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It wouldn't take much asking around to learn how one attains a goal of reaching the college presidency: teach, then get on the tenure track, become a department chair, and rise up the administrative ladder to chief academic officer. Those with the ambition (and energy left) to win an appointment are most likely to be white, age 60, and a married male, according to American Council on Education data on the typical president in 2006.

With more than 2,000 content management systems (CMS) on the market, it's no wonder college and university administrators are often confused when selecting an option to meet their web content needs. What's better? A proprietary commercial CMS featuring support and maintenance from a vendor or an open-source CMS solution enabling web developers to customize code to their specific needs?

“Never in my life would I have expected community colleges to be called potential saviors of the economy,” says George Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges. “When the downturn started and people were being laid off, community colleges sent teams into companies to talk to workers about their options,” he explains. The importance of community colleges progressed from there.

Business-to-consumer marketers have become increasingly adept at identifying various demographic segments with specialized interests: moms who blog, people who like to cruise, upscale married couples with children, environmentally minded homeowners, etc., etc.

People rarely work in isolation. But it's not always easy to meet in person to work on a project. Connecting online can be done from almost anywhere. The collaboration possibilities run the gamut from passing a Word document back-and-forth via e-mail to holding a multiparty videoconference.

Read on to learn how a variety of online collaboration tools are helping college and university administrators execute projects more efficiently.

Are you watching all the for-profit universities'; stocks soar as their online programs grow by double-digit percentages?

Have you been reading about private equity firms buying failed private colleges and "preserving the mission,"; but developing online programs? Do you wonder how the University of Phoenix grew to more than 400,000 students? Do you believe that you could develop online programs, market them nationally, capture a small share of those online students, and add millions to your bottom line?

Over the past two years, Arizona State University has opened two new schools at its campuses in the Phoenix area. But these educational additions are not training future social workers, lawyers, or business executives. They'll be turning out qualified future college students, many of whom—ASU officials hope—will populate the state's universities years from now.

It's too early to prescribe a tried-and-true methodology for meeting Donor 3.0 actively. There's still much change and experimentation happening, and each college or university will have to tailor its strategy to the peculiarities of that community. But laying a strategic groundwork will help cut through the hype, navigate among options, and recognize (even create) new, less obvious opportunities.

Charles Dickens penned the opening lines of “A Tale of Two Cities” to describe French Revolutionary times, but they could easily apply to the modern world of student refunds. Or, more specifically, to two of the primary alternatives to paper checks. One is simple, secure and smart. The other can be convoluted, controversial and painful for students.

WHEN LYNNE SCHAEFER STARTED HER position as vice president for administration and finance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2005, the institution's financial reporting tool left much to be desired. Developed internally to pull data from UMBC's PeopleSoft ERP, the tool has produced complex reports that make it "hard to find exactly what pieces of information you're looking at," she says. "This creates frustration, especially for the untrained eye. ... I'm sure in some cases it has resulted in people throwing up their hands and just hoping it all goes ok."

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