The board of trustees of a private, grantmaking foundation has more capacity to affect the nature and performance of the entity for which it is responsible than do the trustees or directors of any other type of organization, for-profit or not-for-profit. It follows that the leadership of the board is of critical importance, and in recent years the Foundation has been blessed with two superb Chairmen: first, Dr. William O. Baker, who chaired the Board from June 1975 to September 1990 and did so much to define both the substance and the style of the Foundation as it operates today; then, for the last six years, John C. Whitehead. The calendar and fiscal year that is the subject of this annual report, 1996, was the last full year of Mr. Whitehead's service (he will retire in March 1997). In this report, I wish to record our appreciation of his leadership by blending an account of recent and prospective developments at the Foundation with references to the ways in which these developments reflect Mr. Whitehead's own interests and activities.
In addition to bringing to the Chairman's role an extraordinary range of experiences and involvement in government and with nonprofit entities of almost every conceivable kind, Mr. Whitehead has been an active participant in the work of the Foundation's Finance Committee. That Committee, under the leadership of Trustee Charles E. Exley, Jr., has restructured the Foundation's investment portfolio and overseen a dramatic increase in the market value of assets-from $1.6 billion as of December 31, 1990, to roughly $2.8 billion at the end of 1996, after appropriations for grants and operating expenditures of well over half a billion dollars during that same period.
Sustained Support for the Humanities
When Mr. Whitehead became Chairman of the Board, he recognized-and applauded-the Foundation's longstanding commitment to the humanities. (Note 1) The dominant theme of last year's annual report (pdf) was a reaffirmation by the Trustees and staff of the strength of this commitment. That reaffirmation has been made tangible by appropriations that have totaled more than $40 million in each of the last two fiscal years. (As always, the printed annual report contains a detailed listing of all grants made during the year and a summary table is included here.) A significant part of this support has taken the form of funds provided to-and for-graduate students, through a combination of portable fellowships and institutional grants intended to enhance the quality of doctoral programs in selected departments while simultaneously reducing attrition and time-to-degree. In addition, the Foundation has supported dissertation seminars; postdoctoral fellowships; research libraries, historical societies, and centers for advanced study; the publication of scholarly tools and texts; some area studies programs (especially Latin American studies in recent years); and a range of activities at liberal arts colleges, including particularly the teaching of foreign languages. (Note 2)
Three years ago, the Foundation initiated the "Sawyer Seminars," a program intended to honor my predecessor, John E. Sawyer, by encouraging comparative study of the historical and cultural origins of significant contemporary developments. The seminars provide postdoctoral and dissertation fellowships and are informal; they are explicitly not meant to inspire the creation of new infrastructures, which universities would then have to support on a continuing basis. To date, 28 seminars have been approved, and one of the most encouraging developments in 1996 was our receipt of reports indicating that the first seminars appear to have been highly successful (with at most one or two exceptions). To list just a few of the topics: contending views of human rights in East and West, the historical roots of modern concepts of tolerance, the link between language and nationhood, and Islamic fundamentalism. New seminars approved in 1996 include a proposed examination of "retroactive justice" in a range of social and political settings, the uneven course of democratization and "democratic detours," the Europeanization of overseas territories and the subsequent formation of new nation-states, and a comparative study of genocide.
Also noteworthy was the approval in September 1996 of a series of appropriations, totaling almost $5 million, toward costs of new postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities at centers for advanced research such as the National Humanities Center, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, and the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. (Note 3) In addition, the Foundation is in the process of reinstituting, and in some respects expanding, earlier programs of support for postdoctoral fellowships at leading liberal arts colleges. In 1996, grants for this purpose were made to Oberlin, Swarthmore, and Wellesley Colleges. John Whitehead is a graduate of Haverford College, and a long-time supporter of that college (having chaired its Board of Managers for many years) as well as of liberal arts colleges in general.
