The University of Texas System announced on April 8 that it would shutter its pioneering UT TeleCampus, laying off 23 employees and reconfiguring the online education entity into a smaller operation within the system’s central office.
“Over the last 12 years, the TeleCampus has been successful in helping the campuses develop and administer online courses,” said Anthony de Bruyn, director of public affairs for the Texas system. “As a result, their mission is complete.”
The idea that online education at the University of Texas (or at least some of its campuses) has developed to the point that a centralized driver like the UT TeleCampus is no longer necessary is certainly feasible, said Richard Garrett, who analyzes online learning for Eduventures, a research and consulting firm.
In many ways, such a change — which Garrett characterized as the first of its kind — would be evidence of maturation, and a logical evolution, he said. “It’s reasonable to begin to expect structural changes like this, where the more successful that online becomes, the less it makes sense to have separate structures to support it,” said Garrett.
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