Emory Report

June 12, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 35

Technology seminar first of many?

By Eric Rangus

Today marks the beginning of Week 2 in what organizers hope will be a summer fixture at Emory for the next 10 years.

The Billy E. Frye Leadership Institute opened on June 5 and will run through June 16. In between, attendees will attend an intense set of seminars, exercises, small-group projects and participant-led activities, the goal being the training of tomorrow's leaders in information management.

The intent of the institute is to provide future information management leaders in higher education insight into academic, technological, economic, public-policy, student and constituent relations dynamics that will affect their home colleges and universities.

After a couple years of organization and planning, the institute was established in early 1999 through a partnership between Emory and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), which is based in Washington. Its current group of 42 attendees from around the country (including three from abroad) is its first.

Chancellor Frye is former chair of CLIR, and he still sits on its board. He has been involved with the institute since the planning stages.

The Woodruff Foundation pledged the institute's first $1.2 million, and it has since secured funding for five years. CLIR president Deanna Marcum said she hopes to collect enough money for five more.

"This is tremendously important for younger people in information management," said Marcum, who will serve as one of the institute's two deans. The other is Richard Detweiler, president of Hartwick College.

"Future campus information managers must be very familiar with information found in libraries, information departments, faculty collections. The hope is that this group can come together and see the overlap," Marcum said. "They are not only librarians or information technologists; [we hope] they see themselves as information managers for the campus and move beyond their place-bound titles."

Finding new and effective ways to deal with the rapidly changing world of higher education has taken on greater importance since the traditional academic world of libraries, museums and on-campus computer centers no longer has a monopoly on education. Information exchange, resources and services can now be found in many different places (the Internet, telecommuting, correspondence classes). In short, the institute seeks to explore fundamental change in the way universities manage their information resources in the digital era.

Therefore, attendees encompass the staffs of university libraries and administrations, computer centers, and university presses, bookstores and faculties-the people who will be handling higher education resources. This includes people like Martin Halbert, Emory's director of Library Systems, one member of the debut group of Frye Institute attendees. He oversees the computer systems for General Libraries, which number about 500 units.

"This is a pretty close match for my personal career goals, moving into leadership in this new digital arena," said Halbert, who has been at Emory since 1996. "This is a cutting-edge institute. It should be the first in a long line of things to come."

The Institute's 32-member faculty has a significant Emory presence including Frye; Provost Rebecca Chopp; Molly Epstein, senior lecturer of business communication; Donald Harris, chief operating officer for information technology; Charlotte Johnson, senior vice provost; Paul Morris, vice provost for information technology; and Allen Tullos, associate professor, Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts.

Curriculum topics include innovation in higher education, intellectual property, public policy and higher education, the influence of government information policy on a university's access to information, and leadership.

After the two-week session, participants will conduct a year-long practicum to explore within their own institutions the issues raised during the program; a short seminar will follow in 2001.

Applications for the 2001 Institute will be available in July. For more information, see the Web page www.fryeinstitute.org.

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