Robotics, college costs, clippings

Will the proliferation of robots in the United States lead to massive worker displacement? Probably not, according to the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. By 1990 as many as 100,000 robots are expected to be on the job, but 65,000 positions will be created to help design, build, and maintain them. The jobs created will not be of the blue-collar variety, however; they will require some college background. Community colleges are so far out front in forecasting and acting on the need for robotics workers that some researchers are concerned that the market for trained personnel may quickly become saturated.

Inflation may be cooling its heels, but college costs are still picking up their pace. The average total cost for attending college in 1983-84 will rise about 10 percent over a year ago, an increase that's down slightly from an 11 percent average the last two years, but still hefty. Colleges and universities are still playing catch-up to the inflation of the 1970s, when such costs failed to keep pace with the consumer price index. Students who live on campus while attending four-year public colleges or universities will pay average total costs of $4,721 this year, while students in a similar situation at a private school will pay total costs averaging $8,440.

A decade-long decline in the number of science and engineering doctoral degrees being granted has finally bottomed out. A National Science Foundation study has found that the number of science and engineering doctorates granted climbed by 400 in 1981, to 17,600, and appear to have leveled off in 1982. There are spot shortages of qualified engineers and scientists in both the private sector and in education.

The Philadelphia Bulletin's morgue is being resurrected on the Temple University campus. There was concern about what would happen to the newspaper's library when it ceased publication on Jan. 29, 1982. With over 7 million newspaper clippings, 4 million photographs, and 6,000 books, it is one of the finest repositories of its kind in the country. The reference material will likely be open to the public starting in late fall.

An article on the Education Page June 27 detailed a summer program for executives at Williams College in western Massachusetts. In addition to the five other schools mentioned in the story that offer similar programs, Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., has offered a summer program for executives periodically since 1969.

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