20, No. 8, Oct. 19, 2000
Lecture-seminar series examines
universitys changing role
Melissa Mitchell , News Bureau Staff Writer
(217) 333-5491; email@example.com
The image of the
university as an ivory tower is rapidly dissolving as increased government
and private funding is contributing to a new reality: the university
as an engine for growth in a rapidly evolving, knowledge-based world
And while critics argue whether that reality is good or bad, scholars
at the UI will be joined by national and international leaders in education,
government and public policy for a yearlong discussion regarding that
evolution and its corollary issues. The discussion, organized by the
UIs Center for Advanced Study, will take the form of a lecture-seminar
series called "Defining Values for Research and Technology: The
Universitys Changing Role."
"The real world is increasingly impinging upon the academic world,"
said center director William T. Greenough, a professor of psychology
and of cell and structural biology. "As we begin the 21st century,
we need to think carefully about the role of the university in a world
where the flow of information increasingly bypasses us, where resources
must increasingly be earned and where the universitys worth is
assessed increasingly in economic terms. These are issues that cut across
disciplinary boundaries and demand that individuals from diverse areas
of the campus come together to discuss and resolve them."
The series itself evolved from earlier discussions among professors
affiliated with the UI center. It is being coordinated by law professors
Philip McConnaughay and Jay Kesan.
McConnaughay said lecture topics will focus on such questions as "Has
this new status [for universities] weakened or strengthened the incentives
of research universities to address the basic needs of mankind?";
"What does this mean for the arts and humanities?"; and "Who
should own the discoveries of publicly funded universities?"
Two lectures are
scheduled this fall:
Citizenship and Commodities," presented by Toby Miller, 4 p.m.
Oct. 23, third floor, Levis Faculty Center. Miller is a professor
of cinema studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.
- "The Changing
Nature of Innovation in the United States," presented by Erich
Block, 4 p.m. Nov. 14, auditorium, Beckman Institute. Block is the
former director of the National Science Foundation.
Most of the lectures are scheduled during the spring 2001 semester,
in conjunction with a weekly seminar for faculty members and graduate
students. For more information about the series and other CAS activities
and interdisciplinary initiatives, visit the centers Web site: