Topics: College of Sciences and Humanities, International Education

June 9, 2008

Ball State University anthropology professor James M. Nyce was recently honored by Sweden for assisting one of that country's institutions of higher education make the challenging transition from college to fully accredited university.

Nyce received a medal from government officials after the Swedish National Defence College became the country's newest university. Established in 1818 to train personnel for Sweden's military and national defense operations, the university is now under civilian leadership and is expanding the number of programs it offers.

As a visiting professor from 1998 to 2000 and 2005 to 2008, Nyce was among the school's academic leaders that helped refocus its mission and move the university from a vocational to a more academic curriculum.

"It was a very long but rewarding process," he said. "For the university, it was a tremendous shift in operations and culture. I believe they'll be a leading academic institution in Europe for many years."

This is the second recognition Nyce has received for his research and teaching in Sweden. In 1996, he was named a docent in information science by Linköping University. In Sweden, this is required to be promoted to full professor.

As a cultural anthropologist, Nyce, who received his doctorate from Brown University in 1987, studies how information technologies emerge and are used by organizations in the workplace.