From UB

The global competition for skills and jobs is escalating, especially in computer science, math, and engineering. According to the Council on Competitiveness, about 70,000 of the one million U.S. college graduates each year earn engineering degrees.

Little did I know that, when I received my acceptance letter from Western Michigan University on October 21, 1989, as a 17-year-old, there would be more to this letter than just my welcome into college.

In today's competitive higher education environment, a college or a university cannot be seen as just another good institution in a landscape filled with many other similar entities--some a little stronger, others a bit weaker.

By any measure, the cost of financing a higher education has soared over the past two decades.

As vice president for Information Technology and CIO of Ball State University (Ind.), H. O'Neal Smitherman has a knack for seeing the big picture before anyone else does. Smitherman keeps a close eye on smart classroom and distance learning technology.

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