10 excellent iPhone and iPad gadgets and accessories

Looking to spice up your iPhone or iPad while waiting for the next revision to come out of Cupertino? Give some of these gadgets and accessories a try! Says ZDNet. With all the excitement kicking up about Microsoft’s Surface tablet (which comes complete with an unobtrusive keyboard), iPad users may find themselves wanting to get something closer to a laptop experience out of their device. Luckily, that’s just what the CruxCase 360 sets out to do, acting as a protective iPad case that doubles as a stand and a keyboard…

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Obama still draws college students at UVA

The crowds may be smaller and the candidate grayer, but college towns are still proving to be President Barack Obama’s best shot at enthusiastic audiences, the Associated Press reports. More than 26,000 people combined showed up to hear the president speak during his three-state college town tour this week, which ended Wednesday with a rally near the University of Virginia. The crowds at the outdoor rallies have tilted younger, underscoring the Obama campaign’s efforts to target college students as they return to school and re-energize a constituency that was critical in propelling Obama to the White House…

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Rutgers moves forward with $295M development to keep pace with enrollment

Rutgers could receive more construction funds if a bond issue passes in November.

Rutgers University officials are set to build an expansive academic building with 2,000 extra classroom seats, an 800-bed student housing facility, and a residential honors college for 500 of the school’s best students as the campus becomes the latest to fund construction in a public-private partnership.

The university’s Board of Governors and Board of Trustees agreed to allow administration officials to start formal negotiations with the New Brunswick Development Corp., which will help fund the massive $295 million construction and renovation project.

The proposed project would include a 150,000-square-foot academic building; a residential honors college; an 800-bed student residence hall with street-level retail shopping and dining, and a new campus parking deck off George Street.

The project would be paid for through residential and dining fees, general operating revenues and state tax credits secured by the development company. Officials say the project will help the university meet growing demands, and help attract and retain faculty and students.

If approved, the project would likely be completed by fall of 2016.

For more campus construction news, see:

Anatomy of a campus construction project

Tennessee’s classroom upgrade offers new way of teaching

‘Building Excellence’ section of eCampus News Online

Rutgers President Richard McCormick said the four-year construction plan would help the school keep up with the 14 percent uptick in student enrollment since 2006. Classroom space has only increased by 3.8 percent in the past six years.

“This initiative would help the university meet the growing demand for modern classroom and residential space, while a campus-wide honors college would enable Rutgers to attract New Jersey’s … brightest students,” McCormick said, adding that the construction project would add 1,200 jobs to the local economy. “It has long been my hope to transform the university’s most historic campus with modern facilities and a more aesthetically pleasing, pedestrian-friendly environment that would help us recruit and retain the finest faculty and students.”

Antonio Calcado, vice president of facilities and capital planning at Rutgers, said the construction project would add campus lecture hall seats for the first time since 1993.

Around $199 million would be financed through student residential and dining fees and $44 million through general operating revenues, both over a 30-year period, according to Rutgers. Another $52 million would be financed through state tax credits.

Teaming up with a private entity to fund campus construction has become far more common in the post-2008 economy, as state budgets provide less for public schools and universities while college enrollment continued unabated. This has left many campuses, including the University of Akron, unable to keep up with growing student rolls without major financial help from outside lenders.


Ellucian Recruiter Streamlines Admissions Functions and Provides Insight into Financial Aid Information

FAIRFAX, Va. – August 28, 2012 –Ellucian Recruiter has new functionality that improves the way institutions interface with prospective students and review their applications for admissions. These enhancements are already showing results at five client institutions.

Ellucian Recruiter 2.5 delivers new functionality, including:
• An enhanced web experience that is designed to enrich connections with prospective students, enabling institutions to push dynamic content rapidly and effectively, speeding the way prospects update key contact information, begin or continue an application, and submit supplemental items.
• A streamlined set of workflows to support the application review and decision-making cycle that helps accelerate critical admissions decisions
• Integration with institutional financial aid data that provides admissions staff with faster access to key information.

Five institutions have started to reap results as beta-testers of Recruiter 2.5: Becker College, Emmanuel College, Oklahoma Christian University, Olivet Nazarene University, and Transylvania University.

Transylvania University: New student enrollment up 35 percent

Live with Ellucian Recruiter since August 2011 and with Recruiter 2.5 since April, Transylvania University has successfully leveraged the solution to import data into its recruiting database quicker and connect with prospective students faster. Recruiter provides essential support to the university’s new, aggressive strategic enrollment plan which has resulted in a 35 percent increase in new student enrollment.

Before the university implemented Ellucian Recruiter, it relied on IT staff to import prospect lists, forcing the admissions office to wait until IT staff could process them. Now, Ellucian Recruiter enables admissions staff to import lists themselves and get leads into the hands of counselors faster, eliminating reliance on IT. Just minutes after lists are entered, counselors and territories are assigned and prospects are automatically sent an email telling them to expect a call soon from a counselor. The university credits Ellucian Recruiter and its support of the new enrollment plan with helping it boost enrollment from 259 new students in 2011 to about 350 for fall 2012.

