|by James L.
[Note: This is a re-formatted manuscript that was originally published in
On the Horizon, 2000, 8(2), 10. It is posted here with permission
from Jossey Bass
In early spring 1992, I
asked my dean, Donald Stedman, if he would support the publication of an environmental
scanning newsletter to inform educational leaders of potential developments in the
external environment and what these developments implied for educational planning. He
asked, "What would an environmental scanning newsletter look like?" The only way
to satisfactorily respond to this question was to write the preview issue of On the
Don liked the preview issue and allocated me
$1,200 and a half-time teaching load to produce the periodical. I spent most of the money
on an ad in the Chronicle of Higher Education (which produced five inquiries).
Fortunately, Tim Sanford, then UNC-CHs director of institutional research, had some
money left over in his budget, which he used to print five hundred copies of the preview
issue. I left these copies, along with subscription forms, on registration tables at
various professional conferences that I attended that spring. From that preview issue, we
picked up enough subscribers to fund students to assist me in producing the periodical. I
say "we" because Bernard Glassman, our Tools editor and a personal friend, had
the requisite skills with PageMaker to handle the layout tasks and volunteered his
services to the enterprise. We gained some four hundred subscribers that first year of
publication, doubled that number in the second year, and had another significant increase
the third year.
Toward the end of the third year, Don told me
that I would have to resume a full-time teaching load. I sent an e-mail note to
horizonlist that we needed a publisher for On the Horizon. Again fortune smiled;
soon thereafter, I received a call from Sue Lewis, the Jossey-Bass director of
periodicals, and we made a deal whereby UNC-CH transferred ownership of OTH to
Jossey-Bass, and Jossey-Bass funded a student assistant position for three years. I used
this position to employ talented students who assisted me in editing OTH, establishing the
Horizon Web site, and developing OTH On-line.
But all good things must come to an end. This is
the last issue of On the Horizon that will be published by Jossey-Bass. Earlier
this year, Jossey-Bass sold OTH to Camford Publishing in the United Kingdom, and the new
publisher has appointed Tom Abeles as editor. (As befitting my founder status, I move into
an editor emeritus slot.) With the 8:3 issue, Camford, publisher of foresight and info,
will begin a new era in the life of On the Horizon. I know that you join me in
wishing Camford and Tom success.