Later this month, my organization, the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), will convene leaders from our membership, which includes the majority of the major US research universities, to explore and discuss the assumptions and strategies that they are using to plan for the 2021–2022 academic year, and the broader post-pandemic environment. This includes consideration of the ways in which online and in-person instruction will operate and in what proportions, space utilization on campus, workforce issues, the shape of the research enterprise, ongoing investments in resilience, and many other issues. In this seminar session, I’d like seminar participants to share their views on the key decision-making parameters of university leaders, the most important areas of uncertainty, and the issues and even opportunities that are not being sufficiently considered in most analysis at present. I’ll start by briefly summarizing my views on some of these questions to seed discussion. My hope is that this seminar discussion will inform the upcoming CNI roundtables.
Later in the semester, I plan to report on what I actually heard in the CNI roundtables, and we can compare them to the perspectives offered by the seminar participants.
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Clifford Lynch is the director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) and an adjunct professor at the School of Information. Prior to joining CNI in 1997, Lynch spent eighteen years at the University of California Office of the President, the last ten as director of Library Automation. Lynch is a past president of ASIS&T and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Information Standards Organization.