The arts is a second broad field in which the Foundation has a longstanding interest and major commitment. Periodic reviews of particular modes of grantmaking are prerequisite to the long-term health of activities in any field, and in this spirit a committee of the Trustees, chaired by Frank H.T. Rhodes, devoted much of 1996 to a thorough review of the Foundation's activities in the performing arts and in the world of museums. The timing of the review was prompted by both external and internal developments. Externally, there have been, and continue to be, dramatic changes in the funding environment as well as in the composition of audiences for the performing arts. Internally, the Foundation's accomplished Program Officer in the arts, Rachel Newton Bellow, resigned in order to pursue a new initiative outside the Foundation ("Project 180") designed to facilitate institutional change and adaptation in the arts.
The committee's review culminated in a report containing a number of recommendations, including the organizational suggestion (since adopted by the Trustees) that we no longer think of the performing arts and museums as two parts of a single whole. The fields, and the institutions that inhabit them, differ in a great many respects, including the role of audiences (visitors), the nature of their artistic "assets," and characteristic financial structures and funding patterns; the Foundation intends to continue to devote substantial resources to each of these fields, and each deserves an identity of its own.
Following adoption of the report, the Trustees authorized a search for a successor to Ms. Bellow as Program Officer for the performing arts. I am delighted to report that the search process, directed by Harriet Zuckerman, culminated in the identification and recruitment of an absolutely outstanding individual, Catherine Wichterman. Ms. Wichterman has an impressive history of accomplishment in the management of orchestras and most recently as President of Meet the Composer. In light of these changes, I invited Catherine Wichterman and Harriet Zuckerman to contribute an essay to this year's annual report summarizing the conclusions reached by the Trustees and outlining some initial ideas concerning future directions; their essay follows mine.
The Trustees did not want there to be any hiatus in grantmaking while the review and search were underway. Accordingly, we asked J. Kellum Smith, Jr., formerly Vice President of the Foundation and now a Senior Advisor, to serve as interim director of grantmaking for the performing arts during 1996, and he certainly did not disappoint us. Working with Elizabeth Breyer, Program Associate for the arts, he developed recommendations that led to the largest dollar volume of grants in the performing arts during any one year in the Foundation's history (totaling nearly $10 million).
In the case of art museums, we are fortunate to have Angelica Zander Rudenstine as our Senior Advisor. In addition to continuing initiatives she developed earlier, including support for college and university art museums as well as for curatorial positions at other museums, Ms. Rudenstine is now developing intriguing ideas for expanding the conservation component of the museum program into the field of photography. Our Chairman, John Whitehead, is well-known for his wide-ranging interest in the visual and performing arts, which is reflected in his own activities as a collector as well as through his service on the boards of the Getty Trust and the Lincoln Center Theater, as well as on the Trustees' Council of the National Gallery of Art. Well-placed spies tell me that he also once played the violin for the New Jersey Symphony (as a very young man)!
The Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF)
The largest set of appropriations approved by the Trustees during 1996 was $9,900,000 in support of the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF), which was established to encourage larger numbers of students from underrepresented minority groups to consider studying for doctoral degrees in designated fields within the arts and sciences. Features of the program include careful selection of fellows during sophomore year, close interaction with faculty advisors, summer research projects, summer conferences, modest support of scholarly activities during study for the PhD, and forgiveness of undergraduate loans as students progress toward the PhD. The program, now beginning its ninth year, depends on the active participation of 26 individual colleges and universities (and especially on the coordinators appointed by each) and the leadership of the United Negro College Fund.
In view of the importance we attach to this program, and its size, we track the progress of both institutions and individuals very carefully-some might say relentlessly. To provide a quantitative sense of progress to date, I quote from the materials prepared by Jacqueline Looney, the Program Officer in charge of MMUF, recommending additional funding for the program:
Eight years of data collection have yielded evidence of the program's success. Of the 909 MMUF fellows in cohorts I through VIII, just five percent left the program prior to receiving their bachelor's degrees.... Of the degree recipients, 33 percent have already entered PhD programs, six percent have entered master's programs in the Foundation's specified fields, and another 27 percent of students state that they intend to pursue graduate study in the arts and sciences after taking time off...
