UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
To: Academic Department Chairs and Deans
In recent years, a number of department chairs have questioned whether the XL courses offered by University Extension in the summer quarter unfairly compete with Summer Sessions. Specifically, the lower price of XL relative to Summer Sessions courses might lead some students to enroll in Extension; if so, this would reduce Summer Sessions revenue and therefore also reduce the funds flowing to academic departments under revenue sharing.
To prevent the possible loss of revenue, some department chairs have withheld academic approval for proposed Extension XL courses or the instructors who would teach them for the summer quarter. This approach, which is intended to protect our academic departments, hinders the ability of University Extension to achieve its broad mission and also restricts students’ options.
I have recently discussed this issue with Deans Joe Rudnick, Wayne Smutz, and Pat Turner. Although only about 10% of Extension’s summer students are UCLA undergraduates, we have worked out the following solution to the issue of competition:
—Extension will increase its course fees for all summer quarter XL courses that are taken for credit to equal the fees that students would pay if taking a Summer Sessions course. For the 2015 summer quarter, that amount includes fees of $271 per unit, plus an allocation to represent the registration and IEI fees.
—Extension XL courses if taken not-for-credit could be taken at the normal Extension course pricing.
—Extension will share revenue with academic departments through the deans for all matriculated undergraduate students who enroll for credit in Extension XL courses during the summer.
—The amount of revenue shared will be the difference between the course fees of the higher for credit sections and the amount charged for the course if a student had taken the course not-for-credit.
UCLA is a public university and Extension is an important component of our public service mission. Its baccalaureate-level instruction during the summer allows UCLA students and students of other higher education institutions in California to make progress toward their degrees while taking on full-time daytime jobs. These courses are also of general interest to non-traditional students including fully employed adults. And, as you probably know, Extension cannot offer these courses or hire instructors independently. It requires academic department approval, which should be determined fairly and solely on the merits of the course proposals and the qualifications of the instructors proposed to teach.
We hope this solution moves us forward. Both Wayne and I appreciate the support you provide Extension in its teaching and public service mission. We will revisit this pricing strategy after summer, 2015 and make adjustments if there are undesirable and unintended consequences. In the meantime, I am asking Extension’s program directors to provide chairs with notice of their program plans for this coming summer by mid-February, and to ask that collegial dialogue ensue if there are any academic concerns you might wish to bring to their attention so that shortcomings can be addressed.
Thank you for your close attention to this important issue. Please join me in thanking Wayne and his team at Extension for their collegiality, responsiveness, and flexibility.
Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost