15 June 2000


Copyright © 2000 World Expertise LLC – All rights reserved


A periodic electronic newsletter for engineering education leaders,

edited by Russel C. Jones, PhD., P.E.






Telecommunications training institute – A cover story in the June 2000 IEEE Institute describes the successes of an 18-year-old program to address the communications training needs throughout the developing world. Since its inception the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) has offered 935 courses and graduated 5627 men and women from 161 developing countries. Courses are tuition free, offered by the private sector (such as MCI, COMSAT and AT&T) and the US government. The founder of the USTTI program, Michael R. Gardner, says that this training has helped many emerging leaders in telecommunications in developing countries. He points out that new technologies make the promise of modern communication on a more universal basis a feasible possibility. See


Internet overdose by some students – At the annual conference of the American College Health Organization, Keith J. Anderson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reported on a study on Internet use by students at seven American institutions and one in Northern Ireland. He found that at least 10 percent of the 1300 students he surveyed use the Internet so much that it interferes with their grades, their health, or their social lives. This problem, which Anderson calls Internet dependency, may run much deeper at science and engineering institutions according to the survey results. Of the 106 students classified as Internet dependent in the study, 93 were men, and 76% were in the hard sciences, engineering or computer science programs. Anderson suggested that colleges find ways to monitor or restrict the amount of time that students spend on the Internet. For example, colleges could allot a certain amount of Internet account time per month, and if that time were used up in say a week or less, officials might be able to intervene. See and


Pilot course offerings from FACILE – Three pilot courses developed in the framework of SOCRATES ODL project FACILE are being offered free to learners who will use them and provide feedback on them. Learning materials and facilitation interaction are in English. The three courses are: A) Bioinformatics, provided by Uppsala University – see ;B) Simulation, provided by CTU Prague – see ; and C) Project Management, offered by NTNU in Trondheim – see


Clinton urges international education – The White House has issued a memorandum on international education policy, signed by President Clinton, aimed at heads of executive departments and agencies in the US government. It argues for a coherent and coordinated international education strategy which will meet the two challenges of preparing US citizens for a global environment while continuing to attract and educate future leaders from abroad. The policy encourages students from other countries to study in the US; promotes study abroad by US students; encourages the exchange of teachers, scholars, and citizens at all levels of society; enhancing institutions that build  international partnerships; expanding foreign language learning and in-depth knowledge of other cultures by Americans; preparing teachers to interpret other countries and cultures to their students; and advancing new technologies that aid the spread of knowledge throughout the world. The memorandum encourages government departments to work with educational institutions, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and the business community to achieve these ends. See


Faculty role in commercial electronic ventures – Cornell University has established a for-profit subsidiary to develop and market online courses, with the temporary name e-Cornell. Some faculty members have voiced philosophical objections to having the university start a for-profit venture, as well as concerns about a lack of faculty input to the project. Campus discussions have raised the broader issue of how to incorporate traditional faculty procedures and the ideals of academic culture into the rapidly developing world of dot-com companies. Those supporting e-Cornell say that creating such a company is the best way for the University to raise funds while keeping control over the education offered, rather than contracting with an outside company. Mary Sansalone, deputy provost in charge of the project, says it will focus solely on the creation and distribution of continuing education courses for executives. See


Monitoring of foreign students in US? – A congressional panel, the National Commission on Terrorism, has recommended the monitoring of foreign students in the US as a way to reduce terrorist activity. Of some 500,000 foreign students who study in the US each year, the Commission’s report states “…there is a risk that a small minority may exploit their student status to support terrorist activity”. The proposal did not go over well with some educators. Some complained that the Commission gave no new data on the potential threat posed by foreign students, and that to the extent that there is a concern it should not be addressed by over tracking and over regulation of people who are not a problem. See


IJEE forum on accreditation – The International Journal of Engineering Education has opened a second discussion forum on its web site, on Quality Assurance in Engineering Education. Discussion topics suggested include: what have been your experiences with established formal accreditation systems; in countries where accreditation systems are under development, what are the expectations; what is your opinion about using outcomes assessment as a criterion; and, what other trends and issues do you see in quality assurance for engineering education. An earlier forum on Creativity in Engineering Education has been operational on this web site for some time. See


NSF reports on under representation – The US National Science Foundation has released two reports calling for more research into why women and minorities are underrepresented in information-technology careers. They cite Department of Commerce statistics that show that in 1996 women made up 30 percent of the IT workforce, Black people 5 percent, and Hispanic people less that 5 percent. Noting that there is a shortage of IT professionals overall, NSF states that this problem will worsen unless more women and members of minority groups enter the field. The reports recommend that higher education institutions: identify strategies to make technology related programs more appealing; identify methods to attract student to IT disciplines from other fields; investigate the role of university policies in the attraction and retention of female and minority faculty to serve as role models; explore ways of motivating and retaining minority IT students; etc. See


SWE national conference in Washington – The Society of Women Engineers will hold its annual National Conference in Washington DC from 27 June – 1 July 2000. This year’s meeting includes a 50th anniversary celebration. Keynote speaker at the conference will be Judith Estrin of Cisco Systems, who was named one of Fortune magazine’s 50 most powerful women in American business. See


Finding continuing education courses – The spring issue of the Newsletter of the International Association for Continuing Engineering Education (IACEE) contains an article about an online database of continuing education and distance learning courses for engineers. offers engineers a searchable database of thousands of courses across many engineering disciplines – at no cost to the user. The database, operated by the American Society for Engineering Education, can be searched by course subject matter, geographic location, price, or course provider. Listings include many types of offerings by US providers: traditional classroom courses, distance learning courses, evening courses, weekend seminars and workshops, and web-based, CD-ROM, and video courses. It also provides articles on continuing education, and links to provider’s web sites. See


Miniseries on great engineering feats – On each of five Tuesdays this October, the Public Broadcasting Service will broadcast a TV segment on engineering mega structures. The series, “Building Big” will look at some of the world’s greatest engineering feats, and the people who designed and built them. The series will be hosted by David MacCaulay, author of a new book on which the  video programs are based. Projects covered will include bridges, tunnels, cathedrals and other major buildings, domes, and dams. See


Positions of possible interest – The June 16th issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education lists the following opportunities:

Ø      Department Head, Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Ø      Dean, College of Engineering, South Dakota State University

Ø      Vice Chancellor, North South University, Bangladesh

Ø      Dean of Computer Science and Information Systems, St. Cloud Technical College, Minnesota

Ø      Vice President of Academic Affairs, College of Aeronautics, New York

Ø      Vice Chancellor, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Ø      President, University of Memphis, Tennessee


And the following positions were listed in the June 9th Chronicle:

Ø      Dean of College of Technology, Eastern Michigan University

Ø      President, University of Miami, Florida

Ø      President, Stephen F. Austin University, Texas






To unsubscribe from this newsletter service, please respond to with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.


To contribute information to this electronic newsletter, please send it by e-mail to