Call Number, Volume 67, Number 2, Fall 2008 Page: 9
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Thriving on Change
It was a pleasure to read Professor Nichols's editorial (p.5) prior to
writing my first editorial for Call Number, however, it left me with a
daunting number of questions to answer. First, how do I introduce
Learning Technologies to a new audience? How do I explain our history,
our present, and hopes for the future? How do I define Learning
Technologies? How do I explain the "connections" that led to a
consolidation? How do I...? These simple words left me with endless
possibilities on the way to the store to buy more coffee beans for my
grinder. After fresh bean juice, I decided to write this commentary as an
opening conversation without a need to "wrap-up."
The Department of Learning Technologies utilizes theories, systems,
processes, and tools that advance society by improving skill sets,
promoting global and local connectivity, and increasing the productivity
and knowledge of a society. Tom Peters wrote a book in 1987 titled
Thriving on Chaos in which he states "excellent firms don't believe in
excellence - only in constant improvement and constant change." The
Department of Learning Technologies has been a part of the University of
North Texas since 1909 when it began offering manual training courses to
North Texas students. The department currently offers an online
bachelor's degree, two master's degrees and three doctoral degrees in the
areas of computing, learning and performance.
Throughout the interdisciplinary history of the Department of
Learning Technologies, it has adapted to the changing needs of learners
and anticipating the future needs of society. Over the last 100 years, the
United States had changed significantly from a localized agrarian society
into a global information society. With this societal change, the courses,
programs, departments, divisions, schools and colleges at the University of
North Texas have also changed to better facilitate learning and the
transition to the workforce.
Change is seldom comfortable. However, innovation cannot happen
without pioneers willing to risk change for benefit of advancement. Our
new college will be an incubator for such innovation. Student-centered
research colleges and universities that survive into the future must be
willing to invest in ground-breaking, collaborative partnerships that work
toward solutions for a global information society.
The new College of Information, Library Science, and Technologies
is deeply rooted in the fabric of a university. It has been created with a
faculty, staff, and students that respect the past, while studying in the
present towards the goal of shaping the future.
As we come together as one college, old friendships will be renewed
and opportunities for vibrant collaborations will be discovered. I
personally look forward to the next year as the college embarks on a
journey in a direction that could not have been imagined by Joshua
Chilton when he founded the North Texas State Normal College in 1890.
Jeff M. Allen
Interim Department Chair
Department of Learning Technologies
LT AND LIS INTERIM CHAIRS
Dr. Jeff Allen and Dr. Maurice Wheeler
Dr. Jeff Allen, LT Interim Chair, has
been a UNT faculty member since 1994.
He is a distinguished teacher and scholar in
the field of performance improvement who
consults and teaches in that area as well as in
career and technical education, learning .
technologies, and research methods. He
provides leadership in numerous
professional organizations and has served as
a reviewer for numerous national and
international publications. His published
works includes Leadership in Career and
Technical Education: Beginning the 21st Century (University Council for
Workforce and Human Resource Development, 2005), and over 30
publications in journals such as Community College Journal of Research and
Practice, Journal of Ilndustrial Teacher Education, Workforce Education Forum,
Performance Improvement Quarterly, International Journal ofApplied
Management & Technology, and Journal oflnstructional Psychology. He made
recent presentations during conferences at the Academy of Human
Resource Development International Research Conference, Panama City,
FL, in 2008, and 6th International Conference of the Academy of HRD
Asian Conference, Beijing, China, in 2007.
Dr. Allen holds the PhD degree from Penn State University and the
MS and BAAS degrees from UNT. He holds a black belt in several areas of
the martial arts, such as an eighth degree level in Archipelago Combatives.
Dr. Maurice Wheeler, LIS Interim
Chair, who joined the LIS faculty in 2002,
came to UNT from the Detroit Public Library
where he had served as director since 1996.
His research areas include public libraries,
leadership and administration of libraries,
cultural diversity as organizational
development, and African American music
archives and special collections. His
publications include: Unfinished Business: Race,
Equity, and Diversity in Library and
Information Science Education (Scarecrow,
2004); a chapter in the Whole Library Handbook, 4th ed (ALA, 2004); and
refereed articles in Libres; International Journal of Diversity in Organisations,
and Communities and Nations; and International Journal of the Humanities.
He has made numerous conference presentations including "Information
Retrieval, Archives and Social Commentary: Researching the Dynamics of
Race at the Metropolitan Opera" at a conference held at Cambridge
University, Cambridge, England, in June 2005.
An active member of TLA and ALA, he has chaired and served on
numerous committees and assumed other leadership roles in the
organizations. His degrees include the PhD in Library Science from the
University of Pittsburgh, the M.I.L.S. from the University of Michigan;
Master of Music, Voice Performance, University of Michigan; and Bachelor
of Music, Shorter College.
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University of North Texas. College of Information. Call Number, Volume 67, Number 2, Fall 2008, periodical, 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc75578/m1/10/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Information.