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Hot button issues facing colleges and universities at times seem endless: recruitment, student retention, and shrinking budgets, to name just a few. In contrast, identity management is an often overlooked and under appreciated business process among senior leadership in the higher education field. Yet with the increase of online courses; rising popularity of distance learning; and the challenge of protecting student, faculty and organizational data, identity management is fast becoming a top concern among university professionals.

This year's EduComm Conference in Las Vegas saw the launch of the EduComm Institute's CIO-CFO Summit. The one-day event, sponsored by GovConnection in partnership with Cisco, preceded EduComm's opening reception and keynote at the Mirage.

Throughout the afternoon, a select group of CIOs and CFOs from public and private, two- and four-year institutions around the country listened as industry experts examined the vital role of information technology in how the campus of the not-too-distant future will operate.

Clemson University, located in the Upstate of South Carolina, has always been quick to use technology tools to advance the accessibility of higher education.

With 55 sites around the world, 17,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff, distance learning, training, support and the accessibility to other suites of e-education tools is critical.

Adobe Connect is a key tool in that effort, said Deb Charles, manager of instructional services for the university's computing and information technology department.

 

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.

At Abilene Christian University in West Texas, technology managers were struggling with an outdated email system. While providing basic service, it lacked advanced functionality and was time-consuming and expensive to maintain. in addition, the full-time email administrator’s position had recently become vacant.

Kevin Roberts, chief information officer at ACU, knew it was time for a change. “We were disenchanted with our current email system,” he says, adding that the system servers were outdated, expensive to maintain, and were running out of space.

 

“It’s all about making education accessible to everyone, anytime, anywhere,” explained Ann Watts, instructional design coordinator and portal project manager at DMACC. Des Moines Area Community College is a public institution with six campuses.

The portal ? known as “my.dmacc” to users ? is an outgrowth of the college’s educational mobility initiative that runs on HP ProLiant servers. DMACC has implemented a systemwide wireless system to support academic programs and administrative needs.

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