To: the EMU Board of Regents and President Smith

Eastern Michigan University Leadership: Send the AP deal to EMU faculty for a thorough review

We, the undersigned, demand that EMU’s secretive contract with Academic Partnerships be put on hold and sent to EMU faculty for a thorough review.

Why is this important?

Join EMU faculty and lecturers to tell our Board of Regents: Hit the pause button on a secretive, multimillion dollar deal with an out-of-state firm called Academic Partnerships.

Faculty and the EMU community should conduct an open, public review of this agreement to sell EMU branded degrees entirely online, with no in-person instruction.

All EMU programs, online or in-person, must be consistent with our mission to provide a diverse student body with a high-quality, affordable education.

From what we know so far – which isn’t much, because EMU isn’t saying much about this new program – we’re concerned that the online degrees offered by Academic Partnerships will not meet EMU’s standards.
Students in these degree programs may never interact with EMU professors. In fact, there may not actually be professors for these courses. The actual work of teaching – online discussion, tutoring, grading – will likely be done by online “coaches.” The “coaches” who will teach EMU students don’t work for EMU. They won’t even work for Academic Partnerships. They will be hired by another out-of-state firm called Instructional Connections – which pays them extremely low wages.

EMU and Academic Partnerships are already marketing and
delivering a completely online Nursing degree. More programs,
including entirely online Bachelor’s degrees, are set to launch in

For these online degrees, Academic Partnerships will walk away with
50% of EMU tuition and fees.

It’s time to hit the pause button and send this secretive deal back to
the EMU faculty for a thorough review. Online instruction has a place
in higher education. But it should never totally replace the world-class
teaching and scholarship that takes place on our campus.