While the numbers having reached doctoral candidacy are still small, students in the first two cohorts show significant signs of progress. Of the 67 fellows in the earliest two cohorts who are in PhD programs in the designated fields, 23 have already achieved candidacy. Most notably, three fellows in cohort I have already earned the doctorate, one in comparative literature and two in physics. One has accepted a tenure-track teaching appointment, another is completing the second year of a postdoctoral fellowship, and the third has received two postdoctoral fellowship offers.
In addition to the number of students pursuing doctorates in the specified fields, there are other encouraging quantitative indicators. For example, another eight percent of the BA recipients have entered graduate programs in non-Mellon fields. Two of these fellows (from cohort I) have already earned doctorates in chemistry and in business finance; both have accepted tenure-track teaching appointments. (Note 4)
At the same time that we are encouraged by the early signs of the program's success (including eloquent testimonials and other qualitative indicators of powerful indirect, as well as direct, effects)-and, even more, by its promise-we are painfully aware of how small the proverbial "pipeline" continues to be. For example, African-Americans earned only 2.6 percent of all doctorates awarded in the humanities in 1995, the most recent year for which data are available. The Foundation's Trustees believe in "staying the course" when the Foundation seeks to address a national problem of this magnitude, and the large appropriation approved in 1996 will assure the continuation of the MMUF program for the foreseeable future.
Research in Higher Education
In company with most other large foundations, we make grants to institutions for research in fields of interest to the Foundation (ecology is a prime example). In addition, this Foundation conducts some research of its own. At their fall retreat in 1996, the Trustees reexamined this facet of the Foundation's activities. The rationale for the Foundation's own research efforts was summarized as follows:
The Foundation supports a modest, but important, research program in order to (a) contribute new ideas to fields in which the Foundation is active, in an effort to benefit directly institutions such as historical societies which we support as grantees; (b) stimulate new or improved grantmaking in areas such as doctoral education and the education of minority students; (c) enhance the ability of staff to evaluate the results achieved by grantmaking; and (d) create an intellectual milieu that will be attractive to able staff members. More generally, the research program reinforces the commitment of the Foundation to longterm analyses and solutions.
All of the research carried out or sponsored by the Foundation is in fields in which we are active as grantmakers; we seek to maximize the interactions between research into problems and grantmaking intended to ameliorate them. Having started out by working on issues facing higher education (and particularly doctoral education), we then shifted much of our attention to the management of nonprofit entities and published a series of books, including case studies of institutions with particularly instructive histories, that were intended to broaden understanding of the challenges faced by charitable nonprofits in defining their missions and managing their financial resources. (Note 5) These topics are important to many of our grantees, and we continue to have an interest in them--an interest that has been reinforced and encouraged by John Whitehead, who has himself funded the establishment of a program in the management of nonprofits at the Harvard Business School. Now, however, we have returned to our earlier interest and are (again) focusing our research activities mainly on higher education.
In the spring of 1996, a conference on higher education was convened by Princeton University as part of the celebration of its 250th anniversary. President Harold Shapiro of Princeton and I served as co-directors; while the University was responsible for all costs associated with the conference itself, much of the research presented at the conference had been sponsored by the Foundation. This institutional collaboration is now resulting in the publication of a series of books on a wide range of topics: factors causing increases in institutional costs (by Charles Clotfelter); recent developments in the humanities (edited by Alvin Kernan); long-term trends in admission, financial aid, and enrollments at liberal arts colleges (by Elizabeth Duffy and Idana Goldberg); the effects of changes in Federal financial aid programs on access to higher education (by Michael McPherson and Morton Schapiro); issues of accountability, presidential leadership, and the role of faculties (edited by Harold Shapiro and myself); and efforts by educational institutions to address the complex issues of diversity (edited by Eugene Lowe).
