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News 01-10-2003

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New Jersey Proposes Three University Merger

New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has named 18 education and business leaders to begin working out the details of his plan to merge the state's three major research universities, Rutgers University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and New Jersey Institute of Technology. The plan calls for the three schools to be blended into one large state university system spanning three regional campuses. The aim of the proposal is to improve medical and health education in the state, as well as lift the state universities' stature in both teaching and research.

Sponsor: Syllabus Radio: Log on and Listen

This week, John Di Marco of Long Island University discusses how instructors in digital arts, graphic design, and interactive multimedia can create and implement Web portfolios into their pedagogy, administrative efforts, courses, and their own workloads. Click on to hear audio interviews with established leaders and creative thinkers in higher education as they discuss the good, the better, and the best uses of IT on campus.

MIT MBA Students Explore Silicon Valley

This week, more than 80 MBA students from the Sloan School of Management visited Northern California high-tech companies during MIT's annual Silicon Valley Tech Trek. For more than 10 years, the Tech Trek has allowed Sloan students to learn about technology companies and begin to build relationships. As class of 2003 trekker Paul Konasewich put it, "How else could you visit a dozen companies in a week, hear about their strategies, and ask questions?" More than 30 companies hosted the MBA students.

Universities Compete in Extreme DVD Making

Nine film schools from the U.S. and Canada will compete for $20,000 in an extreme DVD making competition to go from script to final DVD in under 48 hours. The competition is being sponsored by Pioneer Electronics Inc., which is supplying the new, high-speed DVD burners students will use in the competition. Universities will be competing for a $10,000 grand prize grant and $5,000 grants for two runner-up schools. Each team will be given a scenario to follow and will be required to finalize a script, recruit cast, determine shooting locations, film, edit, and burn up to a 10-minute short onto DVD, all within a 48-hour timeframe. Misael Sanchez, Director of Instruction, Columbia University Film School, called the project "a great way for our students to utilize their skills while learning to appreciate a filmmaker's greatest resource—time."

GW Unit Launches Information Security Practice

GWSolutions Inc., an information technology consulting company owned by George Washington University, has launched an information security practice. The group aims to assist clients through the information assurance process from risk assessment through policy development, solution deployment and employee education. The company will offer courses using demonstrations of cyber-threats without risking clients' critical networks. To head the practice, the company named Ronald Plesco as Project Director and Timothy Rosenberg as Senior Specialist for the Information Security Practice. Plesco was director of policy for the Pennsylvania State Police; Rosenberg has been a consultant in critical infrastructure protection and will begin teaching Information Warfare at GW this spring.

Drexel to Host eLearning Service for Colleges

Drexel University is hosting eLearning services for three Philadelphia colleges—Cabrini College, Neumann College, and Rosemont College. The University is providing the services to 6,500 students at the schools via WebCT Vista, an "academic enterprise system" that enables Drexel to share content across any course or section, minimizing maintenance, storage space, and version control problems. Drexel has been a customer of WebCT Campus Edition course management software for three years. The new platform will let the three colleges maintain local academic control and customize their eLearning applications, as well as enhance data exchange among Drexel's courses, student information system, and portal.

Deals, Awards, Contracts in Higher Education

OUTSOURCING—Mohave Community College in the northwestern corner of Arizona signed a seven-year, $9.8 million technology management contract with Collegis Inc., a provider of technology services to higher education. The company will manage all core technology functions at MCC, including the use of administrative software, such as financials, admissions, and registration. It will also provide an executive director to lead the MCC information technology department and develop a strategic transition from in-house to outsource technology management staff. Most current IT department staff members will have an opportunity to join Collegis staff.

GRAPHICS—The Art Institutes, which provides art education via 27 schools throughout the U.S., signed an agreement with Corel for 7,000 licenses of CorelDRAW 11, Painter 7, and KnockOut 2. The company has also signed a $1 million deal with the New Media Consortium, a non-profit dedicated to exploring new forms of teaching, learning, and creative expression; and University of the Arts in Philadelphia for software on the university's 600 computer systems, a deal valued at about $132,000.

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