SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY KELLOGG PROJECT
Click here for a Kellogg Project Photo Gallary
September 1, 1986 - August 31, 1993
Dr. Roger Hiemstra
PROJECT REPORT CONTENTS
Part One: Project Summary
Strategies Employed in Achieving Goals
Evaluation Methods and Techniques
Part Two: The Seventh-Year Activities
Factors Affecting Goal Attainment
Part Three: Important Outcomes and Lessons
Some Final Thoughts
Part Four: Appendices
[Here are links to two Kellogg Project publications: Breaking new ground: The development of adult and workers' education in North America and English language adult education books: Their value to adult educators.]
There are two points needing to be made in this final report that don't fit well into any other categories or headings. Thus, they are included here so the information is preserved.
The first point pertains to a logo selected for the Syracuse University Kellogg Project. Not all funded projects have their own special logo but the staff associated initially with the project believed we needed something for our letterheads, reports, and other communications that symbolized our goals while providing a recognizable feature. Figure 1 portrays the logo chosen. It was one of several designed by a local artist to possibly represent the Kellogg Project. The staff discussed them all and came to a consensus during our first year on what we used from that point forward.
There actually are two meanings or views of the logo, both very fitting for the Project. One is that of a case holding an optical disk, symbolizing the heavy use of computer-related technology throughout the project. The second is that of a corona surrounding a knowledge source that radiates electronically, ringed by open books revealing the past while reflecting the future. This, too, matched well our efforts to maximize use of the Adult Education Collection. We embraced both views and took considerable pride in knowing the logo did indeed become recognizable by many others throughout the world.
The second point has to do with the mysteries of life and death we all must contemplate from time to time if for no other reason than to occasionally step outside the frenetic pace of daily existence. During the life of the project two of our visiting scholars, Mr. N. M. Bhagia from India and Mr. Robert Luke from Florida, passed away. It is sad to accept that people you have come to know and respect as scholars, and who have touched your life, been part of this Kellogg Project, and contributed to the knowledge base, are gone. [Postscript: Unfortunately, too, Terry Keenan experienced severe health problems a decade after the project completed and retired, leaving Syracuse University without an Adult Education archival specialist - RH, April, 2002.] However, their legacy continues through the impact the project will continue to have for many years to come.
PART ONE: PROJECT SUMMARY
There are four major parts to this report. This first part sets a scene for the project by describing both our original project goals and those that evolved throughout its life. This includes a discussion of those strategies used to achieve the various goals and the evaluation methods and techniques utilized to ensure adequate progress toward achievement. Much of this report is written in the first person as I, its author, was the only one to be involved from initial conceptualization in 1984 through completion of this final product. Thus, it reflects many of my personal opinions and experiences that I hope will be of value as the Foundation learns from this project in regard to future investments in innovative efforts.
Part two addresses the seventh and final project year's results. This includes a brief summary of the seventh year report, the year's accomplishments, and those factors that helped or hindered the attainment of goals.
The third part provides an assessment of the outcomes and important lessons learned over the project's duration. A brief discussion of several dissemination efforts during the project is incorporated. Included, too, are my opinions regarding actions or results during the seven years, some recommendations the Kellogg Foundation can consider for future funding efforts, and a brief assessment of future plans and impact.
Part four is an appendix that contains several items of value in terms of this document standing as a permanent record for the Kellogg Project at Syracuse University.
Soon after I arrived at Syracuse University in 1980 I realized that the large Adult Education archival collection was an international treasure little used. Other than an occasional Syracuse University graduate student or faculty member who used the resources for course work or research purposes and the few scholars visiting the campus each year, there was little interest in the library materials. As I had long had an interest in the adult education field's history, I felt much could be gained from intensifying use of this fine resource.
I also have long had an interest in and fascination with technology. My first job after graduating from a junior college in 1958 was as a computer operator in the aerospace industry and I have been a heavy user of computers since then. I began using electronic mail soon after I arrived in Syracuse and understood the potential of being able to contact adult educators in other locations.
