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UAlbany President Kermit L. Hall Launches Two Videoconference Facilities – One at Ohio State University and One at UAlbany

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 23,2005) -- University at Albany President Kermit L. Hall launched two new videoconference facilities on Wednesday, Feb. 23, one at Ohio State University and one at the University at Albany.

“From just one place today, I am able to see and talk with students and faculty in Columbus, Ohio, Cairo, Egypt and Albany, New York. The new videoconference technology that UAlbany and Ohio State are now using is a great new channel for the exchange of ideas and the expansion of opportunities for students and faculty,” said Hall.

Using UAlbany’s new videoconference room in the Life Sciences Research Building for the first time, Hall and his wife Phyllis participated in the dedication by Ohio State of the Kermit L. Hall Videoconferencing Room in its World Media and Culture Center. Hall served at Ohio State from 1994 to 1999 and the room was named in recognition of his role in making the World Media and Culture Center a reality.

Ohio State faculty and administrators who worked with Hall on the Ohio State project, including Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies,Professor Martha Garland, Professor of French and Director of the Foreign Language Center Diane Birckbichler, and Professor Galal Walker of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures participated in the dedication from the Kermit L. Hall Videoconferencing Room.

The Ohio State dedication and the symbolic ribbon-cuttings for both facilities took place following a videoconference that enabled an Ohio State class to join in discussions with a class at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. The audience in UAlbany’s facility was linked into that videoconference, first to observe, and then to participate.

“We are so pleased to officially open the Kermit L. Hall Videoconferencing Room with this demonstration of its value in supporting our students in their efforts to become world citizens,” said Sabra Webber, associate professor in Ohio State’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her “Arab-American Family Immigration Sagas” class participated in the videoconference with a “Cross Cultural Perceptions and Representations” class led by Michael Lattanzi at American University.

UAlbany’s new videoconference room is the first on campus that is network-based and has the capability to do multi-point video calls. It is more cost effective and offers more flexibility than UAlbany’s older videoconference facilities, which are based on ISDN technology and can only conduct point-to-point calls.

“We plan to use this new technology to bring together faculty and students from far-flung locations for classes, discussions, conferences and presentations that would not otherwise be possible,” said Hall.

The event was also broadcast via UAlbany’s web site.

At Ohio State University, President Hall served as dean of the College of Humanities from 1994 to 1999, and executive dean of the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences from 1996 to 1999. In those roles, he helped set in motion the renovation of historic Hagerty Hall at Ohio State to serve as the home of the World Media and Culture Center and nine units of the College of Humanities.


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