Business and Economics

After the resignation of Unizin’s CEO (Amin Qazi) and COO (Robin Littleworth) that we reported last week, we can confirm that the key issue was a change in direction for the consortium driven by the board of directors. Our information is based on on-the-record interviews with Qazi and Littleworth and additional interviews with Unizin staff, member institution staff, and outside sources. We believe this change in direction led to the resignations and will likely also lead to a change in emphasis on various Unizin initiatives.

To recap what happened last week and add some details, there were two back-to-back board meetings for Unizin and Kuali held in Austin, TX. These meetings were not emergency meetings and were scheduled a long time ago, based on Unizin’s headquarters and Kuali’s users conference being held in that city. In an interview and follow-up discussion over the past few days, Amin Qazi described how he had not expected to resign going into the week. But in a meeting last Monday with the executive committee of Unizin, the board described a change in direction that they wanted to make, focusing on investments in initiatives with shorter-term visibility instead of those with a longer-term payoff such as the Open edX and Google partnerships. Qazi said that he was not the right person to lead the company in that direction, and after this meeting he resigned.

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