In his Drury Magazine article “Techie Talk: A Digital Revolution,” Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff, COO, and CIO David Hinson explores the challenges of managing technology infrastructure in this “brave new technological world.” As the “consumerization of technology” alters expectations for the university space, Hinson argues that leaders must adopt a growth mindset to deliver upon, and plan for, ready access to technology. This access predicates faculty performance and student success, as the well-equipped student will be able to develop the critical thinking skills that facilitate lifelong learning.
Two of Apogee’s university partners, SUNY Canton & SUNY Potsdam, recently published an article in ACUHO’s Talking Stick titled “IT’s Role in Student-First Experiences.” Authored by housing, IT, and business administrators, it sheds light on a challenge many SUNY institutions are facing: the fierce competition to recruit and retain students, especially within on-campus housing. This, combined with a sharp increase in Wi-Fi enabled devices using the campus network, develops into a perfect storm. We’ve seen this at many other institutions in the northeast, where competition to recruit students is cutthroat. In these desperate times, institutions need to work with providers that align within their strategic plan. Specifically, The SUNY system’s strategic plan highlights two core values that tie nicely into this article:
I was intrigued by an October 2016 blog post in Inside Higher Ed titled “Still Waiting for Recovery.” It reports on a Campus Computing survey which finds that nearly a decade after the financial crisis began, many college and university IT officers note their budgets still haven’t recovered. They say the combination of budget cuts and ongoing demands for new services, top professionals and the latest technology is putting them in a tough position.
During the past decade, sweeping technological innovations and student demands began rapidly outpacing traditional educational methods. The impacts of these changes have continued to expand and academic and residential networks across college campuses have felt the pressure rise.
Internet is Not an Amenity, it is an Expectation
K-12 students are digital natives from their toddler years. Access to technology is all they’ve known.
At school, they continuously learn and master an ever-expanding array of tools, seeking a learning experience that models the real world – a world in which work and play go hand in hand.
Spoiled for choice and armed with a constant feedback loop online, our kids see a problem and don’t hesitate to take matters into their own hands. As a mother of two college-age children, I’ve seen how students bombard social media and explore off-campus housing options if they are unhappy with their school’s internet and video amenities. My daughter left her residential hall because the lack of Wi-Fi was a major hassle.
The 2020s are beckoning, and a new normal is taking shape in the fiercely-competitive Northeastern higher education landscape. According to the report “Knocking at the College Door,” the states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont could see 65,000 fewer students coming through the educational pipeline and moving into higher education by 2028. As a result, graduating high school classes, which will be smaller than the classes of today, will likely be targeted for student recruitment from institutions in neighboring states looking to offset their declines.