AT THE CUTTING EDGE: TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND NETWORK MANAGEMENT
Telecommunications is reshaping the world. "Dramatic decreases in the cost of long-distance communication, increasing power of computer processing, the rise of the Internetall have gigantic implications for the way business is done and households are run," says Milton Mueller, director of the Telecommunications and Network Management (TNM) Program at SU's School of Information Studies (IST).
Mueller, a nationally known authority on telecommunications policy who came to SU in January, says colleges recognize the increasing importance of telecommunications as an industry and technology. Most, however, deal only with small aspects of the field in engineering, computer science, communications, and business programs. "A lot of these programs are loosely attached to other programs, and they don't get many resources," he says. "We think the School of Information Studies is a great home for them. Having a focused program will attract attention and give people a more thorough grounding."
One of only a few such full-fledged programs in the country, TNM prepares graduate students for management positions with companies and authorities that use, provide, service, or regulate telecommunications and network technology. The program has three components: technology, management, and industry and policy. The first deals with signaling systems, protocols, equipment, and other technology that makes telecommunications possible. Management broadly deals with how networks fit into organizations and how they relate to users, and looks more specifically at managing networks through software applications. The industry and policy component focuses on the organization and structure of the telecommunications industryincluding telephone, computer, cable, and entertainment companiesand how institutions and government regulations affect the industry.
Zahid Naqvi, who recently finished the program, worked in telecommunications in his native Pakistan for six years before coming to Syracuse. He says he chose IST because it offered a good mix of technology and management, and the faculty's user-oriented research signified a solid understanding of the marketplace. "Other schools have programs in management of technology, but they cannot compare with this program," he says.
The TNM program will be among the first of its kind available in a distance-learning format when it is offered this fall through SU's Independent Study Degree Program. Mueller expects the ISDP format to be successfulmore than 300 people have inquired about it since the program was announced earlier this year.
"Some people want to be the local area network manager for an organization," Mueller says. "Other people want to go into the business of telecommunications, and work for MCI, AT&T, or some startup company. Others might want to be the chief information officer of an organization, making strategic decisions about how the network will make the company more competitive. We want all those people. We think they all need to be interacting."
WINIFRED MACNAUGHTON HALL OPENS ITS DOORS
Students in the College of Law welcomed the improved flow of hallway traffic and plentiful outlets for their laptops with the completion of a spacious and technologically advanced new law building, Winifred MacNaughton Hall. The building opened in early April.
MacNaughton Hall adds roughly 60,000 gross square feet to the college's existing E.I. White Hall, which is being renovated. Work there includes an expanded admissions suite and student services offices, a renovated library, a new computer cluster, and five applied-learning centers.
"When we started this project, we decided that the top priority would be a space for teaching and learning," says law school Dean Daan Braveman. In accordance with that priority, architects kept students in mind while designing the building. "The primary functions of the addition are all student-focused," says Adam Gross '78 of Ayers/Saint/Gross, the Maryland firm that designed the building. "We also designed for the broader community of the law school and that of the University." Gross, whose firm specializes in designs for colleges and universities, says he was thrilled to work on a building for SU, "a place I loved so much that it established how I operate as an architect."
Christian Day, professor of law and co-chair of the building committee, says the large classrooms are wired for laptop computers and include teaching stations with computer platforms, document cameras, and VCRs. Both new and renovated classrooms "will be of the best current design," he says.
Day says the facility feels like a well-designed, traditional courthouse, public, or academic building. The third floor holds a law clinic and formal courtroom with a judge's chamber. The fourth floor is devoted to student-activity space, reading rooms, and a circular moot courtroom for classes and intramural competitions.
Braveman says the law clinic, where students apply their knowledge to situations they'll face as lawyers, is a highlight of the building. It offers three interview rooms, including one with a two-way mirror for faculty observation.
MacNaughton Hall is scheduled for dedication the weekend of September 27. "Because of the way we designed it, we have a building we believe will be sensitive to the needs and requirements of this generation of students and those in the next 20 to 30 years," Day says.
Winifred MacNaughton Hall includes courtrooms so students no longer have to go off campus to get a real courtroom experience.