Carl Straumsheim of Inside Higher Ed reports here on the tension in University of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt’s aggressive move into online higher education and the heartburn that has caused for conventional UA campuses.
Chancellors have objected to borrowing from UA system campuses to get the eVersity off the ground. The article recounts that discussion at a recent UA Board of Trustees meeting and notes the particular peril in online expansion to UALR.
The Little Rock campus, for example, may be the most vulnerable to a successful eVersity. It enrolls the most adult learners out of the institutions in the system, and has in the last few years been forced to respond to shrinking enrollments with budget cuts. This year, as the enrollment of the flagship campus in Fayetteville grew by 2.3 percent, Little Rock saw another year of decline: 5.6 percent.
“To ask to borrow money from them for this endeavor — there’s no other way to say it than it just doesn’t seem right,” said [Trustee Jane] Rogers, adding that she preferred eVersity take out a loan.