Digital Information Resources Council

Council Charge

The Council is charged, on the policy level, with the responsibility to serve as the University-wide coordinated planning body to consider, recommend, seek consensus and implement, through normal University processes, all relevant issues involving institutional policies, organizational changes and funding strategies for the acquisition, management, financial support and use of hardware, software, network and electronic information resources in support of teaching, learning and research.

The Council is further charged, on the operational level, to respond to the specific organizational, financial and policy disjunctures created by the increasing use of digital technology by all components of the University. Examples of particular issues that might be considered by the Council include the establishment of policies for creating a uniform base-level of electronic resources and personal support for access to information resources across the campus.

A pervasive and central issue for the Council's deliberations is the productive mix of central coordination and distributed responsibility accompanied by appropriate financial resources. At the present time, technology and library operations are supported unevenly across the University from central, school and departmental funding sources based on traditional formulas and requirements carried over from an earlier era. The characteristics of digital technology and electronic information resources supported in this piecemeal, unplanned manner create a frustrating hodgepodge of counter-productive policies and services for the user community. Without University-wide guidelines clearly assigning responsibility, rational planning and appropriate allocation of resources are impossible.

The Council will be responsible for maintaining Emory's links with the widespread digital technology initiatives in the national and international higher education community. The successful internal management of digital technology is critical to Emory's viability in the 21st century, but no institution can stand alone in the technological society. The Digital Information Resources Council will position Emory to transform its internal operations and provide the coordination necessary for essential and effective connection to the broader community.

To achieve substantive change, the Council will require a reasonable fund of working capital both (1) to encourage inter- and intra-organizational reallocation of responsibility by the use of financial incentives, and (2) to provide venture capital for new services and operations. Accordingly, a "superfund" of $500,000 per year has been established to be used at the discretion of the Digital Information Resources Council to encourage transitional policies and reallocations to improve the management and provision of digital information systems and resources.

Council Membership

Billy E. Frye, Provost, Chair

Howard (Woody) Hunter, Dean, School of Law, Co-Chair

Patricia Battin, Consultant

Carol Burns, Director, Health Sciences Center Library

Linda Chiappe, Acting Director, Academic Computing

Gray Crouse, Department of Biology Faculty

Joan Gotwals, Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Patrick Graham, Pitts Professor, Librarian, Pitts Theology Library

Jim Johnson, Vice Provost for Information Technology

Benn Konsynski, Goizueta Business School Faculty

Kevin LaGree, Dean, School of Theology

James Melton, Department of History Faculty

Robin Mills, School of Law Faculty and Director of Library, School of Law

John Waller, Chair, Department of Anesthesiology

Return to the September 16, 1996 contents page