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When Barry University officials discovered their network had become infected with malware that was making callbacks to a command center in Russia in 2013, an external security contractor was hired to conduct a forensic analysis of the incident, and intrusion prevention detection software was purchased to monitor the system.

Paul R. Brown

Anyone who has worked in higher education knows that harnessing and harmonizing many disparate voices representing different academic disciplines and administrative perspectives can be a challenge. That was our experience at Monmouth University during the more than 10-month process to develop our new strategic plan.

Commencement speakers have become another point of financial scrutiny in higher ed, with an annual flurry of students crying foul on both the person selected and fees incurred. Some colleges avoid charges by tapping their own faculty for the task (as University of Chicago has done since 1970). Others pursue prominent speakers willing to donate their services.

Getting a spring cancellation from a confirmed commencement speaker—particularly a high-profile one—is a planning team’s nightmare. Pepperdine University’s Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences had Sir Anthony Hopkins lined up to speak for its May 2 commencement, but a scheduling conflict for the actor called for a new plan. To the rescue: health technology entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos and the youngest female billionaire in America.

Comprising a three-story classroom building and a two-story advising center connected by a walkway, the Academic Village at Morningside College in Iowa is the first new construction on campus since the 1970s. From state-of-the-art simulation spaces for nursing programs to offices that promote first-year student success, this 35,000-square-foot facility serves a variety of purposes for the Morningside community.

There’s a new attendance option for online students of Michigan State University’s educational psychology and educational technology doctoral program: They can come to class via robot. Instead of sitting in on a stagnant videoconference, the robots allow students to scan the room remotely and feel physically engaged.

Higher ed institutions are expanding interdisciplinary research activity by hiring groups of faculty from multiple disciplines at the same time. The idea, pioneered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the late 1990s and sprouting up elsewhere since then, is to formalize the expectation of working collaboratively across the university. It may involve a variety of collaborative support activities or a less structured expectation (as part of their job descriptions) that the new hires work together.

Keeping students on the straight and narrow during the entirety of the online learning experience is one of the challenges faced by colleges focused on academic integrity, says Gilles Florey, CEO and co-founder of KeyLemon.

More than two-thirds of the matches picked up by content-tracking service Turnitin are matches to other students’ work. Turnitin checks work for originality by helping identify primary-source and outside content use within that work. While not all the matches are instances of plagiarism, the statistic certainly reflects the degree to which students are sharing information with each other.

Four Tufts University students went on a hunger strike during an occupation of the quad in May to protest planned cuts to the school’s janitorial staff.

A small group of Tufts University students mounted a six-day hunger strike in May, but their target wasn’t fossil fuel divestment or nuclear disarmament. The Tufts Labor Coalition had pitched tents in front of the suburban Boston school’s administration building to protest the planned layoff of campus custodial workers.

While such staff cuts might not seem to be a typical student cause, the janitors’ plight illuminates issues of race and income equality, says David Ferrandiz, a Tufts sophomore and an organizer of the hunger strike.

Julio Frenk

The University of Miami has named Julio Frenk its next president. Currently dean of faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, he was formerly Mexico’s minister of health. During his six years at Harvard, Frenk quadrupled fundraising and steered a $350 million naming gift to his school—the largest single gift in Harvard’s 378-year history. He also launched an educational reform effort, participated in the early adoption of MOOCs and increased the admissions yield.

The University of Michigan’s very decentralized campus means it has multiple IT departments, numerous technologies and plenty of cloud applications. “We basically use everything you can think of when it comes to the cloud,” says Don Welch, chief information security officer. “Colleges here have their own relationships with providers, and their own strategies with information storage. So it’s a big task to set central policies, but it’s important to take on that role.”

“Security is always a top concern. Other highly regulated industries—such as financial services, insurance and healthcare—have mandatory government regulations to guide them, but it is often unclear to higher ed which data can or cannot be stored in the cloud. I’ve seen universities adopt a hybrid

Web analytics by itself won’t do everything a school might want, says Alan Etkins, a research and analytics associate at consultancy Ruffalo Noel Levitz. “It will give you counts, it may give you hypotheses, but it won’t give you full understanding [of metrics].” He recommends that those serious about web analytics integrate tools to enhance the data.

Survey tools, for example, provide deeper insights, he says. A few that Etkin likes are: •

Mike Sapienza

The variety of challenges facing enrollment leaders are well documented: changing demographics, increased competition for students, scarce outcome data— and the list goes on. Resources are also limited, and so it is critically important for enrollment managers to measure the ROI of the initiatives they take and then adjust as necessary.