Additionally I've supplemented poor university teachers with excellent online classes to much success. Personally I think the future of education should be something like students taking Stanford's ai class with local teachers acting as TAs and adding a few supplements + classroom interaction. You read Norvig's textbook, why not have him teach the material if you can?
Having taken far more than my fair share of classes, my experience is that, aside from project heavy courses, only upper level grad classes are really something you couldn't replace with a mass-audience, online course. And these are just training wheels for researching closely with a professor or research team anyway.
For lower to mid level undergraduate courses I actually feel that online classes (given that they are top tier classes) are better. A good teacher is much, much more important in earlier learning than later (a smart grad student should have no difficultly learning advanced material even with an awful teacher)
I like that model, especially since you can break geographical boundaries and get the best instructors into places where it would be impractical to get them otherwise (e.g. the remote village in a developing country). You can also break time boundaries, by taking classes when they suit you, instead of when they're offered, and it allows future classes to learn from teachers who may no longer be living. It is impossible to take a physics course taught by Albert Einstein or a business class taught by Steve Jobs, but with new methods of education, this would be possible.
Sure, they have the right to protest and ban online courses...but let's be realistic, this is in no way protective of students. This is 100% a "save our own ass" initiative. Call it what it is. Anyone that remembers their first two/three years of college can attest to the utter nonsense that is classroom lecturing.