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IT Trends for August 14th, 2003

Thursday, August 14, 2003

In This Issue


Tracking Down Some Staffing “Sacred Cows”

Terry Calhoun, Commentator
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
University of Michigan

Every day the news headlines are full of budget cuts to higher education that are stupendous. Public institutions are losing 10-20-30 percent of their budget and responding by increasing student tuition and fees--when they can. This is the third year of budget crisis, and although information technology is so important a part of the higher education infrastructure that we are relatively immune, you know bad things are coming down the pike when you read about significant cuts in faculty at some colleges and universities.

Now is the time to look at every part of your IT operation. You know that if you look closely, there are older ways of doing things that you are stuck in which could be done with fewer people or less expensive hardware. In fact, the budget crisis offers an opportunity to think about making changes that in a more benign fiscal climate would be unthinkable. Maybe this is a chance to kill some sacred cows?

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University of California Awarded $520.6M from Microsoft in Patent Infringement Decision

The patent infringement is for functionality programming that is central to much e-commerce, and Microsoft's use of it may have helped it considerably in its battle with Netscape. Microsoft plans to appeal.
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Harvard Moving from Unix- to Linux-Based Servers

The main purpose behind the change at Harvard Arts and Sciences is a much-needed upgrade, but the fairly smooth-running transition is also saving the department some money, too.
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UC Berkeley Freshman, and Like Many Others, Getting Early Warnings this Academic Year

Many colleges and universities are devoting larger and larger amounts of freshman orientation time to issues of network security and intellectual property.
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w.32 Blaster Worm is a New, Ugly Form of Infection on Campus

Here's how one university, Auburn University, is managing its communications about Blaster.
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Students at University of Illinois at Chicago Can Use New "News Bot"

The newsbot is a line of javascript which students can add to their own Web page and program to create a news box for their own use.
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Technology Planning Clearinghouse

The National Center for Technology Planning (NCTP) is a clearinghouse for exchanging information related to technology planning. This may include technology plans; planning aids (checklists, brochures, sample planning forms, PR announcement forms); and/or electronic monographs on timely, selected topics. The NCTP was created for those who need help, seek fresh ideas, or seek solutions to problems encountered with planning.
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The Economic & Social Research Council

The ESRC provides a taste of statistical software applications in event history analysis and multi-level modeling for students in quantitative social science research and statistics-based research fields.
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Public TV to Distribute Digital Content to Educators

Digital asset management service provider OnStream Media Corp., has formed a strategic alliance with onCourse, Inc., the non-profit digital education service of America's Public Television Stations. The two organizations will provide a turnkey solution for the distribution, management, security, and storage of rich media content developed by the stations for the education, media, and corporate enterprise markets. As part of the deal, OnStream will integrate onCourse's Launchpoint technology, which streamlines the sharing and distribution of digital products among content providers.

Emory U. to Integrate Identity Data with PeopleSoft

Emory University has purchased Directory Federator Express (DFE) LDAP Proxy software from OctetString, a provider of virtual directory technology. DFE federates directories currently maintained separately by Emory University and Emory HealthCare administrators, allowing both organizations seamless access to PeopleSoft. DFE eliminates the need to copy, synchronize and maintain user identification data across two disparate platforms. This eliminates the need to cross-train administrators on two different directory platforms and the need to overburden either one of the directory platforms with user identity information that is not directly relevant to the organizational entity it supports.

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Approximately what percent of your institution's incoming freshmen will bring their own laptop or desktop computer to campus this fall?

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Connector Links BlackBoard, Assessment Platform

Questionmark, a provider of testing and assessment software, and Blackboard Inc. announced the release of a software connector that links the Blackboard Learning System (Release 6) and the Questionmark’s Perception assessment platform. With the software, students and instructors can link to Perception from within Blackboard. That means schools can maintain student and instructor profiles within one system while scheduling and viewing assessments that pertain to each particular course.
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Online Service to Help Students in Transfer Process

A former college transfer admissions officer has launched a fee-based Web service offering transfer prospects independent transcript evaluations by college evaluators. The start-up assists college students in the arduous process of transferring from a community college to a California public university. "The transfer process has become more complicated and red-tape laden than ever. Students ready to make the leap from a community college to a four-year university need reliable, clear and concise information to guide them along every step of the way," said founder Debbie Upshaw.
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NEC Introduces Next Generation High Performance Projectors

NEC introduced the successors to its popular VT460 projector, which recently beat out 10 competing units to win PC Magazine Editor's Choice designation. The new products offer classroom, meeting room and multi-purpose users options on high-performance desktop/portable projection. The $995 VT46 offers a low total cost of ownership, while the VT465 offers a robust feature set and the low cost per lumen, NEC said.

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This week's interview features Betty L. Black,

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