Campus Briefs

NEWS

How Do You Spell Success?

Many would agree that it’s a combination of aptitude and effort. Researchers at Purdue University (IN) hope to correlate data like SAT scores (suggesting aptitude) from their student information system, with data leveraged from their course management system (reflecting effort), in order to enable intelligent agents to provide triggers that would direct students to supplemental instruction and other retention initiatives. In a Fall 2005 semester study, the researchers analyzed data from an Oracle (www.oracle.com) backend database connected to their WebCT (www.webct.com) course management system (CMS). This spring, they will work on developing intervention strategies.

Technology ‘Til the Cows Come Home.

Utah State University’s new $42 million library, just opened this academic year, is using technology not only to retrieve information from the library catalog, but also to retrieve the books themselves. A system of robotic stacks, 85 feet high, 60 feet wide, and 120 feet long, which Aggies have affectionately named the “barn,” locates requested materials among the 1.5 million volumes and speeds them to patrons-at a rate of 328 feet per minute. The space-saving system allows for many years of collection development.

It's All at the Center

Students at Temple University (PA) now have just about all they could wish for at the TECH Center, opened this past month. The edgy, 24-hour center offers 600 PC and Mac workstations and peripherals, access to over 150 software packages, a wireless Internet lounge, collaborative learning spaces, a help desk, and cable TV and music delivered right to the desktop. TECH stands for Teaching, Education, Collaboration, and Help—but add an ‘S’ for Starbucks! More than 38,000 students made use of the center in the first two weeks. Take a quick tour: techcenter.temple.edu/tcpreview.htm.

PEOPLE

Advocating Vendor Management.

At Rutgers University (NJ), IT leadership is assessing what they can learn from industry about coordinating purchase processes, contract management, and vendor relations across autonomous organizational units. They’ve set up a Vendor Management Office (VMO) to support the university’s distributed computing needs. Serving as a focal point for managing outside technology partner relationships, the VMO will leverage the university’s resources and promote effective IT management strategies.

Klawe Named President of Harvey Mudd.

Renowned computer scientist Maria Klawe will make the move from her post as dean of Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (NJ), to Harvey Mudd College (CA), where she will become the college’s fifth president on July 1. She succeeds Jon Strauss, who served as president for nine years.

Bleed Becomes Vice Chancellor Emeritus.

IT visionary Ron Bleed is now vice chancellor emeritus at Maricopa Community Colleges (AZ), where he worked through the end of 2005 as vice chancellor, Information Technologies. Highly regarded at the national level for his many contributions to the IT profession, this past fall Bleed received the 2005 Educause award for Excellence in Leadership.

New Leadership for Network Research at UCSD.

Computer scientist Amin Vahdat has taken the reins as director of the University of California-San Diego’s Center for Networked Systems (CNS; cns.ucsd.edu). Vahdat is also an academic participant in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2; www.calit2.net).

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