WRITER: COURTNEY CAVINESS
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Oct. 15, 2001
International Programs' WiderNet Project wins $470,000 grant from MacArthur
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa's WiderNet Project has received
a $470,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to
continue bridging the information technology gap between African and U.S.
"The grant from MacArthur recognizes the outstanding work of the WiderNet
Project and the enormous potential for even stronger bonds between the University
of Iowa and several prestigious universities in Nigeria," said Stuart
Burden, senior program officer for the MacArthur Foundation. "We imagine
that this project will become a model of how information sharing about technology
can enhance teaching, learning and institutional advancement."
The WiderNet Project is headed by Cliff Missen, a systems analyst in the
department of physiology and biophysics, and Michael McNulty, a UI professor
of geography. The WiderNet Project is closing the breach in technology that
exists between Iowan and Nigerian universities by training computer technicians
and coaching decision-makers at Nigerian universities, helping them to increase
bandwidth, establish university intranets, and build their local area networks.
"This grant allows the WiderNet project to focus more efforts towards
Nigeria's largest universities and will allow the WiderNet Project to host
dozens of their high-ranking administrators at the University of Iowa,"
Missen said. "With the MacArthur Foundation's generous support, we will
be able to put together a cutting edge demonstration lab and give our guests
hands-on experience with the tools they'll be deploying at their universities.
"In a sense, we are building a bridge between faculty and students
at the University of Iowa and our partner Nigerian universities," McNulty
said. "Few African universities have access to the wealth of information
available in American institutions. Without digital communication, our African
partners will become further marginalized. We believe this effort will further
strengthen our partnerships with African universities and promote collaborative
research and teaching in African studies as well as many other disciplines."
More information about the WiderNet Project can be found on the Web http://www.widernet.org.
The WiderNet Project is currently collecting used computer and network equipment
for use in Nigerian universities. For information on how to make donations,
or contact WiderNet at (319) 335-2200.
The WiderNet Project is part of UI International Programs, which serves
to further internationalize the campus and community and promotes global scholarship,
research and training.