UA's Online-Only University's First Employees Start Work

Jun 11, 2014

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The University of Arkansas System is pushing forward with plans to create an online-only university with three employees beginning work this week.

Their salaries come out of a $2 million General Improvement Funds dispersal from Governor Mike Beebe. The System’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Moore said they’re seeking to raise an additional $7 to $9 million from private sources and grants for start-up costs. But he  said there is no intent to seek additional funding under the state formula.

“The model is that we will live off our tuition. We’re going to price our courses in a way that’s cost effective and we will grow as much as we are allowed to do so by the tuition that we’re going to collect,” said Moore.

Plans for eVersity were approved in March. Moore said curriculum is still  being planned and is expected to be presented in the fall. He said courses will reflect an emphasis on degrees geared towards job-market demands.

“We’re going to build into the courses the needs and requirement that industry and the workforce needs,” said Moore.

One of the three hires, Tammy Harrison, was recently the Director of UALR Financial Aid. But Moore said he did not think eVersity would pose a problem for taking away faculty and staff from existing campuses. The other two candidates previously worked in Texas.

Classes are expected to begin fall 2015.

Below are the employees hired:

Harriet Watkins, Director of Online Learning

Linda Wilson, Director of the Student Experience

Tammy Harrison, Director of Student On-Boarding and Records

This article was corrected to reflect one of the three hires came from within the UA System.