Yesterday’s New York Times (and a number of other news sources) had an article about proposed legislation from Senator Steinberg that would require California’s public higher education systems to accept transfer credits from select online course providers for 50 of the state’s most impacted courses (some of these courses would be Community College or CSU courses but some could be UC courses, they have not been selected yet). “If it passes, as seems likely, it would be the first time that state legislators have instructed public universities to grant credit for courses that were not their own — including those taught by a private vendor, not by a college or university.”
The BFA immediately responded to this news by sending a Request for Information letter to the Academic Senate, and promptly received a response stating that “This proposal was a complete surprise to the Academic Senate — there was no prior notification, consultation, discussion, etc. of any sort.”
The New York Times article is available online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/education/california-bill-would-force-colleges-to-honor-online-classes.html?_r=0
Lillian Taiz, the president of the California Faculty Association (the union representing CSU faculty), is quoted in the article as saying:
“What’s really going on is that after the budget cuts have sucked public higher education dry of resources,” she continued, “the Legislature’s saying we should give away the job of educating our students.”
The language of the proposed bill is not available from the Legislative Counsel’s website yet, but HERE is a PDF of the proposed language and HERE is a PDF press release from Senator Steinberg’s office.
Also see: “Will the Academic Senate Defend Faculty Authority or not?” by Michael Meranze in response to the proposed legislation. Michael Meranze points out that Steinberg’s SB 520 re: online education will violate Regents Standing order 105.2