Light & Verity


Committee suggests expanding online offerings

Yale College should offer online courses during the academic year, an ad hoc committee appointed by Dean Mary Miller ’81PhD recommended in a report released in December. The college has run online courses as part of the Yale Summer Session for the past two years (“No Mickey Mouse. No Back Row,” September/October); the committee found that “the online courses were worthy of Yale College credit and that students’ educational experiences were equivalent to those in their academic term-time classes.” The committee says the courses could be made available to non-Yale students, to undergraduates studying abroad, and on a limited basis to undergraduates on campus. The committee also recommended maintaining and expanding the availability of Open Yale Courses (complete Yale College lecture courses distributed on video, but not for credit) and “pursue affiliation” with one of the growing providers of platforms for “massive open online courses” (MOOCs). The faculty discussed the report at its December meeting, but no action was taken.

Professors’ group concerned about Yale-NUS 

In December, the American Association of University Professors released an open letter to the Yale community expressing its “growing concern” over “academic freedom and the maintenance of educational standards” at Yale-NUS College, the new liberal arts college that Yale and the National University of Singapore are establishing in Singapore (“Singapore Spinoff,” November/December 2010). “One needs to give serious consideration to whether academic freedom, and the personal freedoms that are a necessary prerequisite to its exercise, can in fact be sustained on a campus within what is a substantially authoritarian regime,” says the letter, which also calls for Yale and NUS to release all documents and agreements related to the venture. “The AAUP doesn’t seem to have looked at the documents Yale-NUS has circulated already, such as the principles on academic freedom and nondiscrimination,” Yale-NUS president Pericles Lewis told the Yale Daily News. “It has made assumptions without really investigating the matter.” 

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