Está en la página 1de 8

HEIRAlliance Executive Strategies Report #3: What Presidents Need to Know About the Impact of Networking on Campus -----------------------------------------------------------------------|

| | HEIRAlliance Executive Strategies Report #3 | | | | WHAT PRESIDENTS NEED TO KNOW | | ... about the Impact of Networking on Campus | | | | | | October 1993 | -----------------------------------------------------------------------| from the Higher Education Information Resources Alliance | | of ARL, CAUSE, and EDUCOM | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ "Perhaps the greatest impact that networks have had on our colleges and universities to date has been in the area of interpersonal communications." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Since ubiquitous voice, data, and video networking appeared on the Drake University campus in 1987, the new mechanisms for communication have triggered a change in the daily rhythm of that university. Electronicmail and voice-mail systems allow faculty and staff to receive messages at all hours of the day and night, in the office, at home, or on the road--messages that they can respond to at their convenience. A campuswide video distribution system creates a similar store-and-forward environment for the video world. The president encourages incoming freshmen to use his e-mail address, and maintains many of his widespread contacts with other members of the campus community through electronic mail with capability for attaching word processing documents, spreadsheets, and other files. Drake is one of many colleges and universities that are recognizing cultural changes as a result of extensive electronic connections. Within the last decade, computers that once operated in isolation or linked the workstations of "techies" have taken on new power, and new popularity, as networked devices. Local area networks link large portions of most campuses, and national networks have evolved from specialized services for researchers in computer-related disciplines to being a general utility on many campuses. Perhaps the greatest impact that networks have had on our colleges and universities to date has been in the area of interpersonal communications. Networks allow users to communicate inexpensively, unconstrained by time-zone differences, distance, or location. On campus, geographical and cultural barriers between departments are being broken down by the ease and cultural neutrality afforded by networked communication. Networks have a particular impact on a college's sense of community, especially at large, geographically dispersed institutions: a campus provost for the 57,000-student St. Petersburg Junior College observes that "The computer has pulled us all closer together. There is more of a community feeling now." Statistics about networking activities at the University of Michigan illustrate the phenomenal proliferation of interest in electronic communications. The number of accounts on the University's new institution-wide information storage facility doubled (to 3,700)

between January and June 1993, and was expected to reach 15,000 by the end of 1993. The University currently supports over 3,500 external, instructional, and departmental electronic conferences, with nearly one new conference being added each day. About a year ago the University implemented GopherBlue, a tool for accessing worldwide networked information resources, and usage now stands at about 150,000 individual accesses per month. With an environment of networked information technology, users have access to a range of resources that was almost unimaginable even five years ago. Campus-wide information systems bring together information from all over the campus and its neighboring communities-academic and administrative records, library databases, calendars of events, job postings, and weather reports--and increasingly support access to national and international sources of information through the Internet and BITNET. The ramifications for the higher education community are enormous--in the educational process, in library and research operations, in the dynamics of administration, and in opportunities for community service. Nowhere should networking have more impact than on instruction The core mission of our institutions is effective instruction and learning. Even when students of today fit into the traditional paradigm of the campus-focused young student, which the majority of them do not, traditional "one-size-fits-all" formats for presenting information are not entirely satisfactory. We all learn in different ways, at different paces, relating new information to what we already know. Networked information technologies, from simple e-mail to sophisticated linked multimedia classrooms, have unique potential to foster a studentcentered learning environment where students can customize the learning process to their needs and faculty work more like coaches than lecturers. *** Open classrooms Computer conferencing and electronic mail allow students to communicate with instructors and with each other round the clock, allowing a new freedom of discussion, questioning, and clarification even in large classes. With networked communication, the "classroom" is always open. *** Customized personalized learning Interactive multimedia instructional software allows students to replay learning segments and explore new subjects at a depth appropriate to their own needs. New networked technologies also serve the specialized physical needs of students and faculty with disabilities. *** "Hands-on" learning The use of live databases and real-time simulation and gaming brings a new level of immediacy and relevance to the learning process. *** Time-shifted learning By combining elements of personal computers, digital television, and electronic libraries through multimedia servers and network-based delivery systems, colleges and universities of tomorrow can loosen the rigidity of the class schedule, relieving space pressures and accommodating complex schedules of the non-traditional student. *** Remedial instruction Even in the face of growing demands for remedial help, instructional software can ease pressures on staff by offering self-paced, self-

