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Guidelines for Institutional Support of and Access to IT for Faculty Members and Students

In recognition that information technology (IT) is critical to fulfilling the educational and research missions of modern language departments, the MLA offers the following guidelines for faculty and student access to and institutional support for digital media and other information technologies. These guidelines are meant to aid departments and institutions in developing the terms of technological support for their educational missions. Department chairs, deans, and other administrative officers charged with the oversight of language programs are urged to consider the following guidelines in the context of the broader institutional IT initiatives.

Departments and institutions should
  1. Provide an information technology infrastructure adequate to the needs of faculty members and students in the modern languages. Modern language faculty members and students require facilities and information specifically designed for the development and use of digital media and other information technologies in language teaching, research, and learning. Institutions should provide IT support for faculty members and students in the modern languages comparable with that available for other disciplines.
  2. Appoint technical support staff knowledgeable about research and teaching in the modern languages. Technical support staff for the humanities must be capable of both translating the technological environment for users and responding to the demands of modern language teaching and research. Before technical staff are hired to serve modern language programs, the views of the faculty members with whom they will work should be sought.
  3. Provide access and support for all faculty members and students. Faculty members and students should be given training and support in using digital information technologies. Technological innovations that permit persons with disabilities to conduct research and carry out other professional responsibilities effectively should be available. Institutions should be aware of and comply with federal regulations regarding accessibility.

Institutions must take care to communicate to the faculty a coherent statement of IT support for integrating the means and ends of scholarly activity in modern languages. It is the position of the MLA that addressing such infrastructure and technological support is indispensable not only to successful research, teaching, and service work by faculty members, but also to the viability of graduate and undergraduate student careers. A proactive and imaginative engagement with information technology decisions will enrich our research and open up possibilities for our students and our educational institutions.

These guidelines were approved by the MLA Executive Council at its 19-20 May 2000 meeting and were last reviewed by the Committee on Information Technology in November 2002.

See also the MLA Guidelines for Evaluating Work with Digital Media in the Modern Languages.


© 2006 Modern Language Association. Last updated 01/02/2003.