Marvin Marshak, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, will be live online tonight to answer questions from students.
Students can contact Marshak via a specially designed World Wide Web site.
During the past few days, University Relations representatives tried to find the easiest way for students to talk with Marshak.
At first University representatives wanted students to use an Internet Relay Chat server. But students would need Internet kits and relay chat software to contact Marshak online.
Although steps were explained on a Web site and a help line was established, University Relations representatives said the process would be too complicated for some students.
“Certain people would be alienated by the (Internet Relay Chat) language,” said Mark Mojdehi, who helped set up the new Web site.
Students can use the Web site to submit questions to Marshak and responses to their questions will be posted on for everyone to read. The page is updated every 10 seconds.
Questions and answers will be clearly separated on the page by different colors or by using bold type and plain type.
Mojdehi said that Marshak may seem slow in answering questions, especially if a large number are submitted and a backlog develops.
Marshak said that he will answer the questions as quickly as he can, and is not concerned about a backlog.
Although this method is not technically a “live chat,” updates will appear quickly enough for students to interact with Marshak.
Marshak compared the interaction with a call-in radio program.
“We’re trying to show how you can use interactive distance-education techniques,” he said.