C2 November 9, 2005

C2 Strategic C-level Discussions on Technology

November 9, 2005
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From the Top

Ron Bleed's Chosen Focus: It's Alchemy

A Conversation with Ron Bleed

Ron Bleed has long been known as an exemplary leader in higher education and a pioneer in education technology. As Vice Chancellor for Information Technologies at Maricopa Community Colleges (AZ), he has overseen technology implementations that have had far-reaching impact for the Maricopa Community College District and have served as important models for community colleges nationwide. This year, he received an Educause award for Excellence in Leadership at the 2005 Educause annual conference, which was held in Orlando this past month. CT spoke with Bleed at the conference.

CT: We understand that you will be retiring soon from your role as Vice Chancellor for Information Technologies, choosing to give your full attention to the work that inspires you most at Maricopa. After nearly 40 years in this field, you have an incredible perspective on what’s important for IT in higher education. Could you tell us what you think is important for IT to focus on in the coming months and years? What will your focus be?

Bleed: There are three banners I’m going to wave as I go into the sunset of my career. One is hybrid courses, because I have discovered that the greatest problem working against student success in courses is life interruptions. Hybrid courses go a long way toward giving greater flexibility to students by not committing them to such a fixed time schedule. The second crusade is, when they do come to campus, to have social spaces for them—spaces that are much friendlier for students, places where they want to congregate. And we can look to Borders, Starbuck’s, and those kinds of places for models of how to make seating and other physical arrangements attractive. The third banner I’m waving is called visual spaces—trying to introduce that further into the curriculum, because it includes the skill sets that are needed for the 21st century. It’s what our younger students have aptitude for, and I think we could greatly improve learning if we were to use some of the tools they are most familiar with and adept at. Visual literacy takes many forms and has many definitions; we're just beginning to sort that out. It needs to be introduced both as a separate course and in assignments within courses, and it should also be addressed in teacher education. There are many ways in which students can learn from and create materials in digital media formats that include visual and sound elements.

CT: Those are three big challenges. It seems like there are a lot of different things that have to come together to make these things work.

Bleed: I think the challenge for us in IT will be to bring together all kinds of forces. I’ve used the analogy of alchemy. We need to mix up a different blend of things and produce a different kind of gold than we have been traditionally producing with our work. This means drawing not just from those of us in IT, but from a lot of other people that need to be part of the picture. We’ll be creating a product that is important to our students and to higher education’s future. We need to look at just what that end product is—what that gold is. But I really do believe that it will include more visual images, more flexibility in course scheduling, and better design of spaces.

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Need to Know

Deliberative Poll Focuses on Diversity and Values

At Carnegie Mellon University (PA), a series of "Campus Conversations" will incorporate deliberative polling of student opinions about life, learning, and values. The campus-wide conversations will be held twice yearly on relevant topics. The first poll, to be held as a face-to-face event November 19, will investigate the nature of a diverse campus community and will poll students on several related issues. The second poll, to be held in the spring, will use PICOLA online deliberative polling software developed at CMU.

Find out more.

Campus Management Integrates Donor2 into ERP

Campus Management Corporation will acquire Systems Support Services, adding Donor2 alumni relations and fundraising software to its CampusVue administrative system for higher education. Donor2 supports the full cycle of fundraising and includes constituent relationship management, analysis functions, and Web browser capabilities.

Find out more.

Addressing the Technology Gender Gap

The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and Cisco Systems announced this week their partnership to raise awareness of educational and career opportunities for women in science, technology, math, and engineering-pointing to research from the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) that women now represent only about one-quarter of IT workers. Cisco will participate in NCWIT's growing coalition of more than 65 corporations, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies joined in a mission to achieve parity in the workforce.

Find out more.

Who's Where

Northeastern University Opens Search for President

Northeastern University (MA) has formed a search committee for the successor to Richard Freeland, who has served as the university's president since 1996. In the past decade under Freeland's leadership, Northeastern has increased its national recognition, earning a ranking as 115th in the latest US News & World Report's annual "America's Best Colleges" list. Freeland will leave his post at the end of the current school year.

Find out more.

New Asst. VP for Academic Services and Technology Support at Duke

Julian Lombardi has announced that he will join the Duke University (NC) Office of Information Technology as Assistant Vice President for Academic Services and Technology Support. There, he will have broad responsibility for academic and research computing development and support and well as for the customer service functions of Duke's OIT. Lombardi leaves the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was Assistant Director for Academic Services and Technology Support within DoIT and one of the architects of the Croquet Project, a broadband communications platform with a 3D interface and peer-to-peer network architecture.

Find out more.

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October 26, 2005 Copyright Compliance on Campus: Make it Easy

October 12, 2005 Outsourcing or Out of Business

September 28, 2005 Technology and the CEO: The Role of Portals in Higher Education

September 14, 2005 Coping with Katrina

August 24, 2005 IT from the Ground Up
Q&A with UC Merced CIO Rich Kogut

August 10, 2005 Strategic ePortfolio Transforms into 'Cultural Application'
A Conversation with Trent Batson, Director of Information and Instruction Technology Services, University of Rhode Island

July 27, 2005 Strategic Planning for Information Technology
By Edward J. Padron, President, Miami Dade College

July 13, 2005 Hitting the Ground Walking
By Brian D. Voss, CIO, Louisiana State University

June 22, 2005 It's Not Simply Infrastructure
An Interview with Tracy Futhey, CIO, Duke University

June 8, 2005 Online Piracy, Ethical Behavior, and the Unintended Consequences of Technology
By Diane Barbour, CIO, Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

May 25, 2005 The Internet, the Pope, and the iPod
By Tracy Mitrano, Director of IT Policy and Computer Law and Policy
Cornell University (NY)

May 11, 2005 Overcoming the Biggest Barrier to Student Success
By Ron Bleed, vice chancellor IT
Maricopa Community Colleges

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

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