Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz / Professor of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
California State University, Chico
Chico, California 95929-0400
530-898-6220 [Office]; 530-898-6192 [Dept.] FAX: 530-898-6824
e-mail: / home page:

19 February 1988 [1]

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© This paper was originally presented on February 19, 1988, at the 1988 Annual Meeting of The Pacific Telecommunications Council, Honolulu, Hawai'i, February 15-19, 1988. At that point in time I was the Associate Dean in The Center for Regional and Continuing Education at California State University, Chico (1977-1988). I resigned from that position in April 1988 to return to full-time teaching in the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Chico. This paper was placed on the World Wide Web on April 5, 1999 and the only changes that have been made are the addition of selected references to some WWW sites at the end of this page.


By organizing this session with so many interested participants, Dr. Utsumi has demonstrated the immense potential of the Pacific. In 1971, Herman Kahn pointed out in The Emerging Japanese Superstate that the nations of the Pacific would assume a leadership role once held by European nations. This same theme was stated in a 1982 East-West Center volume edited by Paul Hooper entitled Building A Pacific Community, wherein the nations of the Pacific will exceed the nations surrounding the Atlantic in population growth, mineral resources, and economic development.

The importance of the Pacific is reflected in the Pacific Telecommunications Council. With nations ranging from the People's Republic of China to island nations of thousands, satellite communications for Pacific basin nations seems a solution. As Joseph Pelton pointed out at PTC'82, "it can be noted that communications via satellite seems to be critically important to the economic and social development of both the ASEAN countries, as well as to the island countries of the South Pacific."

In response to a 1986 California Assembly Resolution, the California Postsecondary Commission [CPEC] authored a report with educational recommendations entitled Looking to California's Pacific Neighborhood: Roles for Higher Education; and in 1986, the California State University published The Future of the Pacific Rim Is Now, indicating that the entire University system (with more than 335,000 students) recognizes the potential of increased Pacific basin activities. In addition to a variety of recommendations in this report, one mentions the need for "teleconferenced courses and conferences" dealing with the Pacific Rim.

CSU, Chico, part of the 19 campus California State University system, realized the potential of an "electronic university" for the delivery of education to locations beyond Chico and a "Global/Pacific (electronic) University" can be established, but it will take time and careful planning. Unfortunately, a 1987 CPEC publication entitled Education Offered Via Telecommunications pointed out that "To date, California has no State plan for the use of telecommunications in education and, despite the several institutional and cooperative efforts described earlier [including CSU, Chico], no statewide coordination of them."

At Chico we have been doing electronic education since 1975 and things to develop gradually. From a few courses more than a decade ago, 50 courses are now offered each year in Northern California via our closed circuit television system. In the Spring of 1988, more than 500 California residents are enrolled in televised courses from CSU, Chico. These are in addition to the 120 enrollments at 20 locations throughout North America who are taking courses in our satellite-delivered M.S. Degree program in Computer Science which we began offering via satellite in 1984.

Telecommunication systems have proven themselves to be both cost-effective and efficient for the delivery of distance education throughout North America and a comprehensive educational program via an "Electronic University" throughout the Pacific Basin is a 20th Century reality and can be developed.

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Additional References added to this WWW paper are: [1994 Paper dealing with IRIDIUM.] [1991 presentation dealing with similar information.] [Various thoughts on educational technologies over the 1998-1999 Academic Year at California State University, Chico.] [Some thoughts and "visuals" on the importance of the Internet/WWW.]

[1] © [All Rights Reserved.] Presented at the 1988 Annual Meeting of The Pacific Telecommunications Council, Honolulu, Hawai'i, February 15-19, 1998. To return to the beginning of this paper, please click here.

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To go to the home page of Charles F. Urbanowicz.

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© [Copyright: All Rights Reserved] Charles F. Urbanowicz

Slight cosmetic changes on 10 April 2001 by CFU

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