Distance Education: The Centralization vs. Decentralization Debate — from Faculty Focus

The debate for “control” of distance education at institutions of higher learning continues. On one side, the administration side, there is a need for centralization of operations, to include course development, instructor training and development, scheduling, evaluation, and student and faculty issues. On the other side of the debate, faculty leaders (deans, department chairs, program coordinators) tend to favor decentralization.

In June 2010, the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunication (WCET) asked the membership how institutions were doing with this issue: centralization vs. de-centralization. Twenty-three administrators (provosts, VPs, associate VPs, directors, associate directors, COOs, deans, associate deans) and faculty members provided their valuable insights on the issue.