Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation includes as one of its tenets that it is rare for incumbents in an industry to maintain their dominant position once a disruptive innovation …   According to Christensen, and others that have applied his theory to higher education, online learning is this sector’s potentially disruptive innovation. Like disruptive innovations in other sectors, online learning offers a more convenient, flexible solution to segments of the market that are currently being over or under-served by the traditional higher education model.   Robert Birnbaum wrote: “The logical conclusion of applying the theses of The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution to higher education may be that virtual education can thrive in traditional colleges and universities only if it operates outside their normal management and value frameworks, with the consequent risk of losing institutional control.