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Departing UC President on the state of higher ed, future of online learning
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He ran the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas, and since 2008, he’s been the President of the University of California. Mark Yudof joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to reflect on his legacy, higher education, and the future of online learning as he completes his final months at the University of California.
On whether public universities have figured out a way to survive tight state budgets:
“I think they are feeling their way, but I don’t think they’ve figured it out yet. I think in the case of the University of California, in a few year, probably four, five, or six courses will be taken online on your way to an undergraduate degree. We’ll make more use of e-learning. It’s a progression. You know, what I like to say is we’re like a shoot of bamboo — we need to bend, but we don’t want to break. We’ve been around almost 150 years. I don’t want to give up the research, I don’t want to give up the access, I don’t want to give up the medical care, but we obviously have to change.”
On online learning versus traditional classroom learning:
“You don’t want a camera in the back of the classroom with a professor droning on in his traditional lecture. You know, you want Pixar or someone like that to really fix it up. As for the MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Learning), I think we’re at the ground level on this. I mean, if you give me $20 million and I can offer a course for free and I have no degrees, no certificates, no assessments, and most of the students drop out before we complete it, I don’t consider that a triumph for higher education. It’s good that it’s available and it’s open, but we have to have a business model that works for real people and is self-sustaining.”
On his legacy:
“During a very difficult time, I helped hold the place together. I think there was a danger given the furloughs and the pension crisis and other things that we could have had a mass exodus of faculty and lost a lot of ground. That didn’t happen. That, I hope is my contribution.”