Recent survey results showed very strong support for more academic emphasis within OSGeo. http://bit.ly/osgeosurvey2
That's not saying it's the only focus but it was rated significantly higher than the next two areas. With this in mind I would like to find a core group of collaborators to work toward establishing an official academic network for OSGeo.
The topic has come up before, but with these survey results we can gain a bit more confidence that there is mandate from members for this (and gain a bit more traction hopefully too).
My goal is to create an officially "enabled" body of academics who can bring their institutions to the table. Suchith's work on the University of Nottingham Open Source Geo Lab collaborated with OSGeo to get started. I would like to roll this model out around the world, maybe with a few tweaks. See the main article Academic Network for more rough thoughts on the role of the Network.
That's mostly off the top of my head, so welcome any additions or deletions! Naturally the education committee can still have an informal role, with there being no barrier to entry. But right now we have 200 people signed up on the committee list, yet few are involved. I want to set up the network so there is structure and then people will have a clearer way of joining up and getting involved. My hope is that we'll be able to get a core group of 10 institutions being represented then make a push to grow it further.
I welcome any feedback, criticism on the idea.
After we've kicked around the ideas, I'd like to do up a formal document and pass it by the committee and, ultimately, have the board sanction the creation of this new unit!
Interested? --Tyler Mitchell, 13 May 2011