In addition, Fredrick Vars and I completed a paper on "SAT Scores, Race, and Academic Performance" at academically selective colleges and universities that is to be published soon in a volume edited by Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips. This study is the first to use the huge database that the Foundation is building through its College and Beyond project. Eventually, the Foundation's College and Beyond database will include detailed educational and life histories on sets of matriculants at 34 academically selective colleges and universities who began their studies in the fall terms of 1951, 1976, and 1989 (approximately 95,000 individuals overall). The Foundation has formed an advisory committee, chaired by President Michael McPherson of Macalester College, to assist in developing guidelines concerning access to this database and appropriate methods of protecting the absolute confidentiality of information provided by both individuals and institutions. This exceedingly complex and ambitious project, which grew out of what we thought was an innocent interest in the evolution of intercollegiate athletics, is directed by James Shulman, and inquiries concerning it should be directed to him.
As is evident from what has been said already, the Foundation has a particularly strong interest in the issues of both educational policy and public policy associated with the efforts of colleges and universities to enroll larger numbers of minority students. Our concern is not just with enhanced access to educational opportunities, important as that is, but also with: (a) how well colleges and universities are preparing minority students, and especially those at the upper end of the test-score range (who are enrolled in highly disproportionate numbers at the institutions included in our database); (b) the educational benefits of diversity-which are often asserted but hard to pin down; and (c) the subsequent experiences and contributions of the increased numbers of minority students who have attended leading colleges and universities over the last 30 years. The Foundation's Counsel, Stephanie Bell-Rose, is working closely with James Shulman, Harriet Zuckerman, and me in commissioning new research by leading scholars on these topics and (in collaboration with other staff members) in extending some of our own work. We believe that these issues, contentious and emotional as they sometimes are, remain of critical importance to American society. John Hope Franklin may well have been right when he asserted that the problem of "the color line" will be the problem of the 21st century in the United States.
The Evolution of JSTOR ("this cool site")
Last year's annual report contained a fairly lengthy update on JSTOR (an acronym for "journal storage"), which now enjoys an independent existence as a separately incorporated not-for-profit entity housed at the New York Public Library. The Executive Director of JSTOR, Kevin M. Guthrie, is best able to describe the current status of this fast-moving project, (Note 6) and it is not my intention to substitute for him in that role. However, since the Foundation did originate JSTOR and intends to maintain a friendly, collaborative relationship with this "offspring," I would like to make a few comments of myown at this time of transition.
Enormous progress has been made in creating a highly accessible electronic database consisting of the complete backfiles of core scholarly journals in a growing number of fields. In creating JSTOR, the Foundation's original intent was to address long-term problems of limited shelf space in libraries (and the attendant capital costs) as well as the correlative need to preserve valuable scholarly materials that might deteriorate or disappear without electronic archiving. (JSTOR is, incidentally, a good illustration of how research--in this case, the Foundation's early study of trends in library costs and the applicability of electronic technologies-can lead eventually to an actual "product," designed to address problems identified by the research. (Note 7)
The original objectives remain important. However, we have now concluded that JSTOR also has a far more immediate appeal in that it makes existing journal literature much more accessible to scholars, through the combination of high quality images (that can be printed out at a user's workstation) and a powerful search engine. (Note 8) By participating in JSTOR, libraries can obtain, instantaneously, the full backfiles of core journals-a "collection" which will never deteriorate and will always be available in pristine condition. Moreover, this can be accomplished without ever building shelf space or hiring more staff, never mind paying for copies of the backfiles or managing the paper copies. Finally, it is now apparent that a growing number of publishers, including major for-profit publishers such as Blackwell and Wiley, see the practical advantages of contributing the backfiles of their journals. Thus, we are highly confident that Phase I of JSTOR will in fact contain the full runs of a minimum of 100 core scholarly journals in fields ranging from economics and history (JSTOR's initial fields), through mathematics, ecology, political science, sociology, philosophy, and demography, to mention only fields in which there is already considerable activity. And the JSTOR technology and production process are obviously capable of incorporating many more materials, of all kinds, if demand warrants.
