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Business Intelligence

From sources of funding to student engagement models, from the use of mobile technology to social media, multiple disruptive forces create surprises for administrators, frustrations for academics and bewilderment for students. Uncertainty threatens to incapacitate institutions as they choose for change to be thrust upon them, or attempt to avoid or ignore the strategic importance of the changes taking place around them.

Successful business incubation at universities is about much more than a capable technology transfer office (TTO) and strong commercialization policies. New businesses are born at universities because faculty and students have the freedom to develop innovative ideas and pursue new lines of inquiry. To emerge from the university successfully, these pioneering ideas must be accompanied by prototype development, market research, commercialization strategy, and effective fundraising.

The library was one of  the first buildings at  Gettysburg College to  get wireless internet  connectivity, a move IT  VP Rodney Tosten says  reflects the college's  priority on funding IT  projects that support its educational mission.

While enterprisewide IT projects are generally funded through a central operating budget and approval process, smaller projects may depend on the resourcefulness of the department head or even a professor to get done.

College and university records administrators are increasingly under the gun to meet regulatory and compliance mandates pertaining to document retention and security. This would be no big deal if they just had to track and control a couple of documents (and if these documents were all pretty much the same) but of course, this is hardly the case.

Although the medical school’s old system of managing records with paper spreadsheets and custom databases was working fine, keeping things current did depend on programmer availability, says Monica Baccardax, IT project manager for the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University Medical School, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. And even when all systems were “go,” staying on top of the paper flow was time-consuming.

Imagine the life of a university or college records manager or compliance officer. Facing an almost uncountable number of federal and state document management requirements that grow more complex by the day, they’re somehow expected to stay on top of these regulations, and to ensure that every document accurately adheres to them. Any failure to do so puts a university system at a high risk of being out of compliance.

Universities face a conundrum: Funding for higher education is on the decline, but enrollment is at an all time high—how can they do more with less? One answer may be Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (TDABC). It’s a system to discern and analyze costs and compare this to what is driving demand. For example, a finance officer may know how much certain departments spend on which vendors, but not have the ability to align shared services (duplicate services or programs) between those departments.

This fall, along with moving its Planning for Higher Education journal from print to completely online, the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) is introducing The Campus-Space MOJO (Multilevel Online Journal Odyssey).

It's all very well and good to talk about the need to do more with less—as if this necessity has escaped anyone's attention these days. But how exactly do you achieve this objective in an efficient, rational (and humane) manner? Increasingly, one way organizations are streamlining and gaining efficiencies is through integrating siloed IT systems, eliminating the time-consuming practice of jumping between multiple applications. And when it comes to integration, using enterprise content management (ECM) as integrative middleware offers profound advantages.

John Hermes, vice president of information technology for Oklahoma Christian University, knew the school had problems. Despite a reputation as a pioneer in education technology and as a very high-tech university, Oklahoma Christian (OC) was lagging farther and farther behind in its business processes, says Hermes.

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