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CIO Quick Takes: Tech leaders prep for new college year

Dan Muse | Aug. 31, 2015
As students return to campus, college and university CIOs share how they prepared for the new academic year.

"In addition, each summer our staff upgrades several hundred student computing labs with new images containing the latest versions of operating systems and educational applications. Changing student expectations with regard to network availability demands that we provide effective Wi-FI coverage in all residence halls and academic facilities, a challenge that grows each year as students and faculty bring more Wi-Fi-enabled devices to our campus.

"We also need to ensure that our enterprise applications are ready to admit, enroll and register tens of thousands of students in hundreds of classes, and that our learning management platforms are prepared to deliver the content and administer tests, quizzes and assignments that are increasingly delivered online.

"Finally, the safety and security of our students is our highest priority — this year, a new addition to the mobile safety application, LiveSafe, is the ability for students to request an escort from any campus location or to allow a friend to track their movement on or off campus, as well as the ability to make an instant 911 call to campus police."

Michael Hites, senior associate vice president and CIO, University of Illinois

"Tim Killeen, our new president at the University of Illinois, started in May of this year, and he has dedicated his presidency to our students. One of the most important aspects of his vision is student engagement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published data showing worldwide employee engagement is less than 20 percent.  

"Similarly, Purdue president Mitch Daniels recently wrote a Wall Street Journal article stating that engagement of new graduates with their new employers is less than 40 percent.  At universities, we have a great deal of IT resources, and we need to use our high tech classrooms, online learning systems, ubiquitous network connectivity and thousands of mobile devices to engage our students. We need to use IT to increase collaboration inside and outside of the classroom, between students and faculty, with our community, and with the businesses that will be the future employers of our students. Our biggest priority is using our IT tools to help create life-long, engaged graduates."


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