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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications
503/777-7574
beth.sorensen@reed.edu


REED AWARDED MELLON GRANT OF $300,000 FOR TECHNOLOGY UPGRADE

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant of $300,000 to Reed College for a three-year project to improve and integrate information resources in the Reed registrar's office and library.

In setting up the integrated gateway, Reed is in the forefront of liberal arts colleges. Colleges everywhere are becoming increasingly sensitive to the amount of time and effort required to navigate through the dizzying array of different technologies and information resources, but few initiatives have been undertaken by liberal arts colleges to address the problem in a comprehensive way.

In undertaking this project, Reed --in collaboration with Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, on various aspects of the registrar's component of the initiative-- has identified ways to address these obstacles and provide a practical and cost-effective approach that can be adopted by many other liberal arts colleges and universities.

The major objectives of the project are

  • to establish an integrated information gateway through the web that will serve as a convenient vehicle for searching a diverse array of electronic resources in the library and to augment those resources in various ways
  • to make key elements of the student information system database and key activities, such as assessment of degree progress and registration, available to students and faculty online
  • to provide access to both library and registrar information resources via an integrated, user-friendly web interface
  • to establish a framework for extending the web interface to virtually all information resources available to students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Reed community.

Leaders of the project are Victoria Hanawalt, Reed librarian, and Nora McLaughlin, Reed registrar; Reed's computing & information services office will help implement the project. "This grant support will allow us to make a tremendous leap forward in our effective application of new information technologies," said Hanawalt. "The library is committed to helping our students and faculty make the best possible use of the array of information available to them electronically. In designing this project, we have focused on the user's perspective and the need to overcome the barriers created by varieties of hardware, software, search languages, access restrictions, and the like. Integrating access to resources that support teaching, research, and academic advising and making them available at any networked workstation at any time will help ensure that Reed students and faculty can successfully use this wealth of information."

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, of New York, New York, works to "aid and promote such religious, charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes as may be in the furtherance of the public welfare or tend to promote the well-doing or well-being of mankind." Under this broad charter, the Mellon Foundation currently makes grants on a selective basis to institutions in higher education, in cultural affairs and the performing arts, in population, in conservation and the environment, and in public affairs. The Mellon Foundation has recently supported Reed College with grants to strengthen the college's offerings in East Asian studies and to further the use of computing in the humanities.