The Video That Led To UVa President’s Departure

Mark Perry
updated | Author's Website

The video above features a  talk by former Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of the new, low-cost (mostly free) online university Udacity, originally appeared on CD in January.  It was this video that was partly responsible for the downfall of President Theresa Sullivan at U-Va:

From today’s Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required):

“In the weeks leading up to the resignation of Teresa A. Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, the leaders of the board that forced her out of office traded a number of e-mails with attached articles about the forces transforming higher education, telling one another that the articles illustrated “why we can’t afford to wait.”
In many of the e-mails, which were obtained by The Cavalier Daily, the rector and vice rector of the Board of Visitors—Helen E. Dragas and Mark J. Kington, respectively—commented on articles about online education and the open-course ventures in which top research universities like Harvard, Stanford, and others, are engaged.
The exchanges included one about Udacity, the free education platform that grew out of a Stanford University professor’s course. In an e-mail on June 3, Jeffrey C. Walker, a member of the Board of Trustees for the foundation of the university’s McIntire School of Commerce, urged Ms. Dragas and Mr. Kington to check out a video of a talk by Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford computer-science professor who founded Udacity.
Mr. Walker said the Berklee College of Music was going to have its board, of which Mr. Walker is a member, watch the video ‘as a signal that the on-line learning world has now reached the top of the line universities and they need to have strategies or will be left behind.’”

MP: Professor Thurn is co-teaching the free, 7-week Udacity course “Introduction to Statistics,” which starts next Monday.  

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