Oct. 5, 2000
Vol. 20 No. 2

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    Alumnus will moderate President’s online chat

    By Dana Navarro
    News Office

    University alumni, students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to present questions to President Randel in an online chat from noon to 1 p.m. CST on Monday, Oct. 23.

    Bob Levey (A.B., ’66), former president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors and a columnist for the Washington Post, will moderate the online discussion between Randel and the University community. Members of the University will be able to participate in the online chat through a link on the Alumni Association’s Web site at www.alumni.uchicago.edu.

    The hour-long interview will take place in Randel’s office, where his responses to Levey’s questions will be typed into a computer for participants to view in a chat-room environment. Levey’s questions for Randel will be based on those received from members of the University community. Questions for President Randel may be submitted either in advance or during the live chat. Advance questions may be posted on a bulletin board at the Alumni Association’s Web site or e-mailed to alumni-gateway@uchicago.edu.

    “We’re excited because this is the first time we’ve tried something like this,” said Christine Love, Executive Director of the Alumni Association. “We want to make our Web site more interactive, and a conversation with the President seemed like a terrific way to start.”

    Love pointed out that an Internet connection and up-to-date Web browser are the only tools necessary to participate in the chat.

    Although this is a first-time event for the University, online chats are a part of Levey’s weekly routine. As a member of the Washington Post editorial staff, Levey is the host of two online chats per week. He interviews Washington Post reporters and editors, Washington officials and individuals making news. Levey proposed the idea of an online chat to Randel when they first met earlier this year.

    In an effort to introduce Randel to University alumni, the Alumni Association has scheduled seven receptions in cities nationwide, including one each in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as three in Chicago. Love said the online chat is an opportunity for alumni who cannot attend a reception to meet Randel and ask questions.

    “The main purpose of this chat is for alumni to learn more about President Randel. We want alumni to feel as connected as they can to the University community.”