Monday, February 25, 2013

Little Hoover Hearing on Higher Ed

I will be testifying on Tuesday, February 26 at the Little Hoover Commission’s public hearing on issues facing California’s higher education system. The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on the campus of Long Beach City College, 4901 East Carson Street, Building T, Room 1100, Long Beach, California. According to the hearing agenda, “the Commission is interested in exploring how institutions such as the University of California and California State University can control costs and increase college affordability; the role faculty can play in increasing time-to- degree completion while maintaining quality and high standards; and the development of online education and the impact that massive open online courses, or MOOCs, might have on costs and degree attainment.”

I have been asked to testify on the following issues: “The principal drivers of increased costs at the university, including sponsored research, graduate and professional education, the increase in the number of administrators, and athletics and campus amenities; The impact, if any, on faculty and potential faculty hiring from UC’s intended promotion of UC Online Education; Whether online educational initiatives such as UC Online can help increase student access to classes, cut the time to degree and ultimately increase the number of graduates; Online education’s overall ability to contain costs and increase affordability for students attending a UC campus; How online education should be incorporated into UC; Other issues concerning the current support for increasing the use of online learning in higher education.”

Here is the schedule for the hearing:

9:00 – 10:-00 a.m. Panel One: Student Aid and Postsecondary Financing
David Longanecker, President, Western Commission for Higher Education

10:00 – 11:-00 a.m. Panel Two: Going Online: MOOCs and Beyond
Daphne Koller, Co-founder, Coursera and Professor, Stanford University Sebastian

Thrun, Co-founder, Udacity and Former Professor, Stanford University

Dean Florez, President and Chief Executive Officer, Twenty Million Minds Foundation

11:00 – 12:-00 p.m. Panel Three: Going Online: UC and CSU
Keith R. Williams, Interim Director, UC Online Education and Senior Lecturer, University of California, Davis

Ruth Claire Black, Executive Director, Cal State Online

Robert Samuels, President, University Council-American Federation of Teachers
and Lecturer, University of California, Los Angeles

12:00 – 1:-00 p.m. Panel Four: The Role of the Faculty
Robert Powell, Chair, University of California Academic Senate and Professor, University of California, Davis

Diana Guerin, Chair, California State University Academic Senate and Professor, California State University, Fullerton.

The hearing is open to the public.

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  2. Hi Bob, I am not convinced that sponsored research drives up costs. I suspect that the overhead and wages generated by sponsored research actually generate income. That is why UC wants to de-prioritize undergraduate education and emphasizes bringing in researchers with lucrative grants.

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    1. This is from UC's own study of research funding: “UC wins about $3.5 billion per year in research grants, of which $780 million is for indirect costs. It's not nearly enough, Croughan reported. Research support actually costs $1.5 billion per year, or $720 million more than UC recovers.” http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/UC-Millions-lost-in-research-costs-from-grants-3185121.php#ixzz2HzirlztC

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