Next month, 49 IBM employees in the US will take a break from their regular jobs, and, at IBM’s expense, will serve as teachers, counsellors or administrators at schools serving minority, disadvantaged or disabled students. The 49 are the 1988-89 participants in IBM’s 17-year-old Faculty Loan Program, part of its overall commitment to education. The Faculty Loan Program is a wonderful example of the partnership between IBM and the academic community, and is mutually advantageous to the institutions and to the IBM employees who participate, says Barbara Wood, who labours under the burden of being called director of equal opportunity, affirmative action and community programs for IBM United States. Typically, the educational institutions initiate the request for a loaned employee. The requests are then filled with IBM employees who have expressed an interest in the program and whose skills most closely match needs.