dcsimg
You are here:

Morgan State University Fights Online Ph.D. at Rival School

There is a predicament afoot in the state of Maryland at the moment. University of Maryland, University College (UMUC), has a new degree program in the works, and neighboring Morgan State University is none too pleased about the matter. Now, according to the Baltimore Sun, the problem is being taken to the courts and raising some perplexing questions about how to safely maintain the delicate standing between online programs and their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

The program in question is a doctoral-level education administration degree, specifically for aspiring community college administrators. The catch? Morgan State University offers a nearly identical degree which, though held in traditional classrooms, meets on weekends and is geared toward working adult students in much the same way as UMUC's proposed program. Thusly, Morgan State officials worry that UMUC's new program could be used to lure students away, a tactic that violates a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court precedent, in which the court ruled that "barring 'sound educational justification,' duplication of specialized and graduate academic programs at historically black and white colleges violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment."

While the precedent carries substantial weight, this particular battle is complicated by the fact that UMUC's program operates primarily online, making it available to students far outside of Maryland's borders. "If Morgan wins this fight," reads the article, "a state university could offer a doctorate to students from 49 states but not to students from Maryland." It's a conundrum to be sure, and one that has many officials scratching their heads at how to handle the situation.

William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland (the web of state regents under which UMUC operates) is one of those perplexed officials. "It doesn't make sense," he told The Sun. "I'm not aware of another instance in which an online degree has been considered duplicative of a face-to-face program. I think there's an important principle at stake here." He also explained how UMUC's program was developed at the request of the American Association for Community Colleges to fill a need for administrators to handle the recent community college boom -- adding that, if Morgan State's block is successful, "it puts at risk the ability of an institution to deliver programs in areas where online degrees are needed."

On the other side of the coin, things are not so cut and dry. Earl S. Richardson, president of Morgan State -- notedly also a public institution, though not governed by the University System of Maryland, has reportedly used the civil rights precedent to block "more than a dozen proposed programs at area colleges in his 25 years at the university," a precedent in itself that may cause the University System to bristle. However, according to Richardson, the tactics have not been employed to obstruct other schools' plans, but out of principle in an area that tends to remain scarred by segregation despite the school's best efforts. Says Aderson B. Francois, a professor at the Howard University School of Law who is helping Morgan State with their case: "Until and unless you stop duplicating programs, you will continue to have a racially segregated program of higher education in Maryland."

The decision on whether to accept or deny Morgan State's plea will go through at the end of September, when Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons Sr. will deliver his verdict at the next higher education commission meeting. While the issue is definitely complicated, a few officials note that it was inevitable, and representative of the changing face of education. "All of us need to adapt for a changing world in which where one lives is less important and traditional classroom programs will be supplemented by online programs," Regents board member David Nevins told the Sun. "It's probably good that this came up now, because we need to decide how we're going to deal with this as a state." And when the state decides, it may help to set yet another precedent for an entire country breaking new ground in the boundaries of online education.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

    Programs

    • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
    • Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online)
    • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • Colorado Technical University Online

    A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
    • More...
    Location:
    Colorado Springs: 4435 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs CO 80907
    Colorado Technical University Online Request Info »
  • Animal Behavior College

    Interested in a career as a professional dog trainer? Animal Behavior College is the place to start.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Assistant
    • Certified Dog Trainer Instructor Course
    • Grooming Instruction

    Location: Online

    Animal Behavior College Request Info »
  • Blue Cliff College - Online

    You’ve expressed interest in Blue Cliff College before, now we have online programs to better fit your busy lifestyle. Enroll now!

    Programs

    • Health Information/Medical Billing & Coding

    Location: Online

    Blue Cliff College - Online Request Info »
  • Penn Foster

    Advance your career with our affordable, self-paced, career-focused distance education programs.

    Programs

    • Home Health Aide
    • Security Guard
    • Veterinary Assistant
    • More...
    Location:
    Scranton: , Scranton PA 18515
    Penn Foster Request Info »
  • American InterContinental University Online

    You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

    At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

    Programs

    • Master's (M.Ed.) - Leadership of Educational Organizations
    • Bachelor of Accounting
    • Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Law Enforcement
    • More...
    Location:
    Schaumburg: 231 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg IL 60173
    American InterContinental University Online Request Info »
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Programs

    • DBA - Global Operations and Supply Chain Management (ACBSP-accredited)
    • EdS - Teacher Leader in Digital Transformation
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Stratford Career Institute

    Earn Your Diploma from Home!

    Programs

    • Drug & Alcohol Treatment Specialist
    • Funeral Service Education
    • French as a Second Language
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Stratford Career Institute Request Info »
  • Liberty University

    Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

    Programs

    • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
    • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
    • M.Div: Homiletics
    • More...
    Location:
    Lynchburg: 1971 University Blvd, , Lynchburg VA 24515
    Liberty University Request Info »
  • Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

    Programs

    • BS - Business Management
    • MS - Teaching and Learning
    • Graduate Specialization - Accounting
    • More...
    Location:
    Englewood: 7800 E Orchard Rd,, Englewood CO 80111
    Colorado State University-Global Campus Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.