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Calvin Gotlieb fonds
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University of Toronto. McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology

Marshall McLuhan suffered a stroke during the summer of 1979 and, when it became apparent that he could not continue his duties as Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology, the University decided he should retire (he was 68). He died on 31 December, 1980, six months after the University closed the Centre he had created. This decision created an enormous public outcry.

The closure of the Centre resulted from the report of a review committee which recommended that, in the absence of Dr. McLuhan, it be reconstituted as the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology within the School of Graduate Studies. The Program would establish "a program of research and scholarship which would extend and preserve the work and ideas of Marshall McLuhan in the area of culture and technology." The committee also recommended that the Program be governed by a board of directors, that the University provide the financial resources for the Program, and that it be subject to periodic review.

Dr. Gotlieb was one of the founding members of the Board in 1982. The University's financial crisis, occasioned by the salary settlements that spring, nearly meant that the Program was stillborn. The Board was to spend a considerable amount of time over the next few years seeking outside funding; the Connaught Foundation proved especially receptive. Professor Gotlieb's resignation from the Advisory Board (as it was known from 1989) was reluctantly accepted in March, 1990.

These files contain correspondence, notes, minutes, financial statements, and reports. The arrangement is chronological.

University of Toronto. Department of Computer Science

In 1984 Professor Gotlieb took over from Martin Molle the responsibility for organizing the numerous colloquia and seminars held each year in the Department. Drawing on his extensive network of contacts, Professor Gotlieb was able to bring in speakers from around the world.

This series consists of notes, correspondence with speakers, and notices of the events. The material is grouped by speaker and the arrangement is chronological. E-mail for 1986-1990 is found in box 004, files 01-04.

University of Toronto committees and projects

This series document’s Gotlieb’s role in several University of Toronto committees and initiatives, mainly relating to computers and their increasing use in the teaching and research functions of the University. Except for two small files dealing with the FERUT project in the 1960s, the committees documented here date from about the early 1980s to 2001. This was a time that saw exponential growth in the use and access to computers, first with the proliferation of personal computers and later with the development of the Internet. Included are files on the Toronto Waterloo Cooperative on Information Technology 1981-1985, the Working Group for a Canadian Electronic Text Network 1988, and the Identity Technology Working Group (Smart Card Review Committee). There are extensive printed e-mail files containing reports, discussions and correspondence for the Information Highway Working Group. This latter group was loosely related to the University since more that half its members were Faculty. It played a consultative role to the federal government on the development of the Internet.

Also included in this series are records relating to the Task Force on Academic Computing and New Media. It includes correspondence, e-mail, reports, surveys and notes from meetings. This Task Force was the successor of the Task force that set up the Information Commons. It was mandated to focus on “exploiting the academic computing and new media to enhance teaching and research, to enhance the communication among members of the University, and to connect effectively with a wider, external academic computer” [1].

NOTES

  1. Report of the Task Force on Academic Computing and New Media, Working Draft 5, Feb. 14 2000 p. 3.

Teaching

This series is made up of course binders containing course outlines, reading lists, lectures, assignments and term tests for several of Gotlieb's most popular courses including the Economics of Computers and Computers and Society. There are records that document courses taught both in the Department of Computer Science and the Faculty of Library Science.

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