The use of new information technologies is one aspect of the broad changes in American higher education that have altered the conduct of research, publication, education, and interaction with diverse constituencies. Facing economic challenges, universities have sought more economical ways to deliver their services, new opportunities to diversify funding streams, innovative marketing opportunities to bolster their public image, and strategic collaboration to leverage resources among multiple partners.1 Within this context, web-based communication and other information technologies have uncertain implications for universities. They hold the promise of helping to solve complex problems, even as they are part of the changing environment to which university leaders and scholars aim to adapt. As anthropologists and other scholars develop new uses for information technology in their research, service, and teaching that are increasing participatory dialogue, many questions arise insofar as the technology facilitates faster, multi-directional communication and decentralizes access to knowledge and expertise.

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