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USG to Provide “Anytime, Anywhere” Learning With Georgia G.L.O.B.E. Launch

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Dr. Richard Skinner To Head New Unit, Expand On-line Programs for Non-Traditional Students and Employers

Atlanta — May 12, 1999

Technology savvy working professionals and non-traditional students seeking on-line learning to prepare for today’s hot jobs soon will have “anytime, anywhere” access to programs offered by the University System of Georgia, with the launch of a new enterprise called Georgia GLOBE.

Georgia GLOBE (Global Learning On-line for Business and Education) is a new entrepreneurial unit launched today by the Board of Regents to help meet the state’s higher education and workforce demands via electronic delivery systems.

Dr. Richard Skinner, president of Clayton College & State University, has been named by University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen R. Portch to serve as president and chief executive officer of Georgia GLOBE, effective June 1, 1999. Skinner will report directly to Portch, and his unit will be housed in Atlanta.

“The University System has been building to this ‘eureka moment’ for quite some time,” stated Portch. “We have been in the entrepreneurial phase for the past five years, building our technology infrastructure along with faculty excitement and support for the use of technology on and off of our campuses. Now it’s time for us to form the strategic partnerships necesary to compete successfully in this new academic arena, and there’s no better person to lead that effort than our own Rick Skinner.”

Georgia GLOBE will use technologies like the Internet and the Web to provide Georgians – especially non-traditional adult students – with expanded access to learning, particularly in employment fields strategic to the state’s economic development. It is expected to become a highly visible packaging and marketing arm for the System’s on-line presence.

The new enterprise also will complement a reorganized information technology infrastructure in the University System’s central office – a refocusing designed to help implement newly developed “action items” emanating from the Board of Regents’ in-depth analysis of technology’s impact on higher education. Action items flowing from 16 technology principles approved last month were presented today for first reading, with final approval slated for the June meeting.

As the digital/electronic delivery system for the University System of Georgia’s education programs, GLOBE will support the System’s Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) – the highly successful economic development program. GLOBE and ICAPP will complement each other to meet the state’s workforce and strategic economic development needs, with GLOBE serving as a marketing conduit for credit courses and degrees, as well as professional development courses and workforce training. The self-standing unit will contract for services within the University System and externally in the higher education and information technology marketplace. The expectation is that it will “import and export world-class learning resources” nationally and internationally.

By September 1999, GLOBE – in partnership with ICAPP and state leaders – will target key bachelor degrees for development. Initial offerings will encompass high-demand programs identified by ICAPP needs assessments, such as bachelor’s degrees in information technology/engineering, teacher education, business and general/integrative studies. By April 2000, GLOBE will partner with the University System’s two-year and four-year institutions to bring the “core” of required freshmen and sophomore courses on-line, with junior and senior courses for selected bachelor’s degrees following by April 2001.

Potential students and employers interested in gaining more information re: GLOBE’s offerings can now access the program’s website online at: http://www.GeorgiaGLOBE.org. E-mail also may be directed to Dr. Skinner at: RichardSkinner@GeorgiaGLOBE.org.

A primary goal of the operation will be to expand the number of Georgians earning bachelor’s degrees. Only 4.5 percent of Georgia’s population is attending college compared to 5.3 percent nationally. This is partly the result of low high-school graduation rates, but also low overall participation by working adults. University System officials hope to significantly impact the state’s educational attainment levels by removing the barriers of time and location that prohibit many working adults from continuing their education and/or professional development.

In a related board activity, regents were briefed on the organizational restructuring of the former Office of Instructional and Informational Technology (OIIT) in the University’s System’s Academic Affairs division. OIIT will be restructured into two operating enterprises. One unit will be focused on academic innovation, research and development, and developing a leadership role in the technology revolution. This unit will work with the institutions and their faculties to develop the products (courses and degrees) for GLOBE. The other will provide day-to-day information technology services, including, among other duties, oversight of major administrative computing, technical support, computer trouble-shooting and maintenance of databases.

The regents academic-year emphasis on information technology will culminate at the June board meeting, with final action on the technology action items.

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