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From UB

Soon after becoming president of Georgia State University in 2009, Mark P. Becker set out to answer a question: How can you create a better university, in the heart of a large, diverse city, where many of your students are first-generation or low-income, and who face challenges not seen as commonly at a typical flagship institution.

Oral Roberts University students have to walk an average of 10,000 steps each day.

All first-year students must buy and wear a Fitbit fitness-tracker. While some critics called this requirement an overreach, school officials say Oral Roberts has long had a fitness component as part of its “Whole Person Education,” which focuses on mind, body and spirit.

Thanks to a new VoIP-based phone system, Eastern Oregon University no longer needs outside consultants to work on system infrastructure.

Have you ever made a call with a soft phone? You have if you’ve ever Skyped or used FaceTime. It also means you’re on the cutting-edge of phone communications.

​Encouraging students to take a full-time course load to target on-time graduation has become a popular focus area in higher ed. Cleveland State University takes the concept a step further with its graduation incentive plan—in which students earn tuition rebates and bookstore credits for staying on track.

Early adopters tout virtual reality as the next big thing, and in higher education, 360-degree videos are adding exciting, immersive experiences. The best indicator that the time is right for “VR” can be found in the investments made by two competing tech giants, Google and Facebook.

Douglas A. Hicks is senior advisor for academic initiatives and professor of religion, and former provost and dean of the faculty, at Colgate University. Suzy M. Nelson is vice president and dean of the college at Colgate University.

In recent months, students have confronted problems such as climate change, race relations, social class inequity and sexual violence with protests at colleges across the country. It’s a chaotic process, and how an administration responds to a protest is vitally important to a school’s ability to alleviate the issues that spark it.

What’s the biggest misconception administrators outside the facilities department tend to have related to heating and cooling campus buildings?

Stanford’s solar solution: Joe Stagner, executive director of sustainability and energy management at Stanford, has led the university through a solar power-based strategy. By 2030, 75 percent of the university buildings will be powered by solar.

How colleges are getting creative about energy supply to save money on heating and cooling, and to boost building comfort for occupants

Fans pack the University of Kentucky arena for every basketball game, keeping ticket revenues high. (Photo: UK Athletics)

As one would expect, successful athletic programs benefit their college or university in a number of ways—particularly in the admissions arena. They raise public awareness of the school, reaching prospective students who may not otherwise have heard of or looked at the university, says Scott Verzyl, associate vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions for the University of South Carolina.

Since 2007, U.S. institutions of higher education have primarily reduced carbon emissions by increasing the use of natural gas. (Click graphic to enlarge)

Despite higher ed’s progress in reducing energy use and making facilities more sustainable, it turns out that the biggest factor in the drop has been due to a change from coal and oil to natural gas, a cleaner-burning fuel.

Between 2007 and 2014, emissions per square foot have declined 13 percent, found a recent study of energy use and carbon emissions data at 343 U.S. colleges and universities from Sightlines, a university facilities cost-analysis provider, and the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute.

GIS mapping was instrumental in Dickinson College’s cleanup effort after Winter Storm Jonas blanketed the campus with nearly three feet of snow.

GIS maps maps provide details about certain areas of campus—such as the exact length and location of streets and walkways, and the presence of potential hazards. They can also be stocked with limitless tiers of data—for instance, streets on one layer, buildings on a second, student distribution on the next, and high-crime areas on another.

The madness of March swirls around the excitement of collegiate sports. The most successful Division I teams are competing for tournament wins—and the large cash payouts associated with those high-profile victories.

Names like Harvard, Princeton and Stanford are the academic equivalent of Rolex, Tiffany and Mercedes. Other schools have to market themselves. So more of them are advertising these days—but some, paradoxically, seem to do it without much use of what is presumably their stock in trade: expert knowledge.

An innovative articulation agreement between Anna Maria College and nearby Quinsigamond Community College (both in Massachusetts) will help fill critical public service jobs.

Under the terms of the agreement, students in public service majors who earn an associate degree at Quinsigamond are guaranteed admission to Anna Maria to complete their four-year degree.

Survey said: Students at Volunteer State Community College had their scheduling dreams come true when officials changed Monday/Wednesday/Friday courses to Monday/Wednesday, allowing for a four-day week. A survey had been executed to determine why Tuesday/Thursday sessions were filling much more quickly than sessions that met the other three days.

Course scheduling technology providers were asked: What are the biggest hurdles colleges face when trying to implement the scheduling options that students may want?

“Most institutions add new programs and course offerings at a much higher rate than they remove them. This leads to many programs and courses lacking the enrollment required to make them financially sustainable. Different modalities—hybrid, online, accelerated, etc.—can be attractive to certain students, but they add significant complexity to resource scheduling.”

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