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Feb 16, 2017 07:49 AM EST

EMU Faculty Union Files Grievance Against School Over Online Degree Program

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The faculty union at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) has decided to file a grievance case against the school administration. The lawsuit is caused by a controversial online degree program.

Faculty union leaders said that several faculty members are outraged, Michigan Radio reported. Apparently, Eastern Michigan University did not consult them before they entered to a contract with an outside group named Academic Partnerships.

The group will be enrolling students in about 14 online degree programs. The faculty fears that the online degrees will take students away from traditional campus degree programs. Moreover, the union noted that the school's failure to consult its faculty is a violation of the terms of its contract.

The faculty union's grievance case seeks a moratorium on the implementation of the online degree program. The program is set to start this summer, offering four degrees through the School of Nursing.

Geoff Larcom, executive director of media relations at EMU, said that he cannot discuss the details of the grievance. However, he admitted that the administration is expectant that the new contract will increase overall enrollment as well as bring more opportunities for its faculty.

In Michigan Radio's report last month, the school entered to the contract with Academic Partnerships on Sep. 1, 2016. However, it wasn't only until Dec. 21, 2016 that EMU confirmed the collaboration.

It was also the first time that the faculty first learned about the contract. This caused uproar among the faculty members at the institution.

In Eastern Michigan University's official website, the school stated that its online programs are "tailored to meet the needs of working professionals by offering the flexible convenience of an online education." It is also revealed on the page that online students will only need to pay in-state tuition and fees, regardless of residence.

EMU is already offering several courses in various fields. It includes Dietetics, Educational Media and Technology, Educational Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Human Nutrition, Human Resource Management, Nursing, Online Teaching, Quality Management and Social Foundations of Education, among others.

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