Magazine article University Business

UBTech 2015: Shaping the Future of Higher Education: Highlights from UB's Annual Higher Ed Technology and Leadership Conference

Magazine article University Business

UBTech 2015: Shaping the Future of Higher Education: Highlights from UB's Annual Higher Ed Technology and Leadership Conference

Article excerpt

By University Business Staff

The setting: AAA Four Diamond Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, a 230-acre Spanish Revival resort where guests strolled along the headwaters of the Florida Everglades (beware of gators) and next to a championship golf course en route to UBTech sessions and other conference activity.

The conversation: technological innovation and leadership as well as institutional and student success, with UBTech's attendees learning management insights, getting technology updates and networking with each other.

The event, held June 15 to 17, featured a packed preconference program and keynotes by campus presidents on college costs and value, the role of IT in higher ed's future, and how educators can inspire student innovation. The exhibit hall brimmed with ideas for keeping colleges and universities on the cutting edge of the ever-changing education landscape.

Attendees pursued learning opportunities from two main program themes. The UBTech theme examined how advances in technology are enabling innovation across the campus--particularly in the areas of instructional technology, campus IT, facilities and infrastructure, AV integration, and policy and practice. And the new UBThrive program addressed the innovative paths that higher ed leaders are taking to ensure both institutional and student success. These sessions covered executive leadership, the student experience and the business enterprise.

Titanium sponsor Sonic Foundry presented the conference live to the online audience via Mediasite Cloud. Diamond sponsor AMX by Harman awarded $25,000 each in AMX hardware and software to four institutions honored with AMX Innovation Awards: West Virginia University, the University of Ottawa (Canada), The University of Queensland (Australia) and Memorial University of Newfoundland.


UBTech 2015's pre-conference line-up included two CIO Summits, the AV Summit, the Connected Campus Summit and six special interest group gatherings. The first CIO Summit, focusing on new technologies and their impact on higher ed, was sponsored by GovConnection and Intel. Kevin Schmid of Intel [top left] was among the speakers. On the agenda of the Connected Campus, sponsored by HP, were hidden technology costs, privacy and security issues, as well as maximizing the impact of digital learning. Mike Belcher of HP [top right] led a discussion on technology fads. The SIG "Let's FLIP the Learning, not the Faculty" was led by Linda Cresap [above] of Minot State University in South Dakota. And at the AV Summit, sponsored by AMX by Harman, discussion centered around pathways to collaborative learning.

Paul Cardinal from GovConnection [top left] discusses the challenges and opportunities of today's higher education IT landscape during the CIO Summit II, sponsored by Microsoft and GovConnection. Attendees discussed how the next generation of software will help meet the challenges of BYOD, the growing demand for user support and the operational imperative for ease of use and efficiency. At the CIO Summit I, Kat Walsh of Cisco [bottom left] covered the future of computer infrastructure. And during the SIG on adopting cutting-edge technology on campus and gaining support [above], the chatter centered around how IT professionals need to evaluate the value and risk of technology adoption to determine how to promote the benefits and gain support from campus partners to adopt change.


The United States needs to reclaim its belief in the value of higher education to solve the problems of cost, debt and income equality that are plaguing colleges and universities, Roger Williams University President Donald Farish said in his opening keynote on Monday night.

"If we think, metaphorically, of America as an automobile, higher education is the gas that makes it run," said Farish, whose talk was titled "Why Higher Education is Under Siege and What We Can and Should be Doing About It. …

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