A marriage of these two interests found support after my initial contact with the Foundation through Arlon Elser in 1984. He encouraged me to develop my concept paper into a proposal. After considerable consultation with history, library, and technology professionals on and off campus over the next several months, after obtaining support from various university administrators, and after receiving considerable assistance from appropriate grants and contracts personnel on campus a proposal was developed.
Subsequently, in September, 1986, after receiving Kellogg Foundation funding, the Syracuse University Kellogg Project began. It was designed to "tap the potential" of this fine collection, the world's largest compilation of English-language materials on adult education. Our two institutions shared a bold vision: to create a "library for the world," using leading edge technologies to provide access to these materials and, in various ways, to facilitate research and an exchange of ideas and knowledge. While clearing new paths for adult education that would benefit scholars and practitioners in the US and elsewhere, the project also was intended to create new models for informa-tion access and management that could be applied in other fields.
The initial project goals were as follows:
1. To process, promote research on, and provide broad access to the University's outstanding collection of adult education materials using laser disk and computer technologies (this became known as KLARS and later as MacLars).
2. To promote information exchange through computer-mediated communications and, as appropriate, through non electronic means.
These goals included manually processing the enormous backlog of unprocessed adult education archives that had been accumulating for more than two decades. There were several specific project objectives which will be reported on in a later section. We refined some of these as our understanding increased and added other components over the first few months of the project that grew from and were supportive of the initial goals:
3. To develop a distance education program that could both make use of the adult education knowledge being created and facilitate professionals making a greater use of technology.
4. To create an electronic network for adult educators throughout the world (this became known as the Adult Education Network or AEDNET).
5. To create and publish a refereed journal that would be published and disseminated electronically (this became known as New Horizons in Adult Education).
6. To provide support for numerous visiting scholars who desired to utilize the Adult Education Collection.
7. To create a documentation strategy that would enable educators of adults to have a unifying mechanism for classifying and identifying adult education materials.
8. To conduct several conferences on topics of relevance to the project.
9. To create a computer-based project that would facilitate older adults becoming more at ease with technology (this became known as the Computers and the Elderly project).
10. To create a logic programming prototype that would demonstrate an intuitive search mechanism to aid scholars in a search through archival material (this became known as the Kellogg Application Program or KAP).
11. To promote scholarly collaboration with the Maxwell Schools's Center for the Study of Citizenship and other units on campus.
12. To create an international system for sharing information with people from settings that do not easily support access to information through technology (this became known as the International Information Sharing Network or IISN).
13. To develop a technology-based system that would support the IISN activities (this became known as the Information Counselor's Workstation or the ICW).
14. To create an office and work environment that made use of adult education principles and that was networked electronically.
During the sixth and seventh years of the project the above were narrowed to six remaining goals (see the Seventh Year report for more detail on these goals and the associated accomplishments):
1. AEDNET - to continue the operation of AEDNET for two years but identify a new home and manage the transfer there.
2. New Horizons - to continue publication of the journal for two years but identify a new publisher and manage the transfer there.
3. MacLars - to integrate the original KLARS concepts into a Macintosh computer system.
4. Historical Research - to continue promoting historical research related to adult education and hold one more history conference.
5. Visiting Scholars - to sponsor several more visiting scholars as a means for promoting historical and other research related to the area of adult education.
6. Distance Education - to promote the delivery of graduate Adult Education courses via computer mediated conferencing.
We also initially had a seventh objective, that of continuing to promote Adult Education students and faculty expertise in historical research and in the use of technology for information dissemination. However, the unexpected closure of the Graduate Program in 1991 rendered that objective difficult to achieve. Subsequently, it was dropped as an official objective although many students and most faculty achieved additional expertise in both areas over the remainder of the project.
I believe we met the original and evolved goals in various ways, although some were not completed to the level originally conceived. We also added two activities that resulted in valuable project products. In cooperation with several faculty and students from our Information Studies School we developed an extensive thesaurus of adult education terms, concepts, and information. Both a hard (paper) copy and an electronic version were developed. We also compiled an extensive collection of biographical information on past and current adult educators. These became known as biographical vitas and they were incorporated into the KAP and MacLars applications to aid in information retrieval efforts. In addition, one of our overriding purposes was to strengthen adult education however we could. As will be noted in this report, we were able to accomplish this purpose in several ways beyond the SU campus.
