Editor's Note

Big, But Not Too Big

EduComm 2011 was a big success. Big in many ways. In addition to a record-setting attendance (more than 900 registered), EduComm 2011 had the biggest exhibit floor it has ever had, with more than 40 exhibitors.

Big, but not too big.

That's what we keep hearing from attendees. They tell us they like that EduComm is growing, but they also caution us not to grow too big. They fear we'll lose the intimacy and camaraderie that is evident in a conference our size. That's important to us.

Sustainability as a Way of Life

This issue marks our sixth annual "green guide," looking at sustainability trends and technologies at campuses around the country. Some students even base enrollment decisions on an institution's commitment to the environment. "Green" and "sustainability" seem to have become ingrained in the collective higher education consciousness--which, of course, was the idea all along. This was brought home to me in a conversation I had with Karli Grant, a product manager for Campus Management.

Something for Everyone

If you haven’t made your plans yet for EduComm 2011, let me take this opportunity to tell you about the variety of fast-paced, information-packed breakout sessions scheduled for attendees. Covering a range of topics from learning technology and social media to enrollment strategies and leadership issues, the sessions are designed to inform and enlighten all decision makers at colleges and universities about the changes, challenges and solutions, that higher education must confront today and in the coming years.

Small Fixes for Big Problems

I know that spring is finally upon us because my wife has started organizing her vegetable garden. The garden, like the start of baseball season and the sound of lawn mowers instead of snow blowers, is a sure sign of longer days and warmer evenings.

First Look at EduComm 2011

Old friends and new faces. That's what EduComm attendees can expect to see not only on the exhibit floor and in the session rooms, but also with our keynote speakers. EduComm returns to Orlando, June 13 to 15, at the Hilton Walt Disney World Resort, with more thought-provoking, inspirational content than ever.

One "old friend" is EduComm favorite David Pogue, who will return with an all-new presentation called "The Pogue 2011 Higher Education Tech Update."

Efficiency Explained

The judging has begun on the next round of Models of Efficiency entries, the first of three installments for 2011. We continue to be encouraged by the number of entries that are coming in for each round, a sign that colleges and universities are eager to share their stories about how they saved time or money with technology enhancements or business process improvements.

But not everyone can be named a Models of Efficiency honoree, so I'd like to take a minute to talk about why some entries fall short of the mark.

Farewell, Friend

This month I want to take the opportunity to note the passing of a longtime friend and University Business colleague, Terry Nelson.

Careful readers of UB may recognize her name from our masthead, a spot she occupied for more than a decade as our Midwest sales manager.

Because she lived in the Chicago area, we interacted most often by phone or e-mail, but when we did meet at higher education industry events, Terry would always greet me with a hug, as though I were a long lost friend.

Precaution Is Better Than Cure

A friend recently told me that she had deactivated her Facebook account because of security concerns. Just last month we heard that some Facebook applications, such as the extremely (yet inexplicably) popular Farmville game, were causing identifying information to be sent to advertisers without the users' consent.

Found Money Is Good Money

This morning I was re-reading this issue's Money Matters column on endowed scholarships. In discussing the sometimes restrictive criteria these awards carry, Kathy Kurz illustrates one of her favorite examples. The award "required potential candidates to submit an essay about what their Italian heritage meant to them," Kurz writes. "Winners of this award then had to attend a ball in their honor, and the cost of a gown or tuxedo rental was more than the value of the scholarship!"

Talking Tenure

Back when I was a reporter for my college newspaper, we ran several stories concerning a professor who had threatened legal action against the school for being denied tenure. He was a controversial figure on campus, and he claimed that the administration's fear of his outspokenness lay behind his refusal.

I was reminded of this after reading a few stories about the declining rate of tenured professors, and the debate over whether the tenure model is still a viable one today.

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