Phoenix rising

Mark Ambinder at the Politics blog at the Atlantic

President Obama plans to name Howard A. Schmidt, a veteran cyber security warrior with experience at senior levels of government and industry, to fill a long-anticipated cyber coordinator position at the National Security Council, administration officials and outside consultants confirmed.

As far as one can see Mr. Schmidt is well qualified for this position, having served both in industry and in the government in the past. However, one fact about his background caught my attention and prompted this note. In describing his qualifications Ambinder wrote

Schmidt has credentials unique to the job: he received his masters in organizational management from the University of Phoenix, a (fully accredited and esteem) mostly online university.

Apart from the typo on esteem, what struck me was this positive mention of the University of Phoenix, something I often do not see or hear. Over where I live and breathe, the good old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar university, the University of Phoenix is not regarded as having much esteem. I have argued here and elsewhere that this will soon change. That most of us at the “traditional” university have underestimated just how powerful the forces of change are. Online learning (and for profit universities) are here to stay and maybe even take over universities as we know them.

Reading about Mr. Schmidt’s credentials just reminded me just how quickly this change is happening.

1 Comment

  1. I agree Punya… what a degree “is” is quickly changing, must change. The higher ed bureaucracy hasn’t shown, in my opinion, the ability to adapt quickly enough in this rapidly changing environment/economy (if it had, Phoenix would have died out by now) — which is sad because the Academy used to be a prominent agent of change, I think.

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