CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: July 26, 2001
UI announces closing of translation service unit within Division of Continuing
IOWA CITY, Iowa The University of Iowa has closed its Translation
Lab, a service unit within the Division of Continuing Education, effective
July 1. No UI employees have been terminated as a result of this closure.
Gertrud Champe, who as director was the labs only employee for the last
year, retired June 30 after nearly 20 years at the UI.
The Translation Lab was not connected to the M.F.A. Program in Translation
offered through the department of cinema and comparative literature in the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the labs closing will not
affect the future of that program.
A regularly scheduled review of the lab during 2000-01 showed that translation
services for UI students, faculty and staff could be more efficiently delivered
by external commercial translation firms in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. The
review committee recommended the closure to Provost Jon Whitmore, who presented
the recommendation to the Presidents Council on Strategic Implementation
Steve Hoch, associate provost and dean of International Programs, said he
expected the closure to have no effect on UI students, who generally request
translation of such simple, short documents as transcripts or letters of recommendation.
Many of those requests were already being referred to local commercial firms.
He said faculty and staff who request translation services usually need highly
specialized technical translators for documents on such topics as biomedical
research or engineering.
"It is not possible for the University of Iowa to have in-house technical
translators for all the languages and specialized topics our students, faculty,
and staff request," he said. "External firms offer a more efficient
way to provide translation services and ensure a much higher quality translation."
Wide availability of such technologies as fax and email make it fast and
easy to send and receive documents for translation, Hoch added, eliminating
the need for purely local services.