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CONTACT: Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
Lisi’s cell number: (518) 944-9528

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 5, 2013

Statement by Dr. Frederick E. Kowal President of United University Professions Regarding MOOCs and SUNY


“We recognize that SUNY has done an excellent job with its online undergraduate and graduate courses, working together with many UUP members to bring this service to students across the state. But we are very concerned about SUNY’s plans to offer Massive Open Online Courses—for credit—through a new agreement with Coursera.

“UUP is concerned about the quality of credit-bearing MOOCs and the impact that offering them would have on teaching and learning within the SUNY system. Also, we are alarmed by SUNY’s goal to use MOOCS to add 100,000 students without increasing faculty.

“MOOCs are an experimental, unproven teaching method for undergraduate students. Studies have shown that fewer than 10 percent of students enrolled in MOOCs complete the course. UUP is concerned that the overuse of MOOCs will dilute the overall quality of a SUNY education.”

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.

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