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News 02-05-2002

Higher Ed Partnership Builds E-Bridge to Feds

Several higher education organizations have formed a partnership to standardize on technology for electronic transactions between universities and the federal government. Under the auspices of the Higher Education Bridge Certification Authority (HEBCA), university researchers will be able to securely submit documents -- financial statements, student loan agreements, registration and attendance for Internet-based distanced learning -- to federal agencies. The HEBCA partnership, including Educause, the higher education technology association, the Federal Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Steering Committee, and the National Institutes of Health, chose RSA Security's Keon digital certificate management software to secure transactions.

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Microsoft Piracy Recovery Seeds Education Project

Microsoft Corp. donated $350,000 to the UCLA School Management Program to support a project to improve student achievement at Languna Nueva Elementary School in Commerce, Calif., by connecting teachers, administrators, students and parents. Dan Chernow, executive director of UCLA SMP, said it is helping create "a school community that recognizes the power of technology to advance student learning and increase family participation in education." The grant, together with an earlier donation of $1 million, stems from Microsoft piracy case settlements from Los Angeles software counterfeiters.

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Students to Pick Rooms, Roommates Via Web

Incoming freshmen at Kennesaw State University will use their personal computers this week to make room and roommate assignments for the upcoming academic year via the Internet. The school has turned to Atlanta-based, a web-based roommate matching service that lets students examine online profiles and e-mail potential roommates to find those matching their living habits and personality.

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OCLC Finishes Purchase of netLibrary eBooks

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, a nonprofit that provides computer-based cataloguing, reference, and preservation services, has purchased the assets of netLibrary, a provider of eBooks for academic and corporate libraries. The sale includes the eBook division, which will become a division of OCLC, and the MetaText eTextbook division, which will become a for-profit. Meanwhile, MetaText, which has partnered with leading textbook publishers to place textbooks online, unveiled a new e-textbook interface designed to make electronic texts easier to use.

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Duke Energy Gives $10M to UNC Tech Incubator

Duke Energy will invest $10 million in the University of North Carolina's Charlotte Institute of Technology Innovation, established in 2000 to pursue technology research relevant to the regional and state economies. Research will focus on precision metrology, intelligent manufacturing, eBusiness technology and opt'electronics. Rick Priory, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy, said "strengthening the technology and research infrastructure in the Charlotte region through UNC Charlotte is critical to long-term economic vitality."

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Western Governors University Meeting Access Goals

The Western Governors University released its annual report, which said the private, non-profit university, founded by 19 western governors, is achieving its goals to expand access to higher education, especially for working adults. WGU President Bob Mendenhall said, "the constraints on time due to work and family commitments are access issues ... so the flexibility provided by WGU's online, competency-based model is very appealing to a broad spectrum of students." WGU currently has about 2,500 students enrolled, up from 500 students one year ago. The average WGU student is 40 years old, and over 90 percent work full-time.

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Computer Maker Distributes Economic Courseware

Compaq Corp is making content from the World Economic Forum (WEF), held in New York last week, available to high schools, colleges and universities via the website. The manufacturer is also producing dedicated Internet programming focusing on economic issues of particular interest to developing countries. Among the universities scheduled to receive the World Economic Forum electronic library produced by Compaq are Oxford University, the London School of Economics, UCLA, USC, Georgetown University, MIT, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, Florida State University, Yale, Princeton and Northwestern University.

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Software Helps U. Penn. Manage Healthcare Contracts

The University of Pennsylvania Health System is using a software application that helps it manage its contracts with health plans, hospitals and healthcare workers. The software, eHealthContract's Manager, supports the managed-care contract cycle, from creation through contract analysis, negotiation and monitoring. It aims to reduce the time and cost of managing relationships and to ensure contract compliance. Mike Dandorph, vice president of managed care for the health system, said the software would help it "... build efficiencies in our daily work-flow and therefore enhance the overall revenue cycle."

Wharton, Rhode Island, Deliver Economic Data Via Web

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton business school and a University of Rhode Island market research team have struck a deal to give researchers access via the Internet to URI's Pacific-Basin Capital Markets (PACAP) database, a set of information about the Pacific-Basin region's economy and equity markets. Researchers will tap the database through the Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), an Internet-based service that provides access to financial, accounting, economic, management, marketing, and banking datasets.

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