Two departments get new computer labs

By Matt Michelek

Two NIU departments will increase their computing power next week with new $180,000 equipment.

The journalism and business departments are both adding new computer labs for class and student use.

Michael Prais, director of Academic Computing Services, said the journalism computer lab will cost $80,000. The journalism department and Academic Computing Services are splitting the cost.

The new journalism lab, located in Reavis 204, is the second computer lab for the journalism department. Journalism Department Chairman Donald Brod said the new lab is the second half of a two-part computer lab project.

The first half, located in Reavis 203, was completed in the 1991 spring semester. Brod said both labs will enable the department to meet the demands of the student.

The computer labs will be used for all writing, editing and graphics classes in the journalism department, he said.

Brod said the labs will be used by the journalism department for classes about fifty percent of the time and the rest for free time, and use by other departments, he said.

Stephen Hallam, associate dean and director of Graduate Studies in Business, said the new business computing lab cost in excess of $100,000.

Funding is coming from the computer fees paid by business students from various business courses, Hallam said.

The new computer lab in the Business department is located in Wirtz 322, and will be completed within a few days.

Hallam said the primary use of the new computer lab will be for faculty to schedule and hold classes in.

The lab has a computer available at every desk, and the teacher has a computer that is connected to an overhead display screen, he said.

The room is designed in an executive style and will also be used for seminars by visiting managers and executives.

“We wanted to have a room that presents an appropriate executive environment,” Hallam said.

Both labs will be open next week, but specific classes will not be scheduled until next semester.