Changes to MyEdu frustrate some UT students

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MyEdu CEO Michael Crosno and Vice President Deepak Surana present to the UT System's Board of Regents in July.

Photo Credit: Will Crites-Krumm | Daily Texan Staff

While a presentation from MyEdu’s executives to the UT System’s Board of Regents elicited a positive response from the Regents on Thursday, some UT students are not pleased with the changes in MyEdu and the direction the company has taken since the system invested $10 million in 2011.

Michael Crosno, MyEdu chairman and CEO, and Deepak Surana, a vice president at the company, showcased the website’s student profile feature to the Board. MyEdu, previously a website that helped students pick professors and make schedules, now also doubles as a career search service for students. 

The student profile allows employers to interactively view multiple aspects of students, such as their skill set, work experience, coursework, interests, projects and more. At the meeting, Crosno and Surana said MyEdu allows students and employers to connect earlier and more efficiently.

“What MyEdu has always been about is helping kids succeed in college. We really focused in on how we can bring in jobs,” Cronso said. “This is a marketplace that puts supply and demand together.”

The UT System formed a partnership with MyEdu in 2011 and invested $10 million into the company. MyEdu was co-founded by John Cunningham, son of former UT president and UT System Chancellor William Cunningham.

While asking the MyEdu representatives questions, UT Regent Wallace Hall spoke highly of MyEdu.

“I’m really excited about what y’all have created,” Hall said.

But despite Hall's positive reaction to the presentation, some students said they feel the company is no longer representing students’ best interests. Former Student Government President and engineering senior Thor Lund, said the UT System should end its partnership with MyEdu. Lund, who served on a UT steering committee for MyEdu last semester, said the UT System does not benefit from MyEdu’s new focus on careers.

“There’s no one size fits all solution for the UT System. We have Career Services. We don’t need this website to take our information and basically sell it to employers,” Lund said. “I’m not impressed with the way MyEdu runs their business. You can learn a lot about somebody based on an online profile, but that’s not how you get jobs.”

MyEdu also allows students to post reviews of the professors they have taken classes with, but a star rating system the company previously used is gone. Instead, students write simple written responses to professors. Lund said balanced teacher reviews would make the site a worthwhile investment for the UT System.

“If a professor doesn’t teach a class well, then I think students should know that,” Lund said. “If they had honest and truthful reviews, both bad and good, then I think [MyEdu] would be of great value.”

Thursday’s regents' meeting also saw the introduction of new board members, Ernest Aliseda and Jeffrey Hildebrand. Hildebrand was not present at the meeting. The meeting was also the first for communications studies senior Nash Horne, the recently appointed student regent.

Also at the meeting, UT-Austin President William Powers Jr. announced the new Center for Latin American Law at the University will be named in honor of former U.S. Senator and UT alumnus Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

The Board also approved an $8 million repository for the Blanton Museum of Art. The repository will be funded by gifts to the University.

Follow Jacob Kerr on Twitter @jacobrkerr.