THE FUTURE IS NOW
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the new Information Age, universities have a greater responsibility
than ever before to ensure that students are provided with the tools
necessary to succeed.
Illustration: Janet Woolley
the world, the most important societal institutions - including
business, government, health care, the arts and education - have
embarked on an extraordinary journey into the future. Information
technology (IT) is taking us there.
are relatively conservative institutions and have not ordinarily
been among the leaders in adapting to change. But IT is a powerful
force for change in higher education, and UCLA is taking a leadership
role in responding to that imperative. One of my goals is to keep
UCLA at the forefront of the discussion on the technology revolution:
to be a leader in understanding and propelling this phenomenon.
technology affects UCLA and other universities in a number of very
important ways. IT is changing what is taught, and how and where
it is taught. It is transforming student life. And it is revolutionizing
both the research agenda and the research process.
up with advances in IT means that the university's infrastructure
- physical facilities such as classrooms, libraries, laboratories,
offices and hospitals - must be properly configured and equipped
for digital communications and information processing. Infrastructure
and connectivity are expensive, and we must invest wisely in order
to meet our current and future needs.
today are connected as never before with each other, with their
teachers and with the world. A pioneer in making IT an integral
part of the undergraduate experience, UCLA was the first university
to provide every undergraduate student with a personalized home
page linked to a Web site for every course in which he or she is
enrolled. From their home pages, which essentially are dynamic portals,
UCLA students can access a wealth of information. They can send
e-mail, get their test scores and grades, find a library book, read
the student newspaper, monitor their degree progress, consult an
academic counselor and keep up with the activities of their favorite
clubs - all without leaving their residence halls.