BOARD VOTE PAVES WAY FOR “NYU ON-LINE, INC.” New York University President L. Jay Oliva today announced that the University would establish a for-profit educational subsidiary to produce educational “courseware” and related services, the first major American university to do so. The action, approved by the Board of Trustees on October 5, will create “NYU On-line, Inc.,” a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of the University. The new entity is expected to file incorporation papers this week.
The new corporation’s initial educational products will be for non-credit instruction and will be marketed to the 1,800 “corporate universities,” to other corporate training programs, and to individuals interested in professional certification or in satisfying state-mandated continuing professional education. The courseware will be transmitted to clients via the Internet.
The first courses which are expected to be available in early-1999 will be in such areas as real estate, finance and development, and information systems management. Later courseware may include specialized courses designed to augment currently limited offerings by small colleges and universities.
The creation of “NYU On-line, Inc.” will not have an impact on NYU’s existing programs, courses or degrees.
The initiator of the project and expected CEO of the new corporation is Gerald Heeger, Ph.D., dean of NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The School of Continuing and Professional Studies, established in 1934, is the largest enterprise of its type among private universities in the U.S.; it serves some 60,000 students per year in undergraduate, graduate and non-credit courses.
Dean Heeger said, “NYU has historically been a university which breaks new ground and encourages innovation. The creation of this for-profit corporation is new territory, to be sure.
“But more innovation is needed. Post-secondary education is changing. American colleges and universities are and have been the envy of the world. But if universities are to continue to play their crucial and historic role as the pre-eminent educational institutions, rather than ceding it to an increasing number of commercial providers, they will have to experiment with new structures.
“Creating computer and web-based educational and instructional products a fast-growing field is a very expensive undertaking. While at this point we do not have plans for outside investment in the new company, its existence could give us access to investors that are just not available to us as a not-for-profit.”
Following incorporation, the new entity will select a CEO (expected to be Dean Heeger) and a Chief Operating Officer (expected to be NYU Vice President David Finney). “NYU On-line, Inc.” will then recruit a director of marketing/sales and shortly after begin contracting for the developers of the on-line courseware. In addition to creating the content and marketing the courses, it is expected that the new company will provide the infrastructure for interactive learning, maintaining staff to assist clients in integrating coursework into corporate training programs.
New York University, which is located in New York’s historic Greenwich Village, was established in 1831. It is one of the largest private universities in the United States, with some 17,000 undergraduates and some 18,500 graduate and professional students. Through its 13 schools and colleges, it conducts research and provides education in the arts and science, law, medicine, dentistry, education, nursing, business, public administration and service, social work, continuing studies, and the dramatic, cinematic and performing arts.