C-Squared May 11, 2005

C2 Strategic C-level Discussions on Technology

May 11, 2005


Welcome to C2 (pronounced "C Squared"), the eLetter designed to open an exclusive forum for discussions on technology among top-level campus administrators: chief executives, provosts, vice presidents, and directors across all areas of the campus who are concerned with the progressive use of technology to further learning and streamline campus business and instructional processes.

In each edition, you'll find one-on-one "behind closed doors" interviews or C-level opinion pieces, quick bites of who's doing what where, and career moves of interest to the top campus echelon.

C2 was created in response to the need for a personal dialogue among top-ranking campus officers concerned with technology as a bridge to the next generation of higher learning. We hope you will see this twice-monthly letter as an opportunity for C-level information sharing, mentoring, expression, and enlightenment. Feel free to send your thoughts, ideas, commentary, and pertinent news items to Mary Grush at mgrush@101com.com.


Syllabus2005: Spotlight on Innovation, Integration & Collaboration

Join your colleagues July 24-28 for Syllabus2005 at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel and UCLA. You'll benefit from five days of peer-to-peer learning, leading-edge keynotes and panels, a day at UCLA with a first-hand view of the latest education technology, and perspectives on what future industry trends will bring. All this in a fun and exciting environment in Southern California. Registration is now open. Complete details online.

Click here to find out more.

From the Top

Overcoming the Biggest Barrier to Student Success

By Ron Bleed,
vice chancellor, information technologies,
Maricopa Community Colleges

In order to overcome the biggest barrier to student success, higher education must understand that the residential experience that is portrayed in many glorified forms and memories is a reality today for only a small minority.

Although my research is from the Maricopa Community Colleges (AZ), the results are applicable to many other types of colleges--an estimated 87 percent of all students in the US now commute to their campuses, according to the National Clearinghouse for Commuter Programs, University of Maryland.

Another realization is the importance of successful course completion rates: One of our primary businesses is the offering of courses. The vast majority of the budget dollars is spent on courses, and the primary use of capital funds is to build and maintain facilities that hold courses. Most employees are hired for the purposes of teaching and supporting courses. Numerous research studies have been conducted on student retention or attrition in courses.

The results of these works attempted to explain student retention upon a student’s experiences and interest prior to enrollment and the amount of the student’s academic integration with the college environment. Colleges implemented intervention strategies, orientation programs, and mentoring programs in attempts to improve retention. All these strategies and programs are good and needed. However, the biggest barrier to student success is overlooked.

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Need to Know

Still on the BEAM: Life After AAHE

Since the announcement about the closing later this year of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE), concerns over that organization’s highly regarded BEAMS (Building Engagement and Attainment of Minority Students) have been addressed. The Alliance for Equity in Higher Education ( www.msi-alliance.org) has assumed ongoing leadership of the project. Project funding from the Lumina Foundation for Education continues through 2007, supporting work at more than 100 minority-serving institutions.

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Catch that Wave: Trans-Pacific Net

The National Science Foundation awarded $5 million to the University of Southern California to join in the collaborative development of Pacific Wave, a 10-gigabit network to connect international researchers from institutions as far-flung as Australia, Japan, Korea, and other trans-pacific locations via points of presence along the US Pacific. coast.

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Who's Where

University of Rochester’s Thomas LeBlanc Makes a Move

Thomas J. LeBlanc will join the University of Miami (FL) this coming July as executive vice president and provost, serving as the university’s chief academic and budget officer. LeBlanc leaves his post as vice provost and dean of faculty at the University of Rochester (NY).

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Qatar University Looking for Help with Total Overhaul

Over the next five years, Qatar University (State of Qatar) will undergo a thorough overhaul and expansion of all of its existing facilities, curriculum, and technology infrastructure, with the objective of becoming one of the leading universities in the Middle East. HQA Group, which is leading the development and design of the new project on behalf of the State of Qatar, is looking for an individual to serve as the technology project director/lead technology consultant for the university expansion project. For more information, contact Ahmad Atwan, ahmad.atwan@hqagroup.com.

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April 27, 2005: Piracy on the Seas of Higher Education
By Graham Spanier, President, Penn State University
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