Unfortunately, a declining economic climate in the United States, especially in the Northeast during much of the project's time period, and corresponding negative impacts on various higher education institutions resulted in very unfortunate conditions for graduate adult education at Syracuse University by the project's close. The University's failure to maintain support for a separate graduate program is a tragic loss for future graduate students and a situation that will diminish the generation of knowledge. However, this is somewhat mitigated by the project's overall strengthening of adult education in the United States and elsewhere, the promotion of historical research by many scholars, a stimulation of greater use of technology by adult educators in many locations, and the legacy we will have left pertaining to the use of technology for information creation and dissemination. In essence, overall I believe the Kellogg Foundation supported a successful project.
Strategies Employed in Achieving Goals
There were several strategies employed to assist project staff in achieving the various goals and objectives. Some of these we employed from the project's beginning, while others evolved as we learned from our various activities.
1. We attempted to find the best people we possibly could to fill the various staffing positions. Initially I followed all university guidelines in hiring secretaries and finding excellent graduate students for the research assistant positions. As soon as these people were on board they began to serve on search committees, as did Adult Education faculty and other university personnel. Regional searches for all exempt (salaried rather than hourly) positions took place and national searches were used for the two faculty positions. All positions were filled within the first eight months of the project. Appendix A-1 provides a pictorial portrayal of many of the staff, research assistants, faculty, advisory council members, and visiting scholars associated with the project. Appendix A-2 provides current addresses for all those associated with the project in some capacity from 1986-1993 other than short-term visitors and conference participants. Appendices B, C, D, and E portray these same people according to their roles as project staff, external advisory council members, internal advisory council members, or visiting scholars.
2. It was my intent, and appeared to be supported by all personnel as they came on board, to operate with what I called a humanistic management style. In essence, I attempted to apply what I knew and understood about working with adults as learners to the workplace (it was a style similar to what I had employed as a Department Chair for 10 years). This meant an open door policy for all personnel, monthly full staff meetings (this usually meant 22 to 26 people), respect for staff initiative and responsibility, and decision-making by consensus. We also had a retreat each year where we met away from the campus to carry out assessment and future planning. I believe almost everyone associated with the Kellogg Project will say that their time spent with it was one of the best work experiences of their lives. The feeling of "family" experienced by most of us, although sounding almost corny in a time of efficiency, the "minute manager," and "right-sizing" efforts, was actually in keeping with many of the concepts of today's TQM and worker-responsibility efforts.
3. Although I began my role with the project as its director, we moved within the first year to a notion of "equal co-directors." This management approach continued through the fifth year of the project after which the number of staff, faculty, and research assistants was considerably reduced and we returned to a single director. During that first year, I quickly discerned the difficulty of serving as project director while at the same time attempting to maintain my role as Department Chair and faculty member. Before the end of the first year through consensus among all Project personnel, Maureen Goodman moved from a role of administrative assistant to co-director (she and I served in these co-director roles for the majority of the remaining six years). In this situation I provided liaison with university Deans and Vice Presidents, provided overall leadership for the technical aspects of the project, provided oversight for all project publications, and ensured that an "Adult Education" focus was maintained in all project activities. Maureen provided the day to day supervision of staff and research assistants, coordinated all financial management activities, and ensured that all evaluation efforts were carried out. Together through regular meetings with each other we worked on any difficult personnel problems, managed monthly and other staff meetings, worked on advance planning activities, coordinated both internal and external advisory council meetings, and worked on the annual reports.
4. We facilitated our research assistants (graduate students) in assuming professional roles within the project. By this I mean they were given considerable responsibility, expected to carry out these responsibilities professionally, and treated with respect as equal professionals. In almost every case, these fine people served with distinction, appeared to learn much that supplemented their educational efforts, and contributed much vitality, energy, creativity, and knowledge to the project. Most of them have gone on to very responsible positions and are continuing to make outstanding contributions to the adult education field.
