This month, we launch a new column. We hope that "The Forum" becomes a place where people will discuss substantive issues raised in previous issues of Research & Creative Activity. We invite you, our readers, to take this opportunity to speak out.

I want to congratulate you on the April 1996 issue of Research & Creative Activity with its focus on the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). I suspect some Indiana University faculty have been unaware of the IAS and its work; the April issue may rectify this situation and draw attention to the institute's contributions to faculty research on all IU campuses.

While reading the various articles about the institute, I concluded that the IAS may offer an example of financial exigency leading to program expediency for the benefit of all concerned. The absence of a major benefactor and the inability of the university to allocate significant funds to the IAS at its founding made it necessary for first Roger Newton and later Henry Remak to pursue alternative strategies for making the institute a viable organization. Their decision to have the IAS forego research of its own and, through the External Academic Fellowship Program, bring outstanding scholars to Indiana University to collaborate with IU faculty on joint research proved to be the right one. The result is that the IAS has become a collaborator for faculty research rather than a competitor for internal and external grants.

The IAS also provides an administrative model that deserves further study. Beginning with Henry Remak and continuing with James Patterson, the institute has gained experienced and able leadership by employing two emeritus faculty members as directors. Remak and Patterson brought rich decades of faculty experience and extensive academic networks to their posts, yet they have been a budget bargain because they are drawing retirement pay. Think of the potential savings if this strategy for leadership selection were applied to other administrative positions!

Howard Mehlinger
Director, Center for Excellence in Education
Indiana University Bloomington

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