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The focal point of Queensland University of Technology’s brilliant new Science and Engineering Centre is known as The Cube—part science lab, part digital engagement, and the hub of scientific exploration for the Australian university's community, as well as high school students and the public at large.

Lecturers are treated like royalty at Penn State’s Struthers Auditorium, a lecture theater in the Smeal College of Business with a range of setups that can accommodate just about any teaching style. "We have designed features to support the instructor’s pedagogical style,” explains Gary Field, research systems manager for the Smeal College of Business. “Our multiple projector design allows instructors to project multiple sources side-by-side—for example, a document camera to show notes while a video is playing.

Consider the scene: an esteemed faculty member stands at a podium, about to lecture to a room full of eager students, and can’t locate the document camera that’s key to her presentation. Or a student who has worked for weeks to perfect his class presentation doesn’t know how to hook up his laptop to the projector.

At higher education institutions around the world, the innovative use of technology is enhancing the way faculty teach and students learn, reducing support costs and increasing energy efficiency. This past year alone, Temple University in Philadelphia has made seeking tech support in a smart classroom as easy as pushing a button on a control panel. Texas A&M University created a standard user interface for all classrooms, conference rooms, and auditoriums. The University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, created more interactive learning spaces for tech-savvy students and teachers.

University and college police departments may operate in a smaller arena than most city law enforcement agencies, but their need for accurate and up-to-date intelligence is no different, nor are the challenges they face when trying to manage this through a paper-based system. ECM can help alleviate the problem.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) Police Department, located on the university’s main campus in Orlando, has 61 sworn and 36 civilian personnel tasked with maintaining campus safety and security. It’s Carla Markx’s job to manage all the records, reports, and evidence flowing through the department. Markx, coordinator, statistical research, records/property & evidence manager for the department, doesn’t tackle this chore alone. She’s assisted by four employees in the Records Division and one in the Property and Evidence Division.

It was a near-miss, potential disaster that galvanized the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Oklahoma (OU) into taking action, says Dr. Rhonda Dean-Kyncl, assistant dean for college academic services. Her office staff is responsible for safely handling the entire academic histories of more than 8,000 students.

Tornados in Oklahoma and Texas. Wild fires in California and Colorado. Hurricanes in Louisiana and tropical storms along the upper East Coast. Not only do these disasters exert a terrible toll on people and on their personal lives, but they also wreak havoc on all manner and sizes of businesses, institutions of higher education among them.

An effective business continuity plan must be based on both a sound knowledge of your institution’s culture and structure, as well as on well-defined policies and procedures that make the plan a part of your daily operations, rather than something that is referred to only in case of emergency.

In this environment of ever-tightening budgets, staff reductions, and increased workloads, it’s more essential than ever for knowledge workers to gain efficiencies, doing their jobs faster but without sacrificing quality and accuracy. As burdensome as this sounds given the restraints on resources that impede these objectives, increasing productivity is entirely within reach. Transparent records management technology offers just this sort of opportunity.