John Whitehead, in company with all of the Foundation's other Trustees, has been an enthusiastic supporter of JSTOR from the beginning, and he has been particularly helpful in insisting that a business plan be developed that will allow JSTOR to function effectively as an independent self-sustaining entity. A business plan has been developed. Even with a value-based pricing approach that sets very low charges for smaller institutions, JSTOR should be able to cover all of its costs, going forward. This result depends on meeting ambitious goals concerning the number of participating libraries, but we think these goals are attainable. One "fact of life" should have come as no surprise: it can be difficult for some librarians, in deciding whether to participate in JSTOR, to give weight to many potential sources of cost-savings, including capital costs that can be avoided in future years, because such outlays and future obligations are not included in their own budgets and are not defined as their responsibility. Adopting reasonably long time horizons, and enumerating costs and benefits in all-inclusive ways, are no easy tasks. But it should be possible for educational institutions overall to "internalize" all of the relevant economic considerations when making what are really investment decisions.
Looking ahead, an important question for the Foundation is how best to take advantage of the extraordinary resource that JSTOR represents. We will want to give careful thought to ways of using JSTOR to advance other programmatic objectives of the Foundation. In this country, we believe that JSTOR could be of great value to particular groups of institutions in which the Foundation has a long-standing interest: specifically, some of the Appalachian colleges and some of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Outside the US, JSTOR could be extremely valuable to those scholars and graduate students who lack convenient access to major journal literature. Word about JSTOR is circulating, and we have received a number of spontaneous inquiries. For example, we received the following e-mail message from Beijing (that prompted the tongue-in-cheek reference in the heading of this section):
I am a Ph.D. candidate of economics in UC-Berkeley, your participating institution [Berkeley is a JSTOR test site]. However, now I am staying in China for dissertation work. I wonder whether I can have the permission to access JSTOR from Beijing.. I really need it in China, you can imagine how I need this cool site for my research while academic info is precious in China.
We have also heard from potential users in Britain, France, Hong Kong, India, Argentina, Peru, South Africa, and countries in Eastern Europe. In principle, we would of course like to have overseas institutions benefit from JSTOR's existence, and we are beginning to explore the possibility of establishing mirror sites at key locations on other continents (such sites will be needed, we believe, to facilitate the electronic transmission of large files); but this will not be easy to accomplish-or inexpensive. JSTOR and the Foundation will need to seek interested funding partners.
JSTOR is but one instance among many Foundation activities related to libraries and scholarly communication. When we compiled an inventory of library-related grants between 1990 and 1996, we learned that they totaled more than $85 million. Since libraries and the promotion and dissemination of scholarship are so central to the entire academic enterprise, we expect that support of a wide range of activities in this area will continue to be a high priority for the Foundation.
Cost-Effective Uses of Technology in Teaching
In March 1996, the Trustees approved a new initiative to explore cost-effective uses of technology in teaching, to be led by Gilbert R. Whitaker, Jr., professor of business economics and former provost and dean of the business school at the University of Michigan, who now serves as a Senior Advisor to the Foundation. In defining directions, assessing proposals, and evaluating outcomes, Professor Whitaker is benefiting from the advice of a distinguished advisory committee, chaired by Frank H.T. Rhodes, a Trustee of the Foundation. Elizabeth Duffy, a Foundation staff member based in New York, is also working closely with Professor Whitaker.
