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UM System awards $250,000 to faculty members for collaborative course-sharing efforts

Course development grants allow students to take classes from other UM campuses using distance or eLearning technologies

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri System announced funding for 34 inter-campus courses today, with 15 awards presented to faculty for a total of $250,000 for developing cooperative programs that share their expertise. The course-sharing objective is to increase options for students, provide opportunities for faculty development leaves and expand departmental offerings.

As outlined in its strategic plan, UM System administration has an obligation to identify and share best practices and bring the campuses together to collaborate in ways that result in effective and efficient resource use. Course sharing falls directly into this theme.

“Collaboration is crucial for organizations like our four campuses and health care system,” University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe said. “This course-sharing concept is just one of the many opportunities for collaboration among our faculty, staff and students. I will continue to support new ways for faculty to collaborate across our campuses for the benefit of our students.”

In the past, one of the major obstacles to sharing courses had been that when students from one UM campus took courses from another UM campus, the home campus lost tuition fees. This program alleviated that barrier by differentiating between the host and home campus. The initiative was designed to create an innovative method of course sharing in order to overcome the “fee barrier” and increase the effective use of collaborative resources.

“Course-sharing just made sense to implement across our four campuses given the depth of our faculty,” UM System Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Research and Economic Development Hank Foley said. “This not only gives our students more opportunities for learning but it allows our professors to engage in essential activities like research, creating new courses, and advising students.”

This initial effort involved more than 23 different academic departments or schools on all four UM campuses, including nursing, physics, English, history, sociology, engineering, education, biology, social work, accounting and philosophy. The selected courses will be designed with the campus instructional design units and will be offered as early as the 2014 fall semester.

Reviewed 2014-06-17