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During his first year as a dean of the Stanford Law School, Larry Kramer spent most of it talking and listening to people-students, faculty, alumni, venture entrepreneurs, the various "consumers" of the school's "product," its graduates. It was out of this intensive dialogue that the seeds for the new plan for Stanford's "three-dimensional degree program" emerged. The plan, that has already stirred intense interest in the higher education and legal communities, was announced in November 2006.

In the wake of many tragic current events, schools across the nation are aggressively evaluating their current security solutions to ensure they are prepared for emergencies on campus. However, many decision makers within the educational system need help determining what steps should be taken in the evaluation process to ensure they invest in the right technologies for their needs.

FROM RAPIDLY EVOLVING STUDENT demographics and competitive pressures to regulatory changes, colleges and universities face new challenges all the time. One way to confront these realities in the financial aid office is to outsource some financial aid administration duties or student contact center services.

Not long ago, while touring a rural, tree-lined campus in Ohio, the president of a small, under-endowed liberal arts college asked me what new facility would turn around their dwindling admissions. Did they need a new airy atrium in the student union, with wireless internet and cappuccino? Or would a state-of-the-art fitness center attract more prospects?