The rationale for this initiative rests on the conviction that new efforts need to be made to cope with the "cost disease" in higher education (the historical tendency for cost per student to increase more rapidly than the general price level), so that scarce resources can be devoted to sustaining those types of instruction, and especially close faculty-student contact and apprenticeship modes of teaching, that are of greatest value even as we recognize that they will always be costly. While revolutionary claims for new teaching technologies have been made for many decades, we believe that a combination of circumstances-more widespread familiarity with computers, computing, and networks; sharp decreases in the costs of technology; and a growing willingness by faculty members to try new approaches-now provides new opportunities to reexamine instructional practices with the explicit goal of retaining what is best in educational practice while simultaneously reducing costs. To date, however, enthusiasm for "bells and whistles" and an emphasis on technical innovations (whatever the costs) have often seemed to carry the day. To quote from Professor Whitaker'sconcept paper describing this new initiative (which is available from the Foundation or directly from him):
A review of the literature on the applications of technology to instruction shows little compelling evidence that costs have been reduced. Many applications have been reported that suggest improved quality and increased costs. That is, more has been done with more. More can always be done with more. The important questions are: can more be done with less; can the same be achieved with less?
Our plan is to support a series of carefully designed applications of technology to teaching that will be monitored closely for both educational effectiveness and cost consequences. The approach is avowedly unsentimental and parallels the approach taken by the Foundation in its recent grants concerned with the application of technology to scholarly communication and to teaching at liberal arts colleges. A recurring theme has been: "No Cadillacs!" We are much more interested in encouraging the design and production of less expensive vehicles that are, nonetheless, solid and serviceable.
One of the first projects of this kind approved by the Trustees is based at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Educational institutions in that country face a pressing need, almost a desperate need, to develop entirely new methods of imparting basic skills to entering students who arrive at college with a wide range of preparation and backgrounds, and who must be educated in a setting in which human and financial resources are tightly constrained. As a consequence, there is a willingness, driven by necessity, to experiment. Martin Hall, a professor of historical archaeology at UCT, is developing a set of computer-based materials that will use the content of African archaeology to teach skills such as taking notes, assembling evidence, constructing arguments, solving problems, and writing. Entitled "Deep Foundations," the new teaching modules will be introduced into core courses. They will permit students to learn at their own pace and will avoid, it is hoped, both some of the expenses associated with the traditional lecturing/tutoring mode of teaching and the patronizing aspects of overtly remedial work. Professor Hall and his colleague, Ian Scott (director of academic development at UCT), are also committed to the design of appropriate methods of evaluating both the educational effectiveness of the new approach and its costs. If this project succeeds, it could have wide applicability in South Africa, and conceivably in many other settings, including the US.
The Trustees have approved a second--very different--pilot project at George Mason University that is intended to reduce the unit cost of teaching in fields as varied as astronomy and English, and Professor Whitaker and Ms. Duffy are exploring a wide range of other possible projects. Our hope is that a series of well chosen "probes" (perhaps four or five new projects each year) will help us learn more about what works and what doesn't work in a broad array of settings. Technology is obviously better suited to teaching certain subjects than others, and it would be a serious mistake to adopt the "one size fits all" mentality in this context. It is equally apparent that success requires the real commitment of talented faculty members who understand thoroughly the content to be taught. We are exceedingly skeptical of efforts to impose new technologies from on high, or to delegate the design of new teaching approaches to "technical experts."
Public and International Affairs: From Eastern Europe to South Africa
When John Whitehead joined the Board of the Foundation, and then became its Chairman, he hoped to encourage the staff to develop a more focused set of activities in the broad field of public affairs, and especially in foreign/international affairs. While the Foundation had long made grants of various kinds in these areas, they could not be said to represent a coherent program.
By fortunate coincidence, the Foundation had already started (in 1988) to make modest grants related to Eastern Europe, in recognition of the dramatic changes in the political context and the pressing needs for economic and educational reform if the emerging democratic states were to succeed. In his time at the US State Department, Mr. Whitehead had played the leading role in orchestrating a new set of relationships between Eastern Europe and Washington, and his immense knowledge of these countries and many of the principal players has been of inestimable benefit to the Foundation. The result has been a program of grants designed to assist new business initiatives, to provide modest help with the establishment of new political and governmental structures, and, perhaps most important of all, to assist in the reconstruction of libraries and programs in higher education that could be expected, over time, to facilitate the preparation of new leadership for business, as well as for these societies at large. Professor Richard E. Quandt, a distinguished economist who was born in Hungary, became a Senior Advisor to the Foundation and took primary responsibility for guiding the development of this program. The Foundation's 1992 annual report contains an essay by Professor Quandt that describes in considerable detail the kinds of grants that have been made.