directed resources. *** Distance education Communication with a growing population of distant or homebound learners and faculty can be maintained through a variety of formats--voice, data, video, and integrated media--for video conferences and instruction in locations as distant as Hong Kong. *** Links with other institutions Colleges and universities can leverage resources by collaborating. At the University of Guelph, for example, an interactive audio-visual link connects classrooms to the University of Waterloo for joint graduate programs in chemistry and physics and will soon be expanded to include McMaster University. One response to the opportunities offered by the electronic revolution is the Electronic Learning Environment at Case Western Reserve University, a ten-year project now in its fourth year. The ELE provides students and faculty with tools for creating, organizing, storing, and transmitting knowledge as an integral part of the learning process. It integrates seven major components, including PCs with multimedia capabilities, digital libraries, and curricular transformation through technology. Key to the whole enterprise is the campus-wide network. The resources of the library will increasingly be viewed as a networked resource Networking has created an emphasis on access to information rather than acquisition of it. Although the university library is still the most significant campus repository of scholarly information, its resources will increasingly be viewed as a networked resource. Larger and larger percentages of library holdings are available in digital form, from secondary bibliographic resources to the texts themselves. Electronically distributed "pre-prints" of scholarly discoveries have joined printed, peer-reviewed journals as a way of scholarly life. Specialized network discussion groups allow researchers to communicate easily and inexpensively. In some disciplines, computer "servers" store electronic manuscripts for downloading and study. The library of the future can be conceptualized as a collection of virtual libraries through which the resources of many libraries, information services, and knowledge stores are brought together technologically. Such a library can be tailored for the specific needs of each academic department or even individual faculty members through a variety of networks and workstation environments. Developing network access to this complex world of knowledge requires the combined skills of faculty, research librarians, and information technology administrators to manage its electronic collection, structuring, representation, and dissemination. The library will be an increasingly important force in setting campus-wide strategies for organizing networked resources. Distributed, networked administrative resources will need centralized planning and management The computing and information environment of the future is distributed. Information resources will be located where they are most logically created and/or maintained, and users will access most information from

their workstations. This means that the institution's data can be keyed once and maintained by a data "owner" but accessed by any member of the campus community with the need and authorization. Campus-wide networks support a growing array of administrative and business service applications, from executive information systems to electronic forms to transcript exchange. Student charge-account systems can track telephone and photocopy charges, purchases from soft-drink machines, and costs of custom-published books from the electronic library. Networks support television surveillance of parking lots and electronic control of access to restricted buildings. The network can contribute to information distribution in a very direct way by replacing distribution of physical stacks of paper: with the network, the time for distribution decreases to virtually nothing, guarantee of delivery approaches 100 percent, and cost of delivery is drastically reduced. The result of a good design for networked communication is efficiency, reliability, timeliness, and ease of access. The prerequisite is strong centralized management of the network configuration--uniform technical standards, security precautions, development of ongoing funding, and continual support and training for users. So much community impact, so little cost Networks are allowing colleges and universities to offer significant services to their communities as relatively painless extensions of their services to campus constituencies. At St. Petersburg, one potential use seen for the comprehensive networking effort known as Project Flamingo is to develop computer literacy in the local employee pool--which happens to benefit the college as one of the county's major employers. Case Western is providing a pioneering information service to the entire Cleveland community, the Cleveland Free-Net (CFN). The seven-year-old network system offers over 300 information services and serves 40,000 registered users at a cost to CWRU of less than $200,000 in 1993. Many colleges and universities offer network resources and support to local K-12 school systems, collaborative professional training through distance education technologies, shared library databases--and thus project the image they want of a "high tech," contributing neighbor. Rising expectations produce a new set of issues The ubiquity of desktop computers and networks and the proliferation of useful networked information has changed not only the character of the institution, but expectations of students, faculty, and staff. Users are not content with the slow file transfer rates of a few years ago. Reference librarians and computing center personnel are swamped with demands for help accessing the wealth of information available on campus and worldwide networks. Installing, maintaining, and supporting networks is an increasing portion of the support staff workload. As more and more users come online, system administrators must deal with knotty issues of security and access authorization, information indexing and retrieval, filtering useful information from all available information, selection of hardware and software standards, and determining sources of funding for this unquestionably expensive investment. Not the least of the administrator's problems is the nature of higher education communities, characterized by decentralized initiative and decision-making responsibilities. With extensive networking, all departments lose some of their autonomy because everything connects to everything else. Record-keeping

