Schools' computing efforts recognised

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 April, 1999, 12:00am

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) has nosed out Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to top Yahoo Internet Life magazine's list of the 'most wired colleges' in the United States, which was published earlier this month.

The university, in Cleveland, Ohio, ranked 13th when the list was introduced in 1997, but fell to 63rd place last year.

'We understood where we were deficient and we fixed it,' Raymond Neff, vice-president for information services, said.

'It's wonderful news. I'm very pleased,' said CWRU president Agnar Pytte.

'The credit goes to all the people who have put in place the network and all of the electronics and optics that go with it, and to all the faculty and students who have come up with imaginative uses of it,' Professor Pytte said.

Toni Searle of CWRU said the survey took into account several considerations, including hardware, and the types of free services provided.

Forty per cent of the university's undergraduate courses incorporate Web-based activities and 95 per cent of undergraduate students have their own computers.

'Ninety per cent of our public computers are available round the clock. Every residence hall room is wired and free technical support is available daily. Students are guaranteed 25 megabytes of Web space and can retain free e-mail access for life after graduation,' Ms Searle said.

MIT, which came in second, was third last year but topped the list when it was introduced in 1997.

Wake Forest University, a small liberal arts school in North Carolina, came in third.

'We appreciate being recognised for making technology so accessible to our students inside and outside the classroom,' said Sandra Boyette, vice-president for university advancement. 'Since we began providing IBM ThinkPads to students in 1996, we have allowed prospective students to apply on-line. We also developed on-line registration and made course schedules available on-line.' New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), which came in fourth, was the top-placing public university on the list.

'Yahoo's ranking has become an important benchmark for the higher education community,' NJIT president Saul Fenster said. 'Science is reshaping our world. Computing and information technology must underpin every facet of higher education for students in the 21st century.' Rounding out the top 10 schools on the list are Renselaer Polytechnic, Carnegie Mellon University, Washington State University, Gettysburg College, Indiana University at Bloomington and Dakota State University.