Richard J. Cox - April Keynote And A New Book Arriving Soon

ScholarshipDr. Richard J. Cox is the keynote speaker at the 31st annual conference of the Eastern Community College Social Science Association being held at the Loudoun campus of Northern Virginia Community College on April 1st and 2nd, 2005. The theme of the conference is "ADVANCING THE SOCIAL SCIENCES IN THE INFORMATION AGE: CHANGE, INNOVATION, AND RESEARCH."

Dr. Cox’s keynote is entitled “Wandering in a Strange Land: Technology, Teaching, and Knowledge in the Cyberspace Age.” His talk describes the challenges of taking a humanistic perspective in a school of information sciences and the challenges facing professional schools in the changing nature of the modern university. This address reflects on the problems generated by an era possessed by the notion that it is “the” Information Age, and where technologies often create challenges seemingly only resolvable by other technologies. He considers, as part of understanding the true dimension of these issues, the emergence of the corporate university, the transformation of students into customers, the selling of credentials through distance education, the demise of value in scholarship, the emergence of secrecy and the decline of collegiality, and other problems all exacerbated by the advent of the ubiquitous computer. Dr. Cox also discussed the potential wise use of certain information technologies that can enhance the educational process, recognizing that many of our students are accustomed to and expect to be using modern information technologies. How do we educate students (and ourselves) to be able to evaluate critically the information technologies so that these technologies can be understood and used appropriately, ethically, and wisely for the public good? Dr. Cox suggests that the root cause of such problems is not merely technology, but that they stem from problems such as an eroding of interest in the excitement of intellectual engagement, a loss of interest in educating and settling for training, and a belief in our mission to be change agents to strengthen the public good. The nature and value of technology as applied to education is only as good as our values; information technologies are tools to be used or abused by us.

A new book by Dr. Cox, ARCHIVES AND ARCHIVISTS IN THE INFORMATION AGE, is in the final stages of production and will be released shortly by Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. The publisher describes the forthcoming book as follows: “In today’s information world, the importance and need for archival collections and professionals to care for them cannot be understated. Noted professor and author Richard J. Cox provides an insightful guide to the new roles, responsibilities, and considerations for archival management. Cox examines the role of archival collections in public scholarship, distance learning, and the digital era. He explores the need for modern organizations that collect historical materials. Chapters guide readers through the creation of job descriptions and the hiring an archivists and consultants. Cox delineates the role of the archivist in the knowledge age; the profession’s changing credentials and specialties; and the growing base of knowledge found in the field’s scholarly works. Informative and timely, this guide contains vital new information for archivists, records managers, students, and all information workers who are interested in understanding the important roles archivists play in modern institutions and the information profession.”

This is Dr. Cox’s twelfth book since he joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh in 1988.