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NWAF Conference Report

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Northwest Academic Forum (NWAF), I am very pleased to report that the annual meeting held in Lake Tahoe (April 14-15, 2000) was one of the best meetings of the Forum in many years. The success of the meeting was due in very large measure to the financial support of the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium. As you know, the conference topic was Collaborative Effort to Create a Northwest Regional University Information Consortium.

The major purpose of the annual meeting was to initiate a regional discussion on the question "Should NWAF establish a regional university information consortium?" To assist meeting participants in addressing the question, Sally Johnston, Director of WICHE's Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications, provided working papers on the nature of an information consortium and led several of the session discussions Sally's extensive experience in combination with several other nationally recognized leaders and experts in this field contributed to a well organized, focussed discussion among the participants.

Another factor that contributed to the overall success of the annual meeting was the participation of university and/or state teams. The schedule of the meeting was arranged to allow representatives from each state to meet and discuss the issues from their unique vantage point. State representatives sat together throughout the meeting and that allowed them to compare notes and confer on issues and questions.

The generally positive response from the states resulted in a general agreement that NWAF should continue to pursue the establishment of the information consortium. Dr. George Connick, President of Distance Education Publications, Inc., generously offered to draft a mission and purpose statement. Representatives also agreed to return to their state and confer with appropriate university and/or system officials regarding membership. Future meetings of the NWAF Executive Committee will address the funding questions and identify potential funding sources and strategies.

NWAF appreciates the support and encouragement of the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium as it continues to advance access to high quality higher education opportunities in our region. We believe our continuing association and partnership on matters of mutual interest and concern will serve our constituents and region well. To this end, we hope to maintain communication and solicit your views and suggestions on ways NWAF can better support the goals and objectives of NWACC.

--- Dan Johnson, NWAF Liaison to NWACC

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Last modified 6/20/2000 Contact: office@nwacc.org