and information retrieval must conform to public needs, and previously independent units find themselves linked in unexpected ways. Computer centers have been the organizational home of data communications services. With library-based computing another organization needs to be recognized as a major information technology resource. Bringing them together--along with voice and video communications, telemetry, and other decentralized computing facilities--probably means a major administrative reorganization and may involve one or more vicepresidential-level positions. The single most important factor for the success of a networked environment on a campus is a vision that is meaningful to the faculty, staff, and students of the campus. This vision provides direction, substance, and authority--and it must be maintained by a highly placed champion with recognized authority. Higher education executives are being pressed to reduce administrative costs. At the same time, networks are providing additional capabilities and additional efficiencies. Investment in networked information resources can improve the productivity of faculty, staff, and students, and the quality of instruction, research, and administration. It can position the institution to thrive in the decades ahead. There is no way to predict where or how far technology's evolution will take us, but this is a given: it will be extensive, expensive, and inevitable. =========================================== SIDEBAR The future of information is digital All trends in information formats are toward digital representations. -- Telephony, including voice, facsimile, answering machines, and voice-mail, are changing from analog signaling to digital signaling and encoding of information. -- Television is being reengineered for programming production and distribution in a digital format. -- Printing technologies from xerography to off-set are changing from analog (e.g., light-lens) to digital scanning and printing processes. -- Photographic technologies are changing from film-based, analog image capture to filmless, chemical-less, digital image capture. Digital technology stores information in a far more compact format than analog storage. A dozen or more electronic books may be stored on a single CD-ROM, including the images and charts. Digital technology transmits information with greater accuracy and precision, at lower cost per information item. Distribution of information in electronic form is more efficient than distribution in paper format--e-mail and electronic file transfer offer speed and certainty of delivery that no manual postal system can provide. =========================================== SIDEBAR Technology is 'just another utility' The network is another major utility on the campus, like the electrical service in its ubiquity and the library in its impact on academic and social life. As such, it requires both capital and operating budgets. The question of charging for network use raises political, economic, and philosophical issues. Possible approaches include charging for network traffic at so much per packet of information (like

telephones or electricity), charging for network access at a fixed amount per month, or not charging at all but treating the network as a staple resource like the library. Political Advisory: One of the most important components of the Internet is the National Science Foundation's NSFNET. While Internet access has been comparatively inexpensive for most educational institutions, a recently announced new architecture for the NSFNET will phase out the Federal subsidy for the national backbone, which accounts for about 10 percent of the current cost of an institutional connection. The college or university president must maintain a close vigil on state and national legislative and regulatory activities that may affect costs and access. And the higher education community in general will need to protect its interests as powerful commercial and political forces try to shape the network's evolution. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This report was drawn from papers prepared by five teams of higher education executives. Copies of the team papers are available from the CAUSE office at $10 for the complete set. Additional copies of this report are available from CAUSE at $5.00 each. Inquire at 303-449-4430, fax 303-440-0461. For electronic text of this report or background papers, e-mail with the following message: for text of report: GET HEIRA.ES3 for complete background packet: GET HEIRA.ES3sup for individual papers: GET HEIRA.ES3cwru GET HEIRA.ES3drake GET HEIRA.ES3spjc GET HEIRA.ES3guelph GET HEIRA.ES3michigan Previous Executive Strategies reports cover the integration of information technologies on campus (available electronically as HEIRA.ES1) and the future of university libraries (HEIRA.ES2). -----------------------------------------------------------------------CONTRIBUTING EDITORS FOR THIS REPORT: CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY Agnar Pytte, President Raymond K. Neff, Vice President, Information Services D. Kaye Gapen, Director, University Library CWRU offers five families of network-based services: data, voice, video, telemetry, and control signaling. It has installed a universal wiring plant used for all types of communications (analog and digital), and is engaged in building a comprehensive, integrated Electronic Learning Environment. It supports a city-wide network (Cleveland FreeNet) which has been copied by at least 40 other communities. DRAKE UNIVERSITY Michael R. Ferrari, Jr., President Gary D. Russi, Vice President for Research & Planning

