Divergent Views (and that’s all we know)

Apparently, a meeting on the legislative proposal to create some kind of commission for approving online courses at UC, CSU, and the community colleges took place Tuesday.  Exactly what transpired at that meeting, however, is unclear.  The only comment so far has come from the legislative side.  Excerpt from the Contra Costa Times:
…(State Senate President Darrell) Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said the first-of-its-kind legislation is aimed at relieving classroom bottlenecks that are making it more difficult to graduate. Faculty leaders counter that course access is not an acute issue within the UC system, which has some of the highest graduation rates among public universities. In addition, UC already has more than 100 online courses and is developing many more, they said. The UC Academic Senate is responsible for overseeing curriculum and course development and has no plans to give that up, said (Academic Senate Chair Robert) Powell, a chemical engineering professor at UC Davis. “These students are expecting a certain level of rigor when they come to UC, and that’s what we want to make sure they get,” he said.

Steinberg’s press secretary, Rhys Williams, said the legislation is written to give faculty control over the course-approval process and ensure high academic standards. During a Tuesday meeting with Powell, Steinberg emphasized that “faculty must be central to any policy discussion on post-secondary education and that the primary goal is to help students and their families,” Williams said.

Actually, we did pick up a bit of audio from the meeting:

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