C2 May 25, 2005

C2 Strategic C-level Discussions on Technology

May 25, 2005


Welcome to C2 (pronounced "C Squared"), the eLetter designed to open an exclusive forum for discussions on technology among top-level campus administrators: chief executives, provosts, vice presidents, and directors across all areas of the campus who are concerned with the progressive use of technology to further learning and streamline campus business and instructional processes.

In each edition, you'll find one-on-one "behind closed doors" interviews or C-level opinion pieces, quick bites of who's doing what where, and career moves of interest to the top campus echelon.

C2 was created in response to the need for a personal dialogue among top-ranking campus officers concerned with technology as a bridge to the next generation of higher learning. We hope you will see this twice-monthly letter as an opportunity for C-level information sharing, mentoring, expression, and enlightenment. Feel free to send your thoughts, ideas, commentary, and pertinent news items to Mary Grush at mgrush@101com.com.


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From the Top

The Internet, the Pope, and the iPod

By Tracy Mitrano,
Director of IT Policy and Computer Law and Policy,
Cornell University (NY)

This spring I had a little epiphany. Asked to teach Internet law to seventeen students from around the world at a special program in Piacenza, Italy (the instruction, thank heavens, is in English), I was reminded of what makes the Internet so exciting: the opportunity for communication, relationships, and possibly even greater understanding among people from all over the world. A number of students were from the financial community in Western Europe seeking information technology and management knowledge to augment their banking skills. But there were also two students, one from Dublin and the other from Manila, who had met in the program and who had decided to start their own online business together. A student from Malawi and one from Vietnam, each country currently having only about 10 percent network penetration, expect to bring back learning to help modernize their mother countries. A woman from Belize dreams of doing something creative with information technology. A Church of Latter Day Saints former missionary from Salt Lake City, now married to an Italian woman and the only US citizen in the class, wants to do Web site translations from his new, adopted home in Italy. A banker from Sudan and I become friends.

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Need to Know

The Second Conference on Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice

Will online forums help foster an informed citizenry, ready to participate in the democratic process? The world’s experts in deliberative democracy and human-computer interaction came together this past weekend at Stanford University to discuss how technology can change the way people interact and ultimately, make collective decisions. What’s higher education’s role? The development of tools for online deliberation can be informed by research from a range of fields, such as social science, ethics, education, and others.

Among the visionaries at the conference was human-computer interaction pioneer Douglas Engelbart, best known as the inventor of the computer mouse. In his talk on “Bootstrapping: Accelerating the Evolution of Collective IQ” and a follow-up in-depth discussion session, he explained how “humans’ capabilities depend upon their augmentation system” and explored related work from his Bootstrap Institute (www.bootstrap.org) and his lifelong efforts to “boost mankind’s collective capability for coping with complex, urgent problems.”

New York Law School professor Beth Simone Noveck examined the nature of deliberation and the role of technology. “We are witnessing the emerging phenomenon of decentralized groups that are able to take action, using the new tools that are available to them. If only we can better figure out how to make the shift from the ‘interface’ to the ‘deliberative interface.’”

Carnegie Mellon University (PA) ethicist and philosophy professor Robert Cavalier, described PICOLA, a Public Informed Citizens Online Assembly (http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/picola/index.html) that uses software developed at CMU. The project’s goal was to create a high-telepresence environment for online deliberation into which the user is easily immersed in the virtual world. “For many of our participants, the computer disappeared. That’s the holy grail of HCI (human-computer interaction). You just want to have a conversation.” Cavalier announced that the public version 1.0 of the software should be available in late summer or early fall.

During a plenary panel, “D'es Better Technology Make Better Citizens?” Arthur Lupia, political science professor at the University of Michigan, encouraged more thoughtful study of e-democracy. “I believe in the deliberative democracy movement, but I think that the execution can be vastly improved,” Lupia told Campus Technology after the session. “The way to improve it is to pay attention to basic things we know about attention, memory, and learning from the social sciences from and the field of education.”

In its second year, Online Deliberation 2005/DIAC-2005 (www.online-deliberation.net/conf2005) was hosted by the Symbolic Systems Program, the Center for Deliberative Democracy, the Center for the Study of Language and Information, and the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University. Organizers are currently considering Toronto for next year’s event.

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The World According to Bill

More than 100 CEOs from top companies convened last week in Redmond, WA for the ninth annual Microsoft CEO Summit, two days of interactive sessions and discussions about “Pathways to Growth—The New World of Work.” One of the executive points of view was offered by none other than Bill Gates, in opening remarks on May 19.

Rather than taking the opportunity to hype up the latest gizmos, bells, and whistles, Gates quickly focused on the central problem of information. Acknowledging the flood of e-mail, the immediacy of instant messaging, 24/7 Web sites, and general claims of “information overload,” he examined the critical need for improved information processes and tools—weaving in some discussion of new developments in information searching, scorecards, collaborative environments, next-generation phones, and the digital lifestyle. To find out why Gates says, “So we are not even halfway towards delivering the information that people want,” see the full text of his talk, available on Microsoft’s Web site:

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Who's Where

Andrews Installed as New Morehead State Prez

Morehead State University (KY) installed Dr. Wayne D. Andrews as its 13th president at a ceremony on May 13. Andrews succeeds Dr. Ronald G. Eaglin, who retired after 12 years as the institution’s president.

Decked out in full academic regalia and his new 3.5’’-diameter solid bronze Andrews Medallion, the freshly minted president confessed, “I am generally not a ‘pomp and circumstance’ kind of guy…” But reports of the event indicate that everyone including Andrews enjoyed a day steeped in academic ritual and tradition. “As president, I give you my solemn vow that I will do my best to know the way, go the way, and to show the way,” promised Dr. Andrews. Andrews was previously vice president for administration at East Tennessee State University.

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May 11, 2005 Overcoming the Biggest Barrier to Student Success
By Ron Bleed, vice chancellor IT
Maricopa Community Colleges

April 27, 2005: Piracy on the Seas of Higher Education
By Graham Spanier, President, Penn State University
More archives

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