5. We quickly established a LAN (Local Area Network where all personnel's computers were connected together electronically) so that rapid communication and information exchange were supported. This facilitated scheduling, prompted intellectual exchanges, and helped those working in locations other than the main project building keep connected throughout our efforts.
6. We established both internal and external advisory councils (see Appendices C and D) within the first year. These councils met on a regular basis (usually at least twice a year) during the first five years of the project. The input, advice, and contributions of these fine people were invaluable to the project's development and implementation.
7. Within the first year we decided to publish several types of information pieces. We had originally planned to publish a newsletter and disseminate it by normal postal means. However, we quickly added electronic transmission. We also began publication of occasional papers to capture some of the important intellectual developments and technical reports to incorporate up-to-date information and knowledge about the project and its technology-related actions. We later added another newsletter related to IISN. We employed the best desktop publishing features possible in these efforts.
8. Under the capable leadership of Terry Keenan, we decided early in the project to ensure creation of the best possible archival collection in adult education. This involved the development of a documentation strategy through the assistance of several information specialists in North America, establishment of a collection policy, expansion of the collection in several areas, and eventually processing all collected materials. The result is a fine collection, fully documented in OCLC (Online Catalog of Library Collections, the national RLIN (Research Libraries Information Network), and the NUCMC (National Union Catalogue of Manuscript Collections), and one easily accessible to visiting scholars.
9. We decided to debrief all our visiting scholars so that we could learn as much as possible about the collection, the process scholars were using to carry out their research, the effectiveness of our support to them, and the contributions to knowledge they were making (see Appendix E for a listing of all visiting scholars).
10. Under Rae Rohfeld's leadership, the idea of "working conferences" was added after she had coordinated the first history conference. This meant that time was built into subsequent conferences for scholars to actually carry out research among collection materials, present preliminary findings, and receive interactive feedback from fellow conference participants. This notion greatly enhanced the value and results of our remaining conferences (see Appendix F for a description of those attending the various conferences sponsored by the Project).
11. In keeping with Kellogg Foundation requirements, each year we developed an annual report. From the start we viewed this requirement as a significant learning opportunity. We required all project staff, research assistants, and faculty to submit quarterly reports and these were used to guide our management, development, and evaluation efforts. In addition, all those associated with the project had opportunities to critique and make inputs to the annual report.
12. As part of our evaluation efforts, initially under the leadership of Barbara Florini, and in conjunction with our outside evaluation consultant, Nick Smith, we developed a "project vita" approach to gathering, maintaining, and displaying information about the project. Thus, each year we had an accumulative record of our accomplishments, products, and successes and failures.
13. Project leaders and personnel maintained a close relationship with Adult Education faculty and students. Adult Education faculty were considered as ex officio members of the project staff and usually attended and regularly contributed to all staff meetings. Most full-time and adjunct faculty undertook some type of leadership role for one or more of the Project's activities and usually participated in our various conferences and social events. Students were continuously invited to be a part of Kellogg Project functions, to examine our activities, and to provide advice or assistance in whatever way they deemed of value. Many participated on ad hoc committees, attended conferences or social events, and even participated in graduate classes held in the project's conference room.
14. We attempted to engage in as many interdisciplinary activities as possible. This included cooperating with others across campus on publications, in meetings, and in utilizing some of the technology acquired by the project. Several faculty and staff from various units across campus served on committees, the internal advisory council, and conference planning groups. This effort to promote cooperation worked quite well with some groups (usually the technology or hard science people) and less well with others (often the behavioral or social science people). We developed very good working relationships with people in the Library, School of Information Studies, Academic Computing Services, parts of two Engineering units, and parts of the School of Education.
15. Finally, all project staff, research assistants, and faculty made a concerted effort to disseminate information about the project every opportunity we had both on and off campus. We did this through speeches, demonstrations of our technological achievements, electronic advertisements, attendance and presentations at conferences, and published materials such as journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports.
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