Online Education on the Table for UA Board of Trustees

by Lee Hogan  on Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014 10:46 am  

Donald Bobbitt (Photo by University of Arkansas System)

It's a push toward a new landscape in higher education that Bobbitt has championed for quite some time. He told a group of Little Rock Rotarians in 2012 that the traditional agrarian calendar, lecture system and tuition models are outdated.

"We're operating under the same university structure as Oxford and Cambridge did 1,000 years ago," he said. "We haven't changed much since then. Is that structure really appropriate today?"

Bobbitt also told the group he liked the idea of traditional universities offering more courses available online, but made it clear there was still something to be said about the on-campus experience and the impact it can have on a community.

Later in 2012 at the UA Distance Learning Symposium, Bobbitt called the Internet a "disruptive innovation" to the education system. He also said part of the disruption is from for-profit educational institutions that are "playing in our sandbox."

"The difference right now, and this is the advantage that we can't squander, is that the students aren't being as successful and it's not at a lower cost," he said. "And we can deal with both of those."

The Distance Education and Technology Committee of the board of trustees is set to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.