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The 10 higher education institutions with the most credentials on the dark web. (Source: Dark Web ID).

It’s no secret that college and university networks have long been prone to cyberattacks of various kinds.

Sian Beilock, a recipient of the National Academy of Sciences’ 2017 Troland Research Award, is the new president of Barnard College.

Sian Beilock has been named the new president of Barnard College, the women’s institution that’s part of Columbia University.

Universities undergo construction to upgrade their sports arenas and academic facilities.  

DIGITIZE THIS—Students scan Civil War documents at Bowdoin College.

The mass digitization of literature is complex. The preservation of books, letters and other historical materials calls for advanced technology and a good deal of manpower. Universities are developing better practices around this process, as well as creating software and databases to make this content accessible and search-friendly.

It’s not uncommon for officials at institutions, including Lone Star College, to realize the full value of getting technology leaders intimately involved in construction projects right from the get-go after going over budget on a project because IT was brought in too late.

While executing an eight-building, $157 million construction and renovation project in 2014, officials at Del Mar College in Texas forgot one critical player: the tech expert. Information technology administrators weren’t brought on board until just before the design was finalized.

Campuses have already connected a wide array of objects to the digital world,  including parking meters, washing machines and library stands that show where books are located.

The internet of things technology has the potential to change the way buildings are designed and constructed. For colleges and universities, that could mean enabling people to control the temperature at their individual workstations or light a path in a hallway from a smartphone.

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH THEM—Graduates of USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative—a rigorous college-prep program for students from low-income communities near campus—got a ceremonial visit from actor Mark Hamill,  of Luke Skywalker and Star Wars fame, and some of his fictional antagonists.

A small change in admissions at many of the most selective colleges and universities could make a big difference to low-income learners. To meet a goal of having all schools enroll at least 20 percent Pell Grant recipients, about 350 “elite” institutions would have to admit about 20,000 low-income students, says a new report from the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce.

Health insurance is a hot topic in Congress, and that’s not the only place. Each year, campus leaders are confronted by a daunting need to contain costs while providing benefits expected by employees.

Form a benefits committee.

At Lawrence University in Wisconsin, a benefits advisory committee works with an insurance broker to contain costs and determine the best plan designs while providing competitive employee benefits. The committee, which is chartered by the president, includes several administrators from finance and HR along with two faculty members.

Some higher education institutions have introduced the next generation of mentoring practices to expand development opportunities to more of their employees, integrate the these initiatives into existing programs, and offer reverse and lateral learning across campus.

The mailroom is becoming a more visible and important part of auxiliary services at colleges across the country, with some institutions overhauling their facilities completely to accommodate the new technology that streamlines service.

Not all campus mail centers are actually run by the institution.

What do you see as today’s biggest challenge in operating a campus mailroom? Is there anything colleges tend to do that makes the problem worse?

FINDINGS ANNOUNCED, CHARGES MADE—Timothy Piazza’s parents received the news on May 5 that the investigation of his death would result in criminal charges. The frat Beta Theta Pi and eight of its members face manslaughter charges.

The question of how to accommodate Greek life is a continued conundrum for college officials nationwide.

Clinton T. Speegle is an attorney with the law firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC in Birmingham, Alabama. He can be reached at cspeegle@lightfootlaw.com.

Future use of unmanned aerial systems, more commonly known as “drones,” is limited only by the imagination (and physics).

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