Prior to 3/5/2008 the newsclips are available in a PDF archive.
News Clips 12/10/2012
EDITORIAL: Virtual State U
Source: The Gainesville Sun, 12/9/12
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In a column published on Friday, former Gov. Jeb Bush makes a case for the virtual university.
"Online education holds the promise for universities to not only shrink their deficits but also extend their programs to a vast number of students, all at significantly lower costs," he writes.
No argument here. The University of Florida is already offering online degree programs to nearly 7,000 students, and UF's ability to build upon that virtual education platform is almost limitless.
That is, of course, unless politics gets in the way.
There's no question that online education will be expanded in the coming years. The question is how will it happen? A report by the Parthenon Group to the Florida Board of Governors lays out several options, including allowing universities to continue to expand online, creating a stand-alone state virtual university or contracting with Western Governor's University, a private online university that is already operating in several states.
Frankly, with most Florida universities and colleges already going virtual to one extent or another, it's difficult to see the need of justification for either creating a stand-alone entity or opting for virtual privatization.
If the future of higher education is indeed online, as Bush argues, then UF and its sister institutions ought to be encouraged, to demonstrate entrepreneurship and pursue the goal of virtual education.
It isn't necessary to reinvent the wheel.
Neither is it a good idea to create Virtual State U when several already exist.