San Jose State U. Adopts New Policy for Online and ‘Hybrid’ Courses

San Jose State University, whose high-profile experiments with online teaching last year drew scrutiny, has adopted a new policy on how “technology-intensive, hybrid, and online courses” may be created and run on its campus. The policy follows concerns that university administrators—and particularly the president, Mohammad H. Qayoumi—have ignored the principles of shared governance.

“The university will not agree in a contract with any private or public entity to deliver technology-intensive, hybrid, or online courses or programs without the prior approval of the relevant department,” using the “same department procedure” that is currently used to review changes in traditional courses, says the new policy, according to a copy provided to The Chronicle.

A previous draft of the policy had stipulated that partnerships with outside entities be approved “through majority vote of the tenured/tenure-track faculty” in the relevant department. That language does not appear in the final policy.

The policy, which was approved by the university’s Academic Senate in December, was recently signed by the president, according to Stacy Gleixner, a professor of biomedical, chemical, and materials engineering who leads the university’s Curriculum and Research Policy Committee. The full text of the policy will appear on the senate’s website shortly, she said.

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