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Several UI publications going online only

BY MITCHELL SCHMIDT | DECEMBER 11, 2009 7:30 AM

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Some UI departments will no longer print their college publications, opting in favor of online versions that provide more opportunities.

“There are things we can do online that we can’t in print,” said Lindon Larson, an assistant director of University Relations.

The UI College of Engineering’s biannual Iowa Engineer is one publication stepping into the electronic age after around 20 years of printing. The new Iowa Engineer Online unveiled its premier issue earlier this month, said Fred Streicher, the director of marketing and communication for the engineering school.

Serving almost 13,000 alumni worldwide is one of the biggest goals of Iowa Engineer Online, Streicher said, and the magazine is the No. 1 source of information about the college. Iowa Engineer Online, which runs four times a year, also reaches out to interested employers, future students, and the K-12 system, Streicher said.

The web publications include Internet links, color photos, and video uploads. The engineering version also includes a careers section that provides information about job opportunities and an events page.

“The new vehicle is enabling us to reach some audiences in a pretty effective way,” Steicher said.
Another publication going online is the International Programs’ International Accents. With the help of the UI’s Information Technology Services, the publication went online in August.

Program External Relations Director Gerhild Krapf said the online version allows for worldwide accessibility, continual updates, and expanded features such as video and audio.

Officials at both publications also noted that online publications are more environmentally friendly and support the UI’s commitment to green alternatives.

Budget concerns at the UI have also been a driving factor in the push for online publications.

The print version of Iowa Engineer ran close to 18,000 copies per issue, which cost approximately $30,000, said Editor Wendy Brentner. Going online will save around $60,000 a year, she said.

Krapf said that with around 16,000 alumni — a large number of whom live overseas — postage for mailing International Accents contributed to a large portion of the cost. International Accents cost approximately $13,000 to publish in print, with $6,000 going toward postage, said Tracy Rew, International Programs administrative accountant.

Larson, editor of the UI Annual Report — another publication going online — said the yearly document cost about $15,000 to print and mail.

But The Iowa Review — nearing its 40th anniversary — is one UI publication planning to utilize online media in April 2010 while maintaining a print version.

Managing Editor Lynne Nugent said that though online publications do cost less, officials at the review plan to keep printing for as long as possible. The print version of The Iowa Review costs approximately $9,000 per issue.

“A lot of us are nostalgic about the feel of paper and the book,” she said.


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