William A. Stoppel, Director of Libraries Robert W. Lutz, Director of Computing and Telecommunications All faculty and staff desks and all residence hall rooms at Drake have access to a PBX-based circuit-switched network, which is evolving to a fiber-optic backbone supporting TCP/IP and AppleTalk networking. Drake is involved in delivery of distance education over a statewide fiber-optic Iowa Communications Network which incorporates a full-motion multipoint television system. ST. PETERSBURG JUNIOR COLLEGE Carl W. Kuttler, Jr., President James Olliver, Vice President for Institutional & Program Planning Susan Anderson, Director of Libraries Janet Gammons, Data Communication Specialist Janetze Hart, Programmer Analyst, Technology SPJC is almost completely computer networked through its seven college campus and administrative sites which serve Florida's most densely populated county. The network, Project Flamingo, supports administrative systems, communication, and external links with local school systems. A focus on instructional resources includes distance learning, and multimedia education through standardized "bunkers" in electronic classrooms. UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH Jack R. MacDonald, Acting President and Vice Chancellor through May 1, 1993; Vice President, Academic Ron Elmslie, Director, Computing and Communications Services John Black, Chief Librarian One of Canada's most research-intensive universities, the University of Guelph is an early player in many areas of information technology including a successful library system in the mid-1970s, an early computer conferencing system (CoSy), and a Veterinary Medical Information Management System. The University adopted a comprehensive IT strategic plan in the early 1980s to provide a full range of educational and administrative services on the network. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN James J. Duderstadt, President Douglas E. Van Houweling, Vice Provost for Information Technology Donald E. Riggs, Dean, University Library Michael J. McGill, Director of Network Systems The University of Michigan is a major research institution which, as the host of the National Science Foundation's NSFNET, has been the focal point for many network innovations. It has gone through the difficulties associated with the first installation of a network and upgrading its backbone, and is undergoing significant upgrades and replacements of its 149 local and departmental networks. -----------------------------------------------------------------------The Executive Strategies reports are published by the Higher Education Information Resources Alliance (HEIRAlliance), a vehicle for cooperative projects between the Association of Research Libraries, CAUSE, and EDUCOM. Reports in this series inform campus leaders about critical and timely issues related to information technologies. Focus issues are identified by the executive officers of the three sponsoring associations: Duane Webster, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries; Jane N. Ryland, President, CAUSE; Robert C. Heterick, Jr., President, EDUCOM. Copyright 1993 by HEIRA. Material from this report may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes with appropriate credit to the

HEIRAlliance. Executive Editor Karen McBride at CAUSE, 4840 Pearl East Circle, Suite 302E, Boulder, CO 80301; phone 303-449-4430, e-mail -----------------------------------------------------------------------ARL, the Association of Research Libraries, is an organization of 120 major research libraries in the U.S. and Canada whose mission is to identify and influence forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process of scholarly communication. 202-296-2296 CAUSE, the association for managing and using information technology in higher education, is a nonprofit association whose mission is to enhance the administration and delivery of higher education through the effective management and use of information technology. 303-449-4430 EDUCOM is a non-profit consortium of colleges and universities headquartered in Washington, D.C., which is concerned with computing and communications issues. Its programs focus primarily on networking and integrating computing into the curriculum. 202-872-4200 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- end of transmission -----