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Continued: U is making progress, but ‘we will do more,’ Kaler pledges

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 14, 2013 - 11:40 AM

But the open online courses are not a “silver bullet,” he said, to reducing higher education’s overhead. He compared that mode of instruction to fast food.

“In the slow food model, the chefs — our faculty — still use all the digital technologies available,” he said, “but we retain the master teacher who, face to face, can inspire our students.”

Kaler, who earned his Ph.D. at the U in 1982, announced a $750,000 boost in funding for graduate students’ fellowships.

He also promised a review of the structure behind the university’s graduate programs. About three years ago, U leadership dissolved the Graduate School, which proved to be controversial. This review will “look at what is working and what needs to be adjusted,” said Henning Schroeder, dean of graduate education.

The university also will likely need to pare down its graduate offerings, Kaler said, a process he knows will be “painful.”

“But it’s also not wise to simply let the water grow in the boat until the whole boat sinks,” he said. “It’s a lot better to say, OK, here’s where we’re going to put our resources and make the hard decisions.”

 

Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168

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