We recently report that Stanford University is teaming of with Harvard and MIT to develop a computer system allowing colleges to offer free online courses.

However, It looks like Duke University is bucking the online trend. Ry Rivard reports on the decision by the school’s faculty:

Duke University faculty members, frustrated with their administration and skeptical of the degrees to be awarded, have forced the institution to back out of a deal with nine other universities and 2U to create a pool of for-credit online classes for undergraduates.

Duke’s Arts & Sciences Council, which represents faculty from Duke’s largest undergraduate college, voted 16-14 on Thursday against plans to grant credits to Duke students who would have taken online courses from the pool. The vote effectively killed Duke’s participation in the effort, and it immediately withdrew.

The courses were to be offered by Duke and other top-tier universities in a partnership organized by 2U, formerly known as 2tor. Unlike massive open online courses, or MOOCs, only a few hundred students were expected to enroll in each course – which would feature a mix of recorded lectures and live discussions – but each course would be divided into sections of no more than 20 students led by an instructor, perhaps a graduate student. The effort, known as Semester Online, will go on without Duke and offer its first classes this fall, 2U’s CEO said.

Duke remains a member of MOOC provider Coursera and many of its faculty members are leaders in the push to use technology to teach in new ways, so the vote does not represent an outright rejection of online education but rather specific concerns about for-credit online education offered by third-parties. Faculty also expressed concern about the administration’s handling of the deal and 2U’s cut of the revenue.

While there has been considerable hype in the last year about leading colleges and universities embracing partnerships that redefine the way education is delivered, the Duke faculty vote marks the second time in a month that professors at an elite institution have studied one of these partnerships and turned it down. Amherst College’s faculty this month voted down a proposal to join the MOOC provider edX.

At Duke, Provost Peter Lange said that “a small majority of those voting at the meeting decided the time was not right for this proposal to go forward. They had some concerns about what the governance processes had been leading up to the proposal.”

In particular, faculty are still unhappy with Duke’s plans to open a campus in Kunshan, China later this year. They have long expressed worries about the China project’s costs, academic freedom, Internet access, and faculty involvement and buy-in.