July 15, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 19

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    University one of four elite institutions to join UNext.com

    When UNext.com, a privately held Internet education company, launches its first online business course later this summer, the University will be one of four elite institutions participating in this new, educational venture.

    The University, along with Columbia University Business School, Stanford University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, has joined the academic alliance formed by UNext.com to initially offer an online business curriculum to corporate clients. UNext.com’s first corporate customer is IBM Global Services, whose employees will study finance beginning later this summer. Additional courses will be offered in the fall to other corporations and next year to individuals.

    Professors at Chicago who serve on the academic advisory board to UNext.com are Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, University Professor in Economics and Sociology; John Gould, the Steven G. Rothmeier Professor and Distinguished Service Professor in the Graduate School of Business and former GSB Dean; and Nobel laureate Merton Miller, the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School of Business.

    UNext.com will introduce the business curriculum through its new online educational “community” called Cardean. Coursework in the curriculum will be developed by faculty members from the participating academic institutions.

    Provost Geoffrey Stone explained the advantage of the University’s involvement. “The Internet provides an extraordinary opportunity to expand our educational outreach to a much larger constituency.

    “UNext.com is so interesting because it creates a consortium of world-class universities, enabling each of them to participate in a comprehensive, online educational program without having to take the financial risk of making such large investments.”

    UNext.com’s online course offerings will be delivered using Lotus LearningSpace, a distributed-learning platform supported by Lotus and IBM.

    Eventually, UNext.com will seek full accreditation for Cardean to offer an M.B.A. degree program online. UNext.com’s chairman and chief executive officer Andrew Rosenfield, a University Trustee, anticipates coursework and enrollment expansion as early as 2000.