Unbundling faculty roles in online distance education programs

  • Jan Tucker Kaplan University
  • Patricia Neely Kaplan University
Keywords: Faculty roles, unbundling, higher education, online education, faculty costs


Many colleges and universities are expanding their current online offerings and creating new programs to address growing enrollment. Institutions often utilize online education as a method to serve more students while lowering instructional costs. While online education may be more cost effective in some situations, college decision makers need to consider the full range of cost implications associated with these online offerings. The unbundling of faculty roles in online distance education programs is one cost consideration that is often overlooked. As the faculty role has become more distributed, so have the costs associated with providing instruction and instructional support. This paper reviews the hidden costs associated with the unbundling of the faculty role and presents a framework for calculating the true costs of the unbundled faculty role.

Author Biographies

Jan Tucker, Kaplan University
Dr. Jan Tucker has a PhD in Business Management from Northcentral University, an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology and a BA degree from Auburn University. Dr. Tucker has over 20 years experience in higher education in the areas of instruction and curriculum development. In addition, she spent over 10 years as a Human Resources consultant for several Fortune 500 companies. Her research interests include the integration of technology in education and change management processes. Dr. Tucker is currently the Associate Dean of Business-College of Undergraduate studies at Argosy University and resides in Tampa, Florida with her family.
Patricia Neely, Kaplan University
Dr. Patricia Neely has an Ed.D from the University of Virginia, an MBA from Averett University and a BS degree from Radford University. Dr. Patricia Neely joined Kaplan University as an adjunct faculty member in the Master's of Management program in 2009. In March 2010, Dr. Neely accepted the position of Associate Dean for Higher Education. Dr. Neely has a rich background in higher education administration including curriculum design and development, program management and faculty supervision roles. Her work experience includes a number of leadership roles at Western Governors University, Old Dominion University and Bluefield College.
How to Cite
Tucker, J., & Neely, P. (2010). Unbundling faculty roles in online distance education programs. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 11(2), 20-32. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v11i2.798
Research Articles