May 19, 2008

Case Western Reserve joins prestigious public policy programming Web consortium

Campus community members interested in thought-provoking public policy issues and discussions can stay informed through Case Western Reserve University's participation on the University Channel (UChannel), a collection of public affairs lectures, panels and events from academic institutions all over the world.

UChannel features programming from well-renowned institutions. "The site features content from schools such as Princeton, Yale, the JFK School at Harvard, Duke, and Georgetown universities, with related topics in policy research," said Andrew Lucker, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and associate director of the Center for Policy Studies, which oversees Case Western Reserve's involvement with the Web site. The UChannel project is an initiative of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and also includes content from schools in the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore.

Case Western Reserve joined UChannel last fall, and is now increasing its participation by adding new programming. "We started out small at first so we could work out all of the details on how this program would operate on campus," Lucker explained. Currently, listeners can hear discussions that took place on Case's campus during the 2007-2008 academic year such as “Iraq and the Future of the U.S. Military,” "Russia: Present and Future," and “The Invisible Primary: Money, Media & Polls in the 2008 Presidential Race," as well as select programming from previous years, including the four-part "Iraq and Vietnam: What You Should Know About the Vietnam War Before Making Comparisons" series.

Campus departments that sponsor public policy programming are encouraged to utilize the new service by recording events and discussions that can be uploaded to the site. In addition, faculty, staff, students, alumni and visitors to the university's Web site are invited to check out the files, especially if they were unable to attend one of the featured discussions. Lucker said Case's involvement with UChannel also is designed to have a broader reach. "It gives us a means of distributing our programming outside of the university. People can time shift and listen to the programming on their own time."

The introduction of UChannel to Case Western Reserve has been a collaborative effort from the very beginning. Heidi Cool, senior Web designer and webmaster in the Office of Marketing and Communications, enjoyed listening to podcasts of UChannel programming from other schools and recommended it to Lucker. Since Case also produces public policy programming, they decided to look into how the university could become involved. With funding from several Kelvin Smith Library Opportunity Grants -- along with assistance from the Freedman Center, the Office of Government Relations and the Office of University Marketing and Communications -- the university became a member institution.

Cool said the resources available on UChannel -- from Case Western Reserve and the other member institutions -- is high quality. "The caliber of the programming is excellent. People who enjoy City Club of Cleveland programming would probably enjoy this."

Audio files featured on the site can be accessed via MP3 Audio, Real Player Media Audio, and Windows Media Audio, and there are links to live Webcasts of the programs. In addition, listeners can download the lectures from iTunes. Some of the other institutions currently offer videos, and Case Western Reserve organizers are making plans to offer this option as well. In addition, the Center for Policy Studies has transcripts of select programming available. Items are archived on the site indefinitely. Programs are also archived locally at the center's blog.

Departments, professors, and groups that would like to submit content for Case Western Reserve's UChannel initiative are encouraged to learn more about the submission guidelines and contact the Center for Policy Studies.

Posted by: Paula Baughn, May 19, 2008 12:33 PM | News Topics: College of Arts and Sciences, Events, Faculty, General, Podcasts, Public Policy/Politics, Research, Technology, WWW Stories

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.