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Faculty union files grievance against EMU over online degrees

Ypsilanti's iconic (or infamous) water tower at entrance to EMU campus

The faculty union at Eastern Michigan University has filed a grievance against the university's administration over a controversial online degree program. 

Many faculty members are outraged, according to faculty union leaders, that they weren't consulted before the university contracted with an outside group called Academic Partnerships. 

The group will enroll students in up to 14 online degree programs. Faculty fear the online degrees will siphon students from traditional campus degree programs, and the union says the failure to consult faculty is a violation of its contract. 

The grievance seeks a moratorium on implementation of the program, which is scheduled to begin this summer with four degrees offered through the School of Nursing.

Geoff Larcom, executive director of media relations at EMU, says he can't discuss the grievance, but the administration believes the new contract will increase overall enrollment and enhance opportunities for faculty.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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