At its May 21 meeting in Chicago, the UI Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution to restructure Global Campus, the university’s online degree program.
Called “Global Campus 2.0,” the restructured program would make the university’s three campuses responsible for designing and implementing online degree programs, said UI President B. Joseph White.
The resolution will allow campus leaders to move forward in planning for the restructured Global Campus.
Under the current structure, approved by trustees in March 2007, Global Campus is a universitywide academic unit that works in partnership with academic units to develop and teach online courses.
The new structure would give ownership and responsibility for all online programs to individual campuses and academic units while Global Campus itself serves as a service and support organization.
Global Campus currently has 425 students enrolled.
“We have not yet created the online baccalaureate completion option on a significant scale,” White said. “The academic units of the university have not come forth with the online baccalaureate completion programs needed for Global Campus to achieve the mission for which it was created.”
At its past two meetings, the board had considered seeking independent accreditation as an alternative for Global Campus, but faculty senates in Urbana and Springfield strongly opposed the plan, White said. UIC’s faculty senate endorsed the plan in November.
A task force created by White comprising faculty members and administrators from each campus recommended the Global Campus 2.0 system.
Currently, Global Campus sets target enrollments and profit goals before designing programs that can meet these goals. But the new structure would design sustainable and in-demand programs, then allocate resources to help them grow, the task force report says.
The board asked chancellors from all three campuses to make presentations during its July 23 meeting in Chicago. Chancellors were directed to discuss what their campus plans would be for designing, implementing and funding online baccalaureate completion programs.
“Global Campus 2.0 is a concept, not a plan,” White said. “I think that plan has to be created by the campuses, led by the chancellors and the provosts. Part of that plan has to be accountability.”
Trustee Lawrence Eppley said he wanted to make sure the restructured program would fulfill the mission of Global Campus.
“Global Campus 2.0 will put more pressure on the chancellors and their institutions to create programs,” he said. “It will take time, resources and commitment.”
The target date for implementing the new Global Campus structure is Jan. 1, 2010. Students currently in the program would not be affected, White said.
“The board has supported the Global Campus initiative from the outset because of its mission: to increase access to quality, affordable higher education for qualified people, who want, need and deserve a UI education but do not have the ability to earn it the traditional way,” White said.
“The current programs with their students will all continue without interruption and with full support. We are committed to these programs and to those students.”
- Trustees approved a preliminary $4.5 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2010, which begins July 1. The preliminary budget calls for state support to increase by $7.8 million – about 1 percent – to $754.9 million. Final approval of the budget is expected at the board’s September meeting in Urbana.
- The board welcomed new trustee Edward McMillan, who was appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn in March to replace Robert Sperling, whose term expired Jan. 18.
- McMillan, a 1969 graduate of the Urbana-Champaign campus, has served on the UI Alumni Association board, the UI Foundation board and is chairman of the board of managers of the UI Research Park. His term will continue through 2015.
- Trustees approved a resolution in support of restoring Mumford House, designed in 1870 as a model farmhouse. Mumford House, located a block east of the corner of Sixth Street and Taft Drive in Urbana, is the oldest building on campus. The board directed Urbana administrators to design a restoration plan by Oct. 1 and send it to trustees for review.
- Lawrence DeBrock was appointed dean of the College of Business, effective May 22. He will continue to hold the rank of professor of business administration and of economics. DeBrock replaces former acting dean Greg Oldham and former dean Avijit Ghosh. Ghosh is now the university’s vice president for technology and economic development.
- Trustees amended head basketball coach Bruce Weber’s contract to extend it by three years – through April 30, 2015 – and increase his salary to $1.5 million, effective Jan. 15, 2010.