In 2009, the University of California finally decided to offer online education with a system-wide initiative called UC Online. Based on an article in the Chronicle that echoes a previous article in the Daily Californian, we learn that just three years later, UC Online is facing significant hurdles to survive the pilot phase and establish a sustainable online option. After raising just 1/8 of the promised private funding that would have avoided significant internal UC investment, UC Online has already borrowed $6.9 million from the system and is facing expenses of $7 million budget over the next year. Despite plans for 20 courses as of January 2012 for current UC students, UC Online has just eight courses available this fall (although only three are listed today). As the pilot expands in January 2013, there are serious questions about the feasibility of enrolling the thousands of non-UC students needed to avoid additional budget shortfalls.

Given the supposed tsunami of online education that many claim to be revolutionizing higher education, how could such a high-profile initiative from an elite system face such problems?


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