February 17, 2009

Public Policy Programming Sought for the University Channel


With all of the public policy programming taking place at Case Western Reserve University, it's difficult for faculty, staff and students to catch every speaker or attend all of the events taking place on campus during the academic year. It's even more difficult for people outside of the Cleveland area to get to campus each time a favorite speaker comes to town or an intriguing topic is discussed on campus.

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

Campus departments and groups sponsoring public policy programming are encouraged to record and submit items to the channel so that the university community has an even larger and more robust selection to choose from. In addition to increasing programming content, submissions afford departments an opportunity to gain more exposure for faculty experts, events and academic endeavors on a regional, national and global level.

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.

Anne Helmreich, director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities and associate professor of art and art history, said that connection with other institutions is invaluable. "I think UChannel is great because it connects us to a larger community of scholars and other institutions."

Helmreich has submitted content to UChannel for several events, including a Tom Sugrue talk that was part of the Baker-Nord Center's Cityscapes series last fall. "It was the same night as the Cleveland Indians playoffs. We were able to direct people to the Web site. She added that "it creates depth and longevity. It's also great for teaching purposes. We can't bring speakers back year after year, so it allows us to have the continual experience."

Lucker said Case Western Reserve's involvement with UChannel is designed to appeal to people on both an academic and practical level. In addition to keeping up with public policy initiatives, the instant access of being on the Web "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."

Helmreich said adding content to UChannel was a seamless experience. "They make it as easy as possible. Andrew facilitated submitting content, and MediaVision worked with Andrew to facilitate that. I feel like the heavy lifting was done by our colleagues."

With its Web 2.0 presence, UChannel features free files that are available via MP3 Audio, Real Player Media Audio, and Windows Media Audio, as well as links to live Webcasts. Also, the Center for Policy Studies has transcripts of select programming available. Items are archived on the site indefinitely and on the center's blog. Items that are part of the overall UChannel package can be streamed, downloaded or treated as a podcast. People can subscribe to UChannel by an RSS feed or through iTunes. Other ways to keep up with UChannel content: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Second Life avatars and cable television.

According to its mission statement, UChannel was created "so that academia could contribute its research directly back to the public domain. Even with all the media platforms that now exist, there are relatively few places where you can hear, directly and uncut, about the research and analysis of public policy problems." Departments, professors, and groups that would like to provide content for Case Western Reserve's UChannel initiative are encouraged to learn more about the submission guidelines and contact the Center for Policy Studies.

For more information contact Kimyette Finley, 216.368.0521.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, February 17, 2009 12:19 PM | News Topics: Authors, Collaborations/Partnerships, College of Arts and Sciences, Conferences/Symposia, Faculty, Staff, Students

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.