UC lecturers can block online classes

The University of California’s untenured lecturers are blocking online classes to protect their jobs, reports Inside Higher Ed.

University of California officials have suggested that the system will have to innovate out of the current financial crisis by expanding online programs. (State house analysts agree.) Instructors, meanwhile, are terrified that this is code for cutting their pay, or increasing their workloads, or outsourcing their jobs to interlopers, or replacing them with online teaching software.

Lecturers make up nearly half the undergraduate teaching corps. They fear — with good reason — that the classes they teach are the most likely to be moved online. Their union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, has negotiated a deal with UC that requires union approval for new online courses or programs that threaten lecturers’ jobs.  “We feel that we could stop almost any online program through this contract,” union president Bob Samuels told Inside Higher Ed.

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  1. Years before there was an internet, some magazine whose name I cannot recall published a cartoon by an artist whose name I cannot recall. The cartoon depicted a man behind the counter of an instrument repair shop, talking to a customer. The caption: “You want it back? Perhaps you should read the sign again”. The sign behind the counter read: “If we can’t fix it, nobody can.”

  2. Well, I’m taking the Stanford Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class for free over the web right now (including quizzes, homework and tests), along with more than 100,000 other students. We’re only a couple units in, but it seems to be working nicely.

    These people can try blocking whatever they want, but the future is going to arrive, with or without them.