Boalt Hall Dean Suggests UC Develop New, 'Cyber' Campus

Photo: Christopher Edley
Christopher Edley

Related Articles »

  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

With the state in the midst of a budgetary crisis, it may not seem like the best time to start talking about creating an 11th UC campus. But that is exactly what Christopher Edley, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law, is doing.

In an opinion piece published Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times, Edley suggested that the UC system develop a "cyber campus" where students could attend online classes to receive degrees for a cost similar to that of community colleges.

"The UC XI cyber-campus could be a way to put high-quality higher education within reach of tens of thousands more students," he wrote.

In the piece, Edley said that the then $24 billion state budget deficit, which increased to $26.3 billion July 1, is threatening the excellence of public education.

He said an online campus is a way to provide students with an affordable education and build up the middle class.

UC spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said the topic of online education is something the university will discuss.

"We welcome new and innovative ideas and Edley's piece is something that will be discussed by the president and the regents," he said.

Rafael Granados, the executive director of UC College Prep-which offers online AP courses and courses required for UC eligibility to underserved high school students-said this time of unprecedented deficits requires new innovations.

"The economic condition is drastically closing the doors to students, so having a student body that represents the population of the state is going to be harder," Granados said. "I think the future is utilizing technology."

Edley wrote that he believes online education is vital to the future of California's public education system.

Karen Humphrey, executive director of the California Postsecondary Education Commission, said that online education is something that needs to be on the table when state and higher education officials review the California Master Plan for Higher Education later this summer.

Accessibility to a college education is diminishing while the need for college degrees is rising, she said.

"It's clear that in the future we will need to accommodate more students to a meet the percentage that will be needed to support the future economy," she said.

However, the quality of an online education depends on the model used, the professors and the motivation of the student, said Jennifer Selke, a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education.

"It's really hard to say (what the quality will be)," she said. "There are some great learning models and some bad ones. I think as in any type of education, it depends a lot on the type of learner and the person teaching."

Selke added that introducing teens to a solely online campus could create problems in the way they learn.

"I worry about that being your entire experience," she said. "If you're a young learner ... it's much easier to escape in an online world."

However, Granados said that

although Edley's suggestion is not an official proposal, online education is a burgeoning possibility for universities.

"The question becomes for the California university systems: can they be innovative, creative and even brave and take something like that on?" he said. "Hopefully the leaders will."


Contact Javier Panzar at [email protected]

Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
Higher Education
Image Student regent resigns after sex crime allegations
Jesse Cheng officially announced his resignation from his positio...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC spared additional cuts in budget revision
While the University of California escaped further funding reductions M...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC Board of Regents wary of unreliable state funds
SAN FRANCISCO - Following the release of Gov. Jerry Brown's revis...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC Student Regent Jesse Cheng announces his resign...
Former UC Student Regent Jesse Cheng announced in an open le...Read More»
Higher Education
Image Reform caucus sweeps executive positions in electi...
A little more than five months after a contentious contract rat...Read More»
Right Arrow

Job Postings

White Space