National Resource Center
In October, 2004, Foundation Chairman Barbro Osher announced that the University of Southern Maine would administer the National Resource Center for the Osher Institutes. While the Foundation retains responsibility for all grant-making operations, the National Resource Center provides opportunities for communication among the individual Osher Institutes, professional development, and other value-added activities going forward. The Center has launched several projects including an extranet for Osher Institute network participants and a website for general reference (www.osher.net).
For several years, the Center published an academic journal, The LLI Review: The Annual Journal of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. With more than 400 institutes of lifelong learning at institutions of higher education across the country -- 117 of which are Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes -- the growing field was in need of a forum to share research, strategies in education, and ideas about curriculum. Peer-reviewed, The Journal published work by members of the Osher Institute national network, gerontologists, and educators working in the field of older adult education, and was edited by Michael Brady, Ph.D., Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Southern Maine.
The Journal also included the writings of older learners in an eclectic mix of memoirs, brief fiction, and poetry. Ms. Kali Lightfoot, Executive Director of the National Resource Center, saw the journal as an opportunity for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network to make a significant contribution to the larger lifelong learning community. Given the growth in the literature on lifelong learning, publication of the LLI Review ceased in 2011.
Finally, the Center conducts the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute National Conference. The seventh such conference was held in April 2011 at The Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Illinois.