Provost’s Faculty Advisory Committee on Online Learning

February 18, 2013

Provost’s Faculty Advisory Committee on Online Learning

I have formed a new Faculty Advisory Committee on Online Learning, which will play a key advisory role in helping to shape the University’s efforts in the areas of online, distance and digital learning.

We have been doing online learning in various parts of the University for several years, but this is the right moment for us to create a coordinated, strategic plan that takes advantage of the new technologies while keeping with Columbia’s academic strengths.

Our efforts, above all, are meant to supplement and enhance what we do in the classroom and to help us learn about this fast-changing area so we can identify ways to improve learning and teaching on campus.

In order to develop a strategic plan, members of the Committee will help shape University efforts by providing expertise and guidance on a broad range of topics, including:

• Credentialing and credits
• Assessment of learning outcomes
• Differentiation of CU's online activities
• Intellectual property
• Copyright and course ownership
• Faculty participation/compensation for online education
• Revenue from online efforts
• Role of partnerships in Columbia’s online efforts
• Harnessing the learning sciences to inform CU efforts
• Course production protocols

In addition to various online efforts across campus, Columbia is experimenting with new MOOC - massive open online courses – entities such as Coursera and edX. The MOOC experiments, along with other online initiatives, raise many issues that will benefit greatly from faculty guidance and governance.

The committee will work closely with the Senate Online Learning Task Force chaired by Sharyn O'Halloran, who, along with some of her Senate colleagues, will serve on the committee.

David Madigan, Chair of the Statistics Department, chairs the Committee, working closely with our new Chief Digital Officer. Inquiries about the committee should be directed to David Madigan (

I am very grateful for the service of the committee members, who are listed below.


John H. Coatsworth, Provost

Members of the Committee (in formation):

David Madigan, Statistics, Committee Chair

Melissa Begg, Public Health
Kristine Billmeyer, School of Continuing Education
Adam Cannon, SEAS
Michael John Collins, Arts & Sciences
Matt Connelly, Arts & Sciences
Don Davis, Arts & Sciences
Pierre Force, Arts & Sciences
Pat Grieve, Arts & Sciences
Eitan Grinspun, SEAS
George M. Hripcsak, SEAS
Garud Iyengar, SEAS
Gita Johar, Business School
Soulaymane Kachani, SEAS
Avery Katz, Law School
Shantanu Lal, College of Dental Medicine
Ellen Meier, Teachers College
Janet A. Metcalfe, Arts & Sciences
Sharyn O'Halloran, SIPA
Cathy Popkin, Arts & Sciences
Vincent Racaniello, Arts & Sciences
Shawn E. Simpson, Arts & Sciences
Mark C. Taylor, Arts & Sciences
Assaf Zeevi, Business School

Beryl Abrams, General Counsel's Office
Candace C. Fleming, Arts & Sciences
Maurice Matiz, CCNMTL