Program will examine how future info technology, U’s mission mesh

By Rebecca A. Doyle

What part will photo CDs, electronic text transfer, instant communication and electronic image manipulation play in higher education in the next 10 or 20 years? How will the upward-spiraling technology affect the University’s research, teaching, publishing and library resources?

“Creating the Future: Information Technology and the Mission of the University,” the second in the Rackham Conversation on Academic Priorities series, will attempt to answer these questions, and to demonstrate some of the possibilities with a display of emerging technologies. The Jan. 31 program is free and open to the public.

Daniel E. Atkins III, dean of the School of Information and Library Studies, will explore information technology and the future of the University in an address 4:10–5 p.m. in Rackham Amphitheater.

“Technology is at the point where it is impacting, and will continue to impact, the fundamental fabric of what the University is all about—creation, preservation and dissemination of knowledge,” Atkins says. “Technology is very far ahead of our understanding, appreciation and decision-making on how we want to use it.”

Following Atkins’ address, demonstrations of such technological innovations as computerized chalkboards, a pocket computer, wireless electronic mail and speech recognition will take place in Rackham Assembly Hall.

“These demonstrations will give a sense of the range of the technology, and the power it has to alter the way we do business,” notes Homer C. Rose Jr., assistant dean of graduate studies.

At 6:30 p.m. Douglas E. Van Houweling, vice provost for information technology, will moderate a panel discussion about the Integrated Technology Information Center, the future of instruction and research, publishing issues, and the future of academic libraries.

Panelists will be Paul C. Boylan, vice provost for the arts and dean of the School of Music; Michael D. Cohen, professor of political science and public policy; Colin L. Day, director, University of Michigan Press; Julie K. Ellison, professor of English language and literature; and Wendy P. Lougee, director of the Program on Digital Libraries.


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