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DeeAnn Wenger, President, Nelnet Business Solutions

2015 closed with a flurry of developments for the payment technology industry that stand to impact campuses throughout 2016. Where should colleges and universities begin to make sure they’re ready for these changes?

Arizona university abandons obsolete phone system and upgrades to unified communications platform from Jive

Imagine being several years into a hardware-based, enterprise Voice over IP phone system installation and still in the first phase of the implementation process. That is exactly the troubling situation the University of Advancing Technology, located in Tempe, Arizona, found itself in spring 2015.

“The system was expensive, difficult to configure and had a clunky call manager user interface,” says Jason Pistillo, CEO. “It had lots of high-end features, but we never got to that level because we never got beyond the basics.”

New campus store by Nebraska Book Company  focuses on interactivity and convenience

Part of the University of San Diego’s forward-thinking mission is to ensure that all campus facilities are capable of serving not only today’s students, but tomorrow’s students as well. Over the past two and a half years, USD leaders have applied this philosophy to redesigning the campus bookstore.

“Course materials come from a wide range of locations now,” says Andre Mallie, executive director of auxiliary services for USD. “We need to react to those changes.”

Photo credit: Elvis-Obukowho Ufuoma

It was clear starting in 2013 that an aging, on-premise, analog phone system would not cut it anymore for Campbellsville University in Kentucky. The institution, which sits an hour and a half outside of Louisville and serves over 3,500 students, needed to ensure reliable phone service for all departments across a main campus and three remote sites.

Constructing an impressive welcome center to provide an enhanced environment for new students’ enrollment and orientation activities was a paramount goal for leaders at the University of Houston-Downtown. To facilitate those activities and properly get students acclimated to university life, the welcome center, which will open officially in the spring 2016 semester, was outfitted with top-of-the-line AV equipment.

Western Governors University gets assist from CampusLogic to reduce loans, future debt

Students at Western Gover- nors University, an exclusive- ly online higher ed institution, get a free lesson in responsible borrowing that is paying dividends many years beyond graduation. 

Drew Uth, professional services specialist,  Stockton University (New Jersey)

Though Stockton University sits in the middle of southern New Jersey’s woodsy Pine Barrens, its campus is equipped with the most modern IT and AV technologies. Over 8,600 students attend the institution and have access to more than 180 state-of-the-art classrooms. 

Bill Dampier, President & Chief Operating Officer at MBS Direct

How is content changing in terms of diversity and affordability on campuses?
“Content” used to be more narrow in scope, and referred pretty much exclusively to print textbooks. Today content can mean a wide variety of products, from traditional texts to interactive software. Content can come in a print or digital form, and be sold new or used. There are also new, open-source models that can provide access to everyone in a class at a low cost or for free. The products themselves are changing, in addition to the types of content.

Tom Fitzgerald,  CEO,  E&I Cooperative Services, Inc.

As the financial pressure in higher education continues to mount, and revenues continue to be challenged, all higher ed institutions are being forced to look internally to find effective ways to save. The safety net once provided by state funds, appropriations, gifts, high returns and tuition increases have been ripped away. The reality is, institutions must learn to sustain themselves. 

Samford University—a private, faith-based institution in Birmingham, Alabama—offers more than 30 health-related degrees through its College of Health Sciences and expects to add 5,000 students there by 2020.

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