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Abstract

This paper explores why the virtual university movement may be entering a new phase of development. This phase is characterized by inter-university coalitions that share information and communication technology (ICT) platforms to develop and deliver web-based courses. This collaborative movement is the result of a number of forces driven primarily by the need to address escalating ICT costs and overcome resistance of faculty to distance education initiatives. Complementary resources such as national library databases; Internet-based course materials; low cost, broadband communications; Internet2; and state legislative initiatives are additional drivers facilitating the move toward a collaborative virtual university (CVU) model. This model is examined as a change agent for universities to reexamine their individual roles in leveraging Internet resources to enhance the quality of higher education programs. Leading edge initiatives are also described.

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