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Go online or get sidelined

Jayson W. Richardson (Department of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA)
Sara Heintzelman (Department of Educational Leadership Studies, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)

Publication date: 3 July 2017



Young professors Baxter, Jim, and Robert are eager to start a new graduate certificate in educational leadership with a focus on technology. The department supports their initiative. The department is even supportive of offering this certificate fully online. Support waned when, in an effort to boost student enrollment, it is suggested that additional graduate courses and programs within the department also move fully online. In department meetings, faculty members argue about the rigor of online courses and if it is possible to convert existing courses and programs to an online delivery format. Tammy and Larry are veteran faculty members who do not want to teach online and have made it clear to the rest of the faculty they are not eager to change. When there are not enough students to offer their programs in the traditional format, all faculty members are forced to begin teach online.

Research methodology

This is a disguised field-researched case.

Relevant courses and levels

This case may be used in a variety of graduate business or education courses, such as introduction to business, business ethics, educational leadership, technology leadership, or higher education.

Theoretical bases

Students should have some understanding of systems change, ethical decision making, and human resources development.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The authors may have disguised names; financial, and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Richardson, J.W. and Heintzelman, S. (2017), "Go online or get sidelined", , Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 479-493.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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