That description of approaches and operating assumptions still holds, even though we are continuing to phase down our grantmaking in Eastern Europe, largely because many of our original objectives have been accomplished. As always, there is more to be done, and we do not intend to terminate our support of programs in Eastern Europe in an abrupt fashion; but we do believe that the Foundation must always be ready to redeploy its resources in response to changing needs and new opportunities. Thus, in 1996 we concentrated our grantmaking in Eastern Europe on sustaining and institutionalizing the most promising of the initiatives funded in earlier years. Overall, between 1988 and 1996, the Foundation has made grants related to Eastern Europe totaling approximately $45 million. (Note 9)
At the same time, the Foundation has been increasing significantly its support of activities in South Africa, in an effort to build on the momentum established by a grantmaking program that also dates from 1988. That program now has new potential because of the remarkable political transformation that has occurred--and is still occurring--in a country characterized by both daunting problems and extraordinary opportunities. Consistent with the Foundation's own interests and expertise, we have concentrated on assisting South African universities meet the new demands being placed upon them for teaching at all levels, and especially for training a new cadre of leaders who can serve all the people of South Africa and, it is hoped, other parts of Africa as well. For several years now, the Foundation has been making grants in direct support of advanced training for students in a wide range of fields, including the humanities, and in support of efforts to enlarge the much-too-small pool of African faculty members. In 1996, the Foundation made two large appropriations, of $1.5 million each, to support ambitious efforts to automate library systems that have been developed by two library consortia: the CALICO group of universities and technikons in theWestern Cape and the even larger GAELIC consortium in Gauteng province.
Our staff members (especially Thomas Nygren, who leads our grantmaking program in South Africa, and Richard Quandt, who has a great deal of experience working with library consortia in Eastern Europe) have been impressed by the energy, enthusiasm, good will, and determination of the participants in these consortial projects. Until very recently, the participating institutions had existed largely in isolation from one another, separated by apartheid. The CALICO consortium includes the University of Cape Town, historically a predominantly white, English-speaking institution with worldwide standing as a research university; Stellenbosch University, one of the leading Afrikaans universities in South Africa and the alma mater of many of South Africa's prime ministers; the University of the Western Cape, which was established by the apartheid regime mainly to serve the Cape's Colored population; Peninsula Technikon, a predominantly Black institution adjacent to the University of the Western Cape; and Cape Technikon, in the center of Cape Town, with a reputation as one of the leading technikons in South Africa. Together these five institutions have approximately 70,000 students and staff.
Developing a shared library system obviously has enormous potential value to all of these institutions, especially at a time when the educational demands placed on them are increasing so rapidly and resources are so limited. Electronic technologies offer substantial economies of scale. In addition, the very process of working together is eroding "distances" built up over many, many years and encouraging other efforts to collaborate.
Like CALICO, the GAELIC consortium, centered in the Johannesburg-Pretoria region, has made impressive progress in developing detailed plans to link 11 members (with six to participate in Phase I of the project). Agreement has been reached on acquisition and implementation of a common library software system, a vendor has been chosen, and a very favorable set of financial terms has been negotiated. At least two other library consortia are at earlier stages of development, one in the Free State Province, and one in Kwazulu-Natal. We are encouraging cooperation among the consortia to ensure that all systems are fully compatible; with careful planning, a national library network seems attainable within the next five years.
