University Cost-Savings Plan Would Require Online Classes
Updated: Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2004 - 6:31 AM
BALTIMORE (AP) - The state's public university students could be penalized financially for taking longer than four years to graduate and faculty would have to teach more courses under a cost-saving plan being recommended by top University System of Maryland officials.
The 16-point plan also calls for a review of the role of the University of Baltimore and three lesser-known institutions, which might lead to discussion of whether UB should be merged with another school.
The proposals could save $26.6 million next fiscal year. They are outlined in a report by a committee of the university system's Board of Regents, scheduled to be presented to the board Friday. A copy was obtained by The (Baltimore) Sun.
The recommendations include:
* Encouraging students to graduate faster by requiring them to take 12 credits through online courses, internships or other nontraditional classes and limiting most degree programs to 120 credits. If students take too many credits beyond 120 - in effect, if they take longer than four years to graduate - they will be subject to increased costs. One idea is to charge Maryland residents higher out-of-state tuition rates for credits above 132.
* Increasing faculty workload by 10 percent. Professors at most schools ought to teach at least seven or eight courses a year, the report says, but many now teach fewer than seven.
Using admission policies to steer more students to campuses that have unused facilities or room to grow such as Towson University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
* Reviewing four institutions to make sure they are not duplicating efforts and are using resources well. Besides the University of Baltimore, the report calls for examining two research institutes - the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the Center for Environmental Science - and the system's online school, the University of Maryland, University College.
The 11-campus system struggles with multiple problems. Its state funding has been flat over the past several years, and the regents have raised tuition by nearly 30 percent. At the same time, the schools are expecting 40,000 more students over the next decade and do not have enough space for all of them.
The proposals would need approval by the full board of regents, but Chancellor William E. Kirwan said he expects it.
"It's a challenging time," Kirwan said. "You have to play the hand you're dealt."
Man that's a sucky way to do things. If you don't graduate on time according to their yardstick they'll charge you a higher rate. I'm sure there'll be exceptions to double majors and triple majors but how about all the undecided students. Bah...I'm surprised anyone can afford to go to college, get a job AND afford to pay rent or the mortage post-college.
I do support online classes as an option though. Save the few million bucks to build that new hall/wing. Save on the commute. Some classes however need to be taught face to faces. Oh internet access should be an equal viable alternative to on-campus and off-campus students.