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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 4, 1994)
Omaha Magic Theatre
UNL uses satellites to expand educational programs
By Paula Lavigne
Satellite technology is beaming in a revo
lutionary concept in distance education
at UNL by offering classes via satell ite to
students outside the Lincoln area.
Nancy Aden, program specialist with the
department of distance education in the Divi
sion of Continuing Studies at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, said the majority of the class
es offered were at the graduate level.
“The whole effort of using satellite delivery
of graduate education is an effort to meet the
needs of working students throughout the state
who cannot come to Lincoln to attend classes,”
Aden said the students would participate in
the program through cooperating institutions
such as the Panhandle Education Center and
various community colleges across the state.
The courses are offered through a program
called NEB*SAT, owned by Nebraska Educa
tional Telecommunications Network. Colleges
currently involved with the program include
Engineering, Journalism and Mass Communi
cations and Teachers.
The newest additions to the program are two
classes offered by the College of Journalism and
Mass Communications. Mass Communication
Theory and Issues in Mass Communications:
Society, Information, and the Media will both
be offered this fall for students pursuing a
master’s degree in journalism.
Students must be admitted to the respective
graduate college before they are allowed to take
satellite courses and must pay any additional
distance fees to cover library expenses and
expenses attached to remote sites. They must
also meet any stipulations set forth by the
N inety-nine percent of the students in vol ved
in the graduate level satellite courses arc pursu
ing their degrees, Aden said.
“UNL is one of the few institutipns in the
state that offers graduate degrees by satellite,”
she said. “We’re serving the people of the slate
education that they cannot get in their local
Satellite courses are an important part of the
Using satellite technology, courses can be transmitted across the state
enabling people to stay at home for
university outreach mission, Aden said, and
with improved technology, the possibilities for
expansion will only increase.
Another program, called AgSat, also util izes
the convenience of satellite technology. AgSat
is a consortium of land grant colleges and state
universities around the United States. The AgSat
headquarters are located on the UNL East Cam
Jan Polcy, AgSal president, said AgSat was
a distance education consortium whose mem
bers produce academic credit courses and ex
tension teleconference workshops that can be
Although AgSat’s focus is on agriculture,
Poley said, it includes a very broad set of
agricultural topics including production, envi
ronment, marketing, economics, nutrition, child
care and families. The classes can be taken for
formal credit or as nonformal workshops.
An agrimarketing class can originate at UN L
and be offered at another member university or
a university in Idaho can offer a course on
feeding young children which can be shown to
day care providers across the nation.
With formal or nonformal
education in a state like
Nebraska, we have people in
the Western part of the state
who can’t drive to Lincoln
every Monday, Wednesday
Poley said convenience and flexibility were
important factors involved with offering satel
“With older people who are caring for their
families and working, there’s a time factor
there,” she said.
“With formal or nonformal education in a
state like Nebraska, we have people in the
Western part of the state who can’t drive to
Lincoln every Monday, Wednesday and Fri
In many states satellite courses aren’t just a
convenience — they’re the only option people
have, Aden said.
Most states offer courses through a variety of
organizations, Aden said.
The classes can be taken at a member uni ver
sity with a satellite uplink, a community or
county downlink, or at home via a backyard
satellite dish. Aden said the classes could be
taped and saved on video cassette for additional
review or future reference.
“We’ll use any technology available for de
livering educational opportunities in viewing
sites or homes or anywhere that makes sense,
I enure causes controversy
By Brian Sharp
It's like a marriage where one partner says
“I do” for a lifetime and the other says
But while the tenure system may appear to
leave universities on the wrong end of a one
way contract, Alvah Kilgore, associate vice
chancellor for academic affairs, said it's not
Kilgore said tenure had succeeded in cor
recting a system gone wrong.
It used to be that professors were taken
advantage of, he said. They were let go when
they neared the end of their career, or spoke out
against the wishes of their employer. With the
protection tenure provides, academia has moved
But that’s not to say there isn’t room for
Fred Choobineh, president of the academic
senate, said the purpose of tenure was to sepa
rate politics from academics.
“(Tenure) allows you to pursue knowledge...
without fear of stepping on somebody’s toes, or
without fear of being persecuted for your opin
“You have to maintain that (separation) if
you are going to move forward,” Choobineh
But Leo Sartori, a tenured physics professor,
said that in science, if faculty hope to receive
tenure, it needed to go where the money was.
“(The process) tends to push people into
research that will attract grants,” Sartori said.
“There’s also a strong incentive ... to pursue a
safe research, which is more likely to lead to
That means losing freedom, he said, and
See TENURE on 3
SOURCE: UNL Office of Institutional Research and Planning
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