Online-education oversight group announced

In a message to faculty and staff, campus leaders announced the appointment of an Executive Group to guide campus efforts to design and implement online-education offerings. The text of the April 27 Cal Message, signed by George Breslauer, John Wilton, Bob Jacobsen and Christina Maslach, reads as follows:

We believe online education will become increasingly important at all levels of the educational experience, including at the undergraduate and graduate level. If Berkeley is to retain its current standards in terms of access and excellence we think it is of paramount importance that we develop an overarching campus strategy that enables and supports online innovation. We believe our Schools and Departments play an essential leadership role in the design and implementation of online offerings. However, we also want to provide guidance and support and ensure that campus goals are met, specifically ensuring that our online education efforts align with Berkeley`s mission, values and operational requirements.

To this end, we are convening an Executive Group that is charged with overseeing our efforts and accelerating implementation. The responsibilities of the group will be to provide overall direction to campus, make decisions concerning strategic priorities and allocate additional resources to help realize these priorities. Because we anticipate that most of the innovation in this area will occur at the school/unit level we underscore that the purpose of the Executive Group is to provide campus-level guidance and coordination, and to enable innovation. The Executive Group will also be responsible for reaching out to and receiving input from Cabinet, the Academic Senate, Council of Deans and UCOE.

The Executive Group will be comprised of George Breslauer (EVCP), John Wilton (Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance), Bob Jacobsen (Chair of the Academic Senate), Christina Maslach (Vice Chair of the Academic Senate), Shankar Sastry (Dean of the College of Engineering), Rich Lyons (Dean of the Haas School of Business), AnnaLee Saxenian (Dean of the School of Information), and Cathy Koshland (Vice Provost, Teaching, Learning, Academic Planning and Facilities).

A Coordination Team, which is charged with interacting with the schools/unit to develop detailed implementation plans for specific projects, will report to the Executive Group. The role of the Coordination Team will be to develop a detailed strategic framework for the campus, oversee the development of shared resources, disseminate best practices, create an administrative infrastructure that provides consistent financial and legal expertise, and consult with relevant campus groups: COCI, Summer Sessions, the Budget Office, etc. The Coordination Team will be led by two senior campus leaders, one from the academic side and one from the administration side.

We are extremely pleased that Dean Diana Wu has accepted the administrative lead role of the Coordination Team. Dean Wu brings to this position a deep knowledge of the online environment.  Bob Jacobsen and Christina Maslach will be helping to identify a member of our Faculty to serve as the academic lead of the Coordination Team.

The Executive Group will be meeting for a half-day retreat in the coming weeks to begin work. We will be sending out an update to faculty and following this retreat, so stay tuned for further updates.


George Breslauer, John Wilton, Bob Jacobsen, Christina Maslach