Davis Faculty Association

A note about proposed online ed legislation

The DFA, in conjunction with CUCFA staff and the other faculty associations, have been busy monitoring the impending state legislation about online courses. In a previous email, we informed you of our letter of inquiry to the UCD Senate leadership and also invited you to sign an online petition opposing Senate Bill 520, which has so far received the lion’s share of attention. If you haven’t already you can still sign that petition (which currently has almost 1500 signatures) at

http://signon.org/sign/uc-faculty-opposition?source=c.em.cp&r_by=985930

Senate Chair Nachtergaele also wrote to the entire UCD faculty this morning providing further details of the Senate’s position on this issue.

There are also other related bills being considered in the Senate or the Assembly, some of them arguably less bad than SB 520, but all of them giving cause for our concern. Some other bills include:

* Assembly Bill 386 – Allows any student within the CSU System to take an online course on any other CSU campus, with some restrictions.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_386&sess=CUR

* Assembly Bill 387 Among other things, mandates 10% of new CSU courses be online offerings.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_387&sess=CUR

* Assembly Bill 1306 – Establishes a New University of California as the fourth higher education segment. The New University will provide no instruction, but shall issue college credit, baccalaureate and associate degrees to any person capable of passing examinations.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_1306&sess=CUR

* Senate Bill 520 – Directs the three higher education segments to identify the 50 most “bottlenecked” courses, creates a statewide pool of these classes, after a standardized review. Approval process allows private vendors to offer these classes for credit.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_520&sess=CUR

* Senate Bill 547. Similar to SB 520 but works much more within the current structures. It assigns course development and approval to the Academic Senates of UC, CSU and CCC, working jointly. In contrast, SB 520 assigned it to a 9-member panel which does not yet exist, whose original purpose was to help create free online textbooks.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_547&sess=CUR

Meanwhile, Bob Meister, Chair of CUCFA, has drafted an op-ed that will hopefully see print soon. Also, the UCSB Faculty Association has developed a set of bullet points, available here. This is obviously a complex issue and some of us following it closely continue to disagree (including about some of the points made in the UCSB document).

We’ll continue to monitor this legislation as it evolves, and would be happy to hear from any DFA members about their opinions on this legislation.

Best wishes,

Scott C. Shershow
Professor of English
Chair, Davis Faculty Association

This entry was posted on Monday, March 25th, 2013 at 8:12 am and is filed under Faculty Governance, Financing Higher Ed, Online Education, Privatization, State Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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