I am extremely pleased to announce that the Utah Legislature has provided $200,000 to Utah State University for OpenCourseWare-related activities in the 2007-2008 budget year. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first state or federal funding to be set aside anywhere in the US for opencourseware-like initiatives, and only the second governmental funding so allocated world-wide. The Dutch government provides partial funding for the Dutch Open University’s openER program (which also happens to use eduCommons). The Hewlett Foundation provides the rest of the funding for openER.
Props go to Representative Stephen Urquhart for his great wiki-based Politicopia initiative, by which he encouraged normal folk like myself to send in worthy ideas, his awesome intern Scott Riding, and to USU President Stan Albrecht (who is a long-time supporter of USU OpenCourseWare) for last minute work down at the Legislature to make sure that legislators understood what OCW is about.
I’m still in shock… It’s awesome… 🙂