1 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.




  1. New organization to provide technical advice
  2. Policy on ownership of distance education offerings
  3. ASEE Prism article on distance education property
  4. France plans first Internet university
  5. Rupert Murdoch joins universities for distance education
  6. Wage disparity for women even in high-tech
  7. Online university across international border
  8. Alan Greenspan cites needs of college graduates
  9. IJEE Special Issue on Accreditation
  10. Upcoming conference – SEFI Annual Meeting in Paris
  11. TechKnowLogia article on Digital Divide
  12. Today’s Engineer article on Assignment Overseas
  13. Positions of possible interest



  1. New organization to provide technical advice – National Science Academies from several countries have formed a new organization to provide scientific and technical advice on pressing international issues, such as food security, population growth, energy use, and the continued availability of fresh water. The InterAcademy Council will assemble appropriate groups of scientists, engineers and medical experts to provide advice to international bodies such as the World Bank and the United Nations. The new council will be based at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. See


  1. Policy on ownership of distance education offerings – The Academic Council at Duke University has approved a policy that sets rules for faculty member’s ownership of online courses. The policy attempts to protect against possible conflicts of interest that could arise from their professors providing course materials for other institutions. The policy would let faculty members keep ownership of courses they create as individuals, while assigning to the University the ownership of any courses created using substantial Duke resources. Offering an online course outside that would compete with a Duke course would be seen as a conflict of interest. The administration is expected to approve the plan, which is to take effect in July. See


  1. ASEE Prism Article on distance education property – For a comprehensive review of issues and activity on ownership of distance education courses, see “Whose property it anyway?” by Alvin Sanoff in the May-June 2000 issue of ASEE Prism. The author points out that the explosion in distance education is raising questions of whether the courses belong to the professors who develop them, or to their universities. Star faculty members are positioned to profit handsomely from courses distributed around the globe by for-profit firms, by their own universities, or even by other institutions. A number of institutions and higher education organizations are developing rules designed to address the new realities of the Internet age. Some analysts expect that universities will have to cut special deals to keep star faculty members from defecting to other institutions that offer better deals in this arena. See


  1. France plans first Internet University – The Prime Minister of France, Lionel Joplin, has announced plans for the country’s first Internet university, which will grant graduate engineering degrees in information and communications technologies. The new institution is to draw on resources already available in the south of France, including existing universities and research centers, telecommunications schools, and information technology businesses. The planned program is in response to concerns about a widening gap between France and the United States in Internet technology research and studies. See


  1. Rupert Murdoch joins universities for distance education – The giant News International company of media baron Rupert Murdoch has joined with an 18 member university network, Universitas 21, to begin offering higher education courses over the Internet. The 18 universities involved are spread across ten countries in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Mr. Murdoch announced that the venture would begin offering programs over the Internet next year, aimed at college graduates who are already working. Degrees would be awarded by Universitas 21, which is chaired by Alan Gilbert of the University of Melbourne. See


  1. Wage disparity for women even in high-tech – At a White House ceremony in May, President Clinton announced that the explosion of high-tech jobs has done little to ease wage disparities between men and women. A report by the Council of Economic Advisors shows that while employment in certain jobs in the information technology industry has jumped more than 80% since 1983, fewer than one in three of the high paying, high tech jobs are filled by women. In an effort to combat such discrimination, Clinton highlighted a $20 million program in the fiscal 2001 budget for the National Science Foundation to provide grants to universities to help remove barriers to career advancement for women scientists and engineers. See


  1. Online university across international border – R.M.I.T. University of Australia will establish a university in Vietnam that will rely extensively on online technology, both for distance learning and for traditional classroom instruction. The new university will be built in Ho Chi Minh City, and is expected to open in 2003. Enrollment is predicted to exceed 10,000 within a decade, with initial courses focused on business and technology. Many of the courses will be delivered online from Australia. See


  1. Alan Greenspan cites needs of college graduates – During a recent speech at the National Skills Summit, the Federal Reserve Board Chairman asserted that college graduates need conceptual skills as much as formal degrees. The workforce increasingly seeks people who can analyze and innovate, according to Greenspan, due to the rapidity of innovation and the unpredictability of the directions it may take. “Workers must be equipped not simply with technical know-how but also with the ability to create, analyze and transform information and to interact effectively with others. Moreover, that learning will increasingly be a lifelong activity.” See Higher Education Technology News, 16 May 2000,


  1. IJEE Special Issue on Accreditation – The International Journal of Engineering Education has released a Special Issue on Accreditation and Quality Assurance as Volume 16, Number 2. The issue consists of 11 papers from 10 countries (Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Jordan, and India), covering the current status of quality control of engineering education around the world. Trends noted in the several papers are: decreased deference on the part of public officials to the resource needs of higher education; public demands for accountability; the shrinking globe and permeable political borders; the requirements of on-the-job training; competition from new educational institutions both virtual and real; and change as the only global constant. Four types of strategies are seen as common around the globe: 1) engineering educators are looking to accreditation as a means of quality assurance; 2) they are considering outcomes assessment and benchmarking as alternatives; 3) they have begun accepting professional engineers as partners in engineering education; and 4) they are increasingly looking to accreditation as a basis for cross-border recognition of graduates. See


  1. Upcoming conference: SEFI Annual Meeting in Paris – The European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) will hold its annual meeting in Paris from 6-8 September 2000. The conference theme is “The Many Facets of International Education of Engineers”, and the main plenary sessions focus on Industry and Profession Needs, The Thematic Network E4, Towards Culturally Inclusive Global Engineering, Impact of the Bologna Declaration on Engineering Education, Enhancing Trans-national Recognition of Engineers, International Dimensions, and New Engineers in and for a Global Environment. For details of


  1. TechKnowLogia article on Digital Divide – The May/June 2000 issue of the online journal TechKnowLogia, edited by Wadi Haddad, has an interesting article entitled “Literacy, Technological Literacy, and the Digital Divide”. Author Daniel Wagner of the University of Pennsylvania points out that about one quarter of the world’s adult population is illiterate today – the majority of them in the poorest half of the world. But he notes a growing trend in industrialized countries, where up to 25% of adults are considered to be lacking in the basic skills needed to function effectively in the workforce – in particular, lacking in knowledge of information and communications technologies. Wagner goes on to describe some promising initiatives aimed at bridging the gap in technological literacy, in both the industrialized portions of the world and in developing countries. See


  1. Today’s Engineer article on Assignment Overseas – In the 2nd Quarter 2000 issue of Today’s Engineer, Catherine McGowan explores the dimensions of overseas assignments for engineers. She points out that the proliferation of multinational corporations, international mergers, and an expanding global economy have created work opportunities that take many engineers off shore for months or years at a time. She warns, however, that those considering such overseas assignments should carefully weigh all aspects before accepting them – current career status and potential growth pattern, determining how marketable potential new knowledge will be, family considerations, financial arrangements, support from the home office, job security, etc. See


  1. Positions of possible interest – The following positions are advertised in the May/June 2000 issue of ASEE Prism:

And the following are listed in the 26 May and 2 June 2000 issues of the Chronicle of Higher Education:

·        Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill

·        Dean/Information Technology and Director of Computing Resources, George Mason University, Virginia

·        Provost and Vice Chancellor, University of Wisconsin/Extension

·        Director, Office of Technology Management, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio

·        Provost, Howard University, Washington DC





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