write out of concern stemming from an article published in Mother
Jones, Jan.-Feb., 2000 issue, "Digital Diplomas,"
pp. 34 ff, in which the University of Chicago is mentioned
as having signed an agreement with UNext.com (founded by Michael
Milken). UNext would offer U of C royalties to market online courses.
Evidently, the trustees approved this agreement, but according
to this article, the Chronicle of Higher Education has
reported that University of Chicago trustee Andrew Rosenfield
is also head of UNext! Also Daniel Fischel, dean of the Law School,
and two Nobel Prize winners in economics have investments in the
it would seem that this issue of marketing the U of Chicago name
to set up online courses is especially in question given the web
of investment between U of C faculty and officials. In fact, as
the Mother Jones article discusses, it is not clear that
commercial, online courses are really desirable at all, or that
only certain aspects of courses should be set up in electronic
form. I submit that this topic of whether and how the U of Chicago
would establish online courses is worthy of investigation by the
University of Chicago Magazine.
H. Martinson , PhD'68
topic is one on which the Magazine has reported, including coverage
of UNext's trustee and faculty connections (see "Chicago
Journal," June-August/99, online at www2.uchicago.edu/
alumni/alumni.mag/9906/html/journal.html)-and one on
which it will continue to report. -Ed.