The biggest barrier, and the most complex problem that remains to be resolved, is inadequate network connectivity throughout South Africa. Limited bandwidth and expensive rates for leasing lines limit dramatically the possibilities for sharing library resources and, more generally, for achieving any number of high priority objectives in fields ranging from education to health care. To cite one example at close hand, this Foundation's ability to make JSTOR available in South Africa is utterly dependent on reasonably speedy and affordable access to the JSTOR database via network connections. Similarly, progress in improving training in empirical social science (badly needed in South Africa for policy purposes) will require the ability to download and manipulate large databases. Broad access to the kinds of teaching materials being developed by Hall and Scott at UCT will also depend on connectivity. And then, of course, South Africa will want--and need--international access to resources of all kinds available via the Internet. A knowledgeable friend whom I saw in South Africa in the fall told me that he was so struck by the strategic importance of addressing these problems that he wanted to hand out buttons with "CONNECTIVITY! CONNECTIVITY! CONNECTIVITY!" emblazoned on them. Many people in South Africa, including leaders of the major universities, are well aware of the centrality of these issues and are meeting with the relevant parties in an effort to resolve them.
Refugees (Forced Migration)
One of Mr. Whitehead's earliest and most lasting commitments in the broad field of international affairs has been to assist refugees and the organizations serving them. Sadly, caring for refugees, and searching for ways of facilitating their return to something approaching "normal life," appear to be more important with each passing day. "Forced migration" is almost certain to remain a key public policy problem--and surely one of the central humanitarian problems--of our time. It is altogether fitting that, as Mr. Whitehead retires from the Board of the Foundation, we move ahead with a new program initiative designed to make limited, but we hope useful, contributions to the field. Consistent with our general interest in contributing to long-term solutions to long-term problems, the Foundation will focus on the training of professionals in this field and on support of research that will link academics and practitioners in efforts to establish protocols and standards, and to learn, systematically, which policies and programs have proven to be more or less effective in helping refugees and host communities find permanent solutions to the problems occasioned by displacement. Our program will focus on these problems as they apply to developing countries, especially in Africa, rather than on the needs of refugees who resettle in industrialized countries, including the US.
Of course, efforts of this kind, aimed at allowing the important organizations active in the field to function ever more effectively, are no substitute for providing funds that can be used immediately to relieve suffering. We do hope, however, that the longer-term projects being developed by Carolyn Makinson, the Program Officer responsible for this area (as well as for the field of Population), will permit these organizations to make the best possible use of the large pools of funds that must continue to be raised primarily from individuals, governments, and the United Nations. Several humanitarian organizations have drawn to our attention their great need for funds that can be used in the first few weeks of an emergency, and the difficulty of raising such funds in a timely fashion from their usual donors. The Foundation therefore expects to make matching grants to selected organizations in the refugee field to meet this particular need through the establishment of revolving emergency funds.
In December 1996, the Trustees approved the first grants (other than planning grants) in this area. One grant was awarded to Oxford University, to assist its Refugee Studies Programme in digitizing and making more widely available throughout the world its library of research materials-a collection that is unmatched in its variety and richness and consists largely of "grey literature" (documents of humanitarian agencies, personal papers of leaders in the field, unpublished theses, etc.) that is hard to find elsewhere. Two other grants were awarded to Tufts University and Columbia University, in support of embryonic but promising efforts to develop university-based centers of research on forced migration and training programs for professionals in the field.
Consistent with our approach in other program areas, the Foundation's grants are likely to be made predominantly to organizations in the US. However, we recognize that US universities studying problems in developing countries must develop strong partnerships with indigenous universities-a model that has been followed successfully in the Foundation's population program in the fields of demography and reproductive biology. The refugee programs at Oxford, Tufts, and Columbia all give high priority to collaboration with universities in Africa and we expect the Foundation's awards to strengthen these ties.
There is, we recognize, much, much more to do. The problems of greatest moment generally do not lend themselves to easy or quick solutions, and forced migration is certainly a case in point. Mr. Whitehead has recognized that simple truism for many years, and we shall do our best to respect his example.
William G. Bowen
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
140 East 62nd Street
New York, NY 10021