An Odyssey of Reform Initiatives: 1986 - 2015

Frank Splitt’s book, titled An Odyssey of Reform Initiatives, 1986-2015: From Engineering, K-12 and Higher: Education to the Environment, National Information Infrastructure, and Collegiate Athletics, (FutureVectors, Inc, 2015), is a collection of his writings and speeches covering a period of thirty years.  It is expected to provide readers and researchers with case-study material as well as insights into the difficulties associated with changing the order of things in each of the areas specified in the book’s title.

According to Splitt, the Odyssey was first cataloged by the Plum Lake Public Library in Sayner, Wisconsin where it was linked to Wisconsin’s Merlin Catalog System. Thereafter, he created a CD that contains a PDF of the entire book as well as PDFs of each of its 15 parts and front end (Testimonials, Dedication, Table of Contents, Forewords, and Introduction).

Splitt notes that distribution of the book and CD has been restricted to gifting to public and university libraries as well as to selected individuals in the academy. However, he believes that the provision of free online access to the material in the Odyssey book will facilitate research on Engineering Education Reform, K-12 and Higher Education Reform, as well as provide historical insights into concerns about our environment, the evolution of US Information Infrastructure, and Collegiate Athletics Reform.

The book features an impressive set of testimonials from Derek C. Bok, Stanton R. Cook, James J. Duderstadt, Jon L. Ericson, John R. Gerdy, John H. (Jack) Gibbons, Theodore M. Hesburgh, Nick Infante, Stanley N. Katz, Michael Mangan, Irene Peden, Manijeh Razeghi, Carol Simpson Stern, John P. (Sonny) Vaccaro, and Mary Willingham.

Descriptive book reviews have been written by John A. Prados and B. David Ridpath.[1, 2] These reviews were subsequently adapted to serve as the book’s forewords. Also appended is a link to a related Daily Herald story[3] -- a spinoff from Splitt’s book presentation at Loyola U-Chicago on November 9, 2016. Again, according to Splitt, the story was based on copy submitted by the Mount Prospect Public Library where the book was first linked to WorldCat. Splitt advises that there are a growing number of links to WorldCat from the following set of colleges and universities that have accepted the Odyssey for their library collections:

Colleges and universities that have accepted the Odyssey for their library collections, with bold font indicating listing at WorldCat, are:  Benedictine U., U. of California-Berkeley, U. of Chicago, Clemson U., DePaul U., Dominican U.-River Forest, Drake U., Drexel U., Georgia Institute of Technology U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kansas U. at Lawrence, Lewis U., Loyola U.-Chicago, Luther College, Marquette U., U. of Michigan, Montana State U., North Central College, Northeastern U., Northern Arizona U., Northwestern U., U. of Notre Dame, Ohio U., Olivet Nazarene U., U. of Pennsylvania, Princeton U., Purdue U., Rutgers U., Saint Francis U., U. of South Carolina, U. of South Dakota, Stanford U., U. of Tennessee-Knoxville, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Viterbo U., Washington U. in St. Louis, and the U. of  Wisconsin-Madison.

A copy of the book and the CD are now part of the Distinctive Collections at the Northwestern University Archives. A related photo from the April 19, 2017, ceremony celebrating the presentation of the Odyssey book to the Northwestern University Libraries, pictures (left to right): Judy Splitt, Manijeh Razeghi, McCormick School Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Center for Quantum Devices, Kevin Leonard, University Archivist, Frank Splitt, a former McCormick Faculty Fellow, and Carol Simpson Stern. School of Communications Professor of Performance Studies, a former dean of the Graduate School, and a past president of the American Association of University Professors.

                                                                                        Courtesy of Kevin Leonard

In his book review, John Prados concluded: “The Odyssey is destined to be a valuable reference for all those who have serious concerns about the future of education in America, and, as such, it would be a most worthy addition to public and university libraries.” Therefore, it seems fitting that the book and CD are also being made part of the Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation Archives at the John T. Richardson Library at DePaul University.

NOTES

1.  Prados, John, "Frank Splitt's Odyssey: A worthy addition to public and university libraries" College Athletics Clips, Feb. 5, 2016, https://collegeathleticsclips.com/news/franksplittsodysseyaworthyadditio...

2. Ridpath, B. David, "A Decade of Efforts to Reform College Sports Can Largely be Traced to One Man's Passion," Forbes, Feb. 25, 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/bdavidridpath/2016/02/25/a-decade-of-reform-...

3. Twohey, Norrine, "Mount Prospect scholar's writings recently published,” Dec. 17, 2016, http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20161215/submitted/161219304/