In a move that will open up a mother-lode of information about American higher education, the National Education Association and the University of Rochester have created an Resource Center for Higher Education. Housed on Rochester's campus and staffed by the University, it will be accessible to people all over the world.
The rich vein of data about colleges and universities available through the Center should be important to those who study or assess higher education, including researchers, analysts, policymakers, journalists, and administrators. For a sample of what's available through the Center, key in the following address in an on-line search: gopher://NEA-RCHE.warner.rochester.edu/
NEA awarded the University of Rochester a three-year grant to establish and staff the Resource Center. The grant provides funds to hire an administrator and graduate students from the University's Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development to collect and analyze data for the Center, prepare reports for NEA, and help users get information.
Now people who want comparative financial information, such as institutional budgets, salaries, and benefits will be able to find it more easily. Staff help users locate information on-line through an electronic "gopher," [software that gives Internet users access to Internet resources] and help users compile reports. The Center is a place to find College Board and ACT scores by state, and information about legislative initiatives affecting colleges and universities, and about new books on higher education.
How will the Resource Center be staffed?
Ingrid Overacker, a post-doctoral researcher, is the administrator who oversees a staff of graduate students. They collect and format data for online users and help researchers solve problems they may encounter during searches. The Center staff will work with guidance from the Warner School's Prof. Harold Wechsler, from reference librarians Judith Briden and Kathleen McGowan, and from information systems analyst Kirk Anne and the Unix Group of the Computing Center.
How was the Resource Center created?
The Resource Center was created through close teamwork between the NEA and three departments at the University of Rochester: the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, staff from the library system, and staff from the computing center.
"Having this new online resource will enable NEA to better serve the information needs of its membership as our organization moves toward the 21st century," said Keith Geiger, president of NEA.
"Making it easier for people to get the information they need about higher education while providing valuable training for Warner graduate students has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my career," said Prof. Harold Wechsler of the Warner School. "Working with colleagues in the library and computing center to create this new resource has also been a marvelous experience."