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Editor's Note

SIGS at UBTech 2013

University Business, Feb 2013

We know that conference programs offer a variety of topics for attendees who want to sample from some of the best and brightest ideas in higher education.

But there are times when deeper discussion is warranted, beyond a breakout session presentation. So this year, for the first time, UBTech (June 10-12 at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort) is launching a program of pre-conference special interest groups (SIGs), on the opening day of the show. It will be a chance for like-minded higher ed professionals to get together and share ideas and collaborate.

The program is part of our effort to make UBTech an annual destination for higher education groups, their members and their guests from around the country or around the world.

It is important to note that these will be vendor-free programs. No one will be selling anything to attendees. The meetings are intended for discussion and collaboration only, out of which, we hope, will grow innovative ideas for the future of higher ed.

Keep an eye on the new UBTech website as we announce SIG session topics and their hosts, as well as how you can get involved.

Enlightening Keynotes

With more than 80 sessions and a record number of exhibits on the show floor, UBTech 2013 is bigger and better than ever. Breakout sessions will cover the broad topics of Campus Network and Infrastructure; Facilities Planning and Design; Teaching and Learning Technologies; Marketing Your Institution; and  Financial Services. That means UBTech 2013 promises to have something for everyone who works in higher education.

If you haven’t heard, the two keynotes for UBTech 2013 have been announced. They are Sree Sreenivasan, chief digital officer at Columbia University (featured in our November 2012 issue), and Gene Wade, co-founder and CEO of UniversityNow (featured in January 2013).

What does Sreenivasan do? It might be easier to ask what he doesn’t do. An article on the AllThingsD website described him like this: “Aside from his academic duties, he always found the time and energy to keep a foot in the media game. …[H]e was teaching a full course load and was a regular contributor to The New York Times Business section, and had just wrapped a gig as a freelance producer for The Nightly Business Report on PBS. He’s been a tech commentator for New York’s local TV news broadcasts, most recently for WCBS; he blogs on social media for CNET, does his own weekly web-based call-in show on BlogTalkRadio, and teaches workshops for midcareer professionals of every stripe who are trying to get their heads around how to use Twitter and Facebook and Linked In productively. He also co-founded the South Asian Journalists Association. And when this tornado named Sree finally stops whirling, he’s always got time for any student. The sign on the door to his office reads: ‘Don’t worry, you’re NOT interrupting.’”

And Wade, who says he became an education entrepreneur because the current system does not have the capacity to serve people with unique higher education needs, is no less prolific. Before co-founding UniversityNow, he was the co-founder and CEO of Platform Learning, a tutoring company that served tens of thousands of low-income students throughout the United States. He also helped launch LearnNow, a school management company that was sold to Edison Schools where he was an executive vice president. A man of wide interests and talents, before becoming immersed in education, Wade was a corporate bankruptcy attorney, earned an MBA from The Wharton School of the Unversity of Pennsylvania, as well as a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Wade’s recent engrossing TEDx talk at San Francisco’s Salon on Higher Education described his vision for UniversityNow.

All in all, UBTech 2013 is shaping up to be the one higher education conference you won’t want to miss.