Launching Online Ed with Holocaust Course

It's fitting, I think, that UCSC's first online course offering through Coursera is the legendary class, The Holocaust, co-taught for decades by Murray Baumgarten and Peter Kenez. I couldn't be more proud that this unique, interdisciplinary course is now available at no cost to students around the globe.

Murray and Peter are friends as well as esteemed colleagues, so I can comfortably underscore the benefit this online course provides by preserving their insights for posterity. Peter's scholarship as a historian and Murray's expertise in Holocaust literature are unmatched. Additionally, for years, UCSC students have had the extraordinary privilege of learning from Peter, who is a Holocaust survivor. It is gratifying to know that Murray and Peter's audience has expanded exponentially through this online course.

I recognize that there is considerable public debate about the appropriate use of online courses in higher education, and additional debate about MOOCs in particular; yet I maintain that sharing a signature course like The Holocaust with the world speaks to the core of our public-service mission. Congratulations, and thank you, Murray and Peter!

Comments or questions? Write to and put "Online" in the subject line.