global Campus.

The resolution states that faculty are “key to offering high quality education” and must focus on improving campus programs before making outside commitments. Burbules said the need for the resolution arose from a faculty member who committed to work for Global Campus without approval.