Irish Institute Sponsors Higher Ed. Conference

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

A conference on higher education hosted by the Boston College Irish Institute in Dublin June 15-17 brought together educational, cultural, human resource and development experts from Ireland and Northern Ireland to discuss topics ranging from information technology to research opportunities.

Co-sponsored with IBM, "Higher Education: Partnerships for the 21st Century" was organized by the Irish Institute, which is working for economic, social, educational and political development throughout all of Ireland. Several Boston College representatives attended the event, including University President William P. Leahy, SJ, who welcomed Irish Education Minister Michael Martin to the opening reception in the National Gallery.

"The scope and depth of Boston College's work in Ireland was very much in evidence during this conference," said Irish Institute Director Sean Rowland. "It was a time to renew acquaintances with alumni and past participants in our programs, as well as to strike up new relationships. The conference affirmed BC as the leading American university in Ireland and offered some very exciting possibilities for the future."

The conference featured a discussion with Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella, Associate Academic Vice President Robert Newton and Vice President for Human Resources Leo V. Sullivan on management, service and cost issues in higher education institutions. Campanella also participated in a panel discussion on technology's impact on higher education with Associate Vice President for Information Technology Bernard Gleason and four IBM executives.

Monan Professor of Education Philip Altbach, Irish Studies Program Co-director Assoc. Prof. Kevin O'Neill (History), Irish Studies Associate Director Robert Savage and Center for International Programs Director Marian St. Onge led a seminar on international higher education. Vice President for University Relations Mary Lou DeLong and retiring Alumni Association Executive Director John Wissler spoke on alumni relations, and university development practices and programs.

McMullen Museum of Art Curator Alston Conley, Irish Studies Co-director Prof. Adele Dalsimer (English) and McMullen Museum Director Nancy Netzer joined Irish Minister for the Arts Sile de Valera for the forum "The Museum as a Vehicle for Reflecting Irish Culture in Ireland and Abroad," and Assoc. Prof. Philip O'Leary (English) and Burns Librarian Robert O'Neill outlined research opportunities for Irish scholars in the US.

The conference concluded with an all-day series of individual meetings between participants, which Rowland said were held to explore opportunities for strengthening current relationships and developing new initiatives between Boston College and Irish institutions.

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