Harvard Opts Out of Distance Learning Talks

Yale, Princeton, Stanford consider joint alliance

Harvard will not participate in a series of high-level discussions between Yale, Princeton and Stanford universities to create a distance learning colloquium directed at alumni, administrative sources at two schools confirmed last night.

One administrative source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the alliance would allow Princeton, Yale and Stanford graduates access to resources at each university.

"Yale alumni would be able to take courses from Princeton," the source said. "Not for credit. None of the courses would be for credit. It's unclear if they would even be courses."


"It could be something like a discussion group on a topic...I don't think it would necessarily be a semester-long course," the source said. "Topics were not discussed--it was more of a general structure."

Harvard has chosen, for the moment, not to take part in talks about the alliance.

"The matter is, I believe, still confidential, but I can tell you that while the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has decided not to join the alliance formally at this time, informal discussion about possible future participation will, I'm sure, continue," Dean Jeremy R. Knowles wrote in an e-mail message.

Knowles declined to comment further. Both he and Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 would not provide details about why Harvard declined to participate in the discussions.

But Lewis said the University needs to consider the implications of offering distance learning programs.

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