By Steve Kolowich
Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president of San Jose State University, has spent much of the year turning his campus into a testing ground for new online-teaching tools. But apparently he’s also been testing the patience of faculty members, who say the idea of shared governance has been all but forgotten as he has sought technology that might eventually help the university teach more students for less money.
Now the faculty is striking back. The Academic Senate is expected to vote on Monday on a proposed policy that would forbid the university to sign contracts with outside technology providers without the approval of tenured and tenure-track faculty members in whatever department would be affected.
In a more head-on reproach of Mr. Qayoumi’s administration, the senate is also expected to vote on a measure asking the chancellor of the California State University system to review governance at San Jose State.
“A series of conflicts over the last year has highlighted issues related to communication and transparency, has opened serious rifts in our shared sense of community, and has contributed to extremely low morale,” wrote the senate’s executive committee in a draft of the resolution provided to The Chronicle.
Clashes Over edX and Udacity
Mr. Qayoumi has cultivated close relationships with edX and Udacity, two major providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and it’s those relationships that have sparked conflicts with the faculty. EdX is a nonprofit undertaking backed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while Udacity is a for-profit enterprise founded by three Stanford University computer scientists.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/Angered-by-MOOC-Deals-San/143137/ ]