Irwin said Memphis chose to offer the leadership degree because it is a flexible program that could accommodate credits from other colleges as well as experiential credits. It blends business, communications and public administration courses. The degree is expected to take six years to complete if employees stay on pace to complete six credits per term.
Some worry this approach threatens academic freedom. Johann Neem, a history professor at Western Washington University, said he doesn’t think the degree offering is a “good college education.”
“A good college education should bring people into a true academic environment where students can explore interests,” Neem said. “It should not be a narrowly constructed degree to simply provide a credential. That’s not college.”