First, Mike and Cathy left the Hewlett Foundation, where they had provided incredible vision and incubation support for early OER efforts. (While Hewlett is still running its OER program there didn’t seem to be many OER-related grants made in 2009.) Then, a few weeks ago, I blogged about the departure of Ira and Chris from the Mellon Foundation, caused by the RIT program being merged into another program, where they had also provided vision and support for open educational software.
Today, we read of another “merger” of programs – and top leadership exit – at Creative Commons:
We’ve decided that we can best support the open education and OER communities by focusing our resources and support where we are strongest and provide the most unique value… Such changes mean that some of the activities and, sadly, personnel cannot be integrated successfully with the new structure… In this current transition, Ahrash Bissell, the Executive Director of CC Learn, has left the organization.
Has left – past tense. Apparently, surpassing their year end public fundraising goal (with $533,898) wasn’t enough resource to keep ccLearn going.
I know some well-known ed tech bloggers will comment “good riddance,” claiming that organizations are inherently evil anyway, and that the space is better off without them “investing in” and “supporting” the work of open education (which is best done by a lone individual living off-grid on a rural Appalachian subsistence farm). But does no one else see an “interesting” pattern here?