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AbstractFor the past five years, Stanford has been involved in developing the capability to offer courses to remote learners over the Internet. This has evolved into a robust operation, which over the past year has offered 180 courses to approximately 4000 distance learners. More recently, the Department of Electrical Engineering has extended its offerings so that it is now possible to earn course credits sufficient to obtain a Master’s degree and academic certificates entirely online. In this paper, we discuss the issues of institutional policy which have emerged as we have gone through this evolution. Our experience at Stanford will be discussed within the broader framework of institutional policy and of the general institutional resistance to change in higher education. A version of this paper was presented at the Fourth International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks held in New York in November 1998.