Someone who prefers to remain anonymous sent me the following response from the faculty in Teacher Education to the administration about EMU’s newest online BFF Academic Partnerships:
The Teacher Education Department voted not to work with Academic Partners at its February faculty meeting. While we appreciated the time that you spent with us in March, faculty members have not changed their position. The reasons for this position are as follows:
1. Faculty members do not feel that there was an opportunity for input regarding the decision to work with Academic Partners. We received information regarding the selected programs and the services Academic Partners offers after the decision was made.
2. Faculty members have major concerns regarding the effect that marketing only certain programs will have on our other graduate programs and our resources. These graduate programs would be at a distinct disadvantage in attracting students, given the tuition discount that would be offered to the Academic Partners programs. Additionally, there are concerns about the allocation of future faculty lines if such an enrollment imbalance occurs.
3. Faculty members have concerns about the staffing of courses for the Academic Partners programs. At present we only have two faculty members who can teach in the selected Curriculum and Instruction Master’s. Should enrollment take off as promised, who would staff the rest of the courses? Will we eventually be put in a situation where we will have to hire Academic Partners faculty in order to staff a class or will we simply be given part-time lecturer lines as opposed to tenure-track positions?
4. Faculty members feel that working with Academic Partners could create unnecessary tension between EMU and the public school teachers in our community because of the company’s past history.
5. Finally, there are considerable concerns about the privatization of the marketing plan for our programs as well as concerns about an online model of education which may ultimately disadvantage the very populations which we serve.
We are very proud of our outstanding graduate programs and would be more than willing to work with you on a marketing plan that better suits our needs and mission.