“We believe Ellucian Recruiter helped us reach our enrollment numbers,” said Johnnie Johnson, associate director of admissions at Transylvania. “We can easily get lists into the system so we have more students in our database to recruit from, and we are getting that information into the hands of our counselors sooner.”

The university believes that the new prospective student web experience, streamlined decision-making lifecycle, and access to financial aid information that are available in Ellucian Recruiter 2.5 will advance its efforts to get critical information into the right hands faster. As a result, prospective students can complete their admissions applications faster; and the university can respond to student needs more quickly.

“Our prospects live in an age of instant gratification,” said Bryan Conover, assistant director of admissions at Transylvania University. “Other institutions were responding quicker. Now, we can meet students’ expectations for responsiveness and this helps us be more competitive.”

Institutions using Recruiter 2.5 also tout other dimensions of the solution’s functionality, including:
• Access to competitive FAFSA data that indicates prospects’ top choices
• Ability to super-score SATs and ACTs
• Improved duplicate management capabilities
• Improved analytics

“The new functionality released in Ellucian Recruiter 2.5 enhances an institution’s ability to offer fast, personalized responses and project a positive image to prospective students—tools that are critical for meeting strategic enrollment numbers,” said Dana Hamerschlag, director of product management at Ellucian. “Designed to speed and streamline the entire recruitment lifecycle, Ellucian Recruiter 2.5 provides key functionality specifically engineered to help institutions thrive in a highly competitive recruitment marketplace.”

Visit Ellucian at www.ellucian.com, follow Ellucian on Twitter (@EllucianInc), and like Ellucian on Facebook (/EllucianInc).

About Transylvania University
Transylvania University, founded in 1780, is the nation’s 16th oldest college and is consistently ranked among the country’s top liberal arts colleges. Situated on a park-like campus in the historic district of downtown Lexington, Kentucky, Transylvania is one of only a handful of the nation’s top small colleges located in the heart of a dynamic city. This location provides students with numerous internship, service, cultural, and social opportunities. Transylvania enrolls approximately 1,100 students and offers 38 different academic majors.

About Ellucian
Ellucian, the new company formed by the combination of Datatel and SunGard Higher Education, helps education institutions thrive in a dynamic world. It delivers a broad portfolio of technology solutions, developed in collaboration with a global education community, and provides strategic guidance to help education institutions of all kinds navigate change, achieve greater transparency, and drive efficiencies. More than 2,300 institutions in 40 countries around the world look to Ellucian for the ideas and insights that will move education forward, helping people everywhere discover their futures through learning. Visit ellucian.com.

For more information contact:
Laura Kvinge
Tel: 801.257.4158

Trademark information: Ellucian and the Ellucian logo and Recruiter are trademarks or registered trademarks of Ellucian, Inc. or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other trade names and trademarks used herein are owned by their respective holders.


WebAssign Names New Chief Technology Officer

RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 28, 2012 — David Motsinger has been named chief technology officer of WebAssign, the leading provider of powerful online instructional tools for faculty and students.

Motsinger, a prominent Raleigh, N.C. technologist with more than 20 years of experience in the computer software industry, comes to WebAssign from Cary, N.C.-based StrikeIron, Inc., where he served in the same capacity for nearly seven years. Motsinger led the cloud computing technology team responsible for the design, development, deployment, and support of StrikeIron’s cloud-based data-as-a-service platform, software systems, data centers, infrastructure, and products.

Previously, Motsinger was co-founder and CTO of Covelight Systems, a security technology company that was sold to Radware in 2007. Prior to that, he was co-founder and CEO of GadgetSpace, a wireless application infrastructure company started in 1999 and sold to InPhonic in 2001. Covelight Systems and GadgetSpace both were based in Cary, N.C.

Motsinger joins WebAssign, based on Centennial Campus in Raleigh, N.C., at a time when the company is witnessing tremendous growth in the education technology field. The company employs more than 180 people.

“David’s combination of technology prowess and track record of building successful companies and teams made him an ideal fit for WebAssign,” said Alex Bloom, president at WebAssign. “As we continue to experience double-digit annual growth, it was important to find someone who could build and lead a technology team to support that growth. David brings the experience and leadership necessary to help drive WebAssign’s continued technical innovation.”

Motsinger was raised in Forest City, N.C., and attended North Carolina State University where he graduated with a computer science degree in 1989. In addition to starting technology companies, he also is an investor in two North Carolina restaurants, Zely & Ritz in Raleigh and Piedmont in Durham.
About WebAssign | http://www.webassign.net

WebAssign is the leading provider of powerful online instructional tools for faculty and students. Partnering with all major textbook publishers, WebAssign offers customizable pre-coded questions from a wide range of math and science textbooks along with easy-to-use tools that allow instructors create their own questions. To date, more than five million students have used WebAssign to submit over one billion answers to homework assignments, tests, and practice problems. In return, the students have received millions of pages of feedback on their work. During any one term, more than 500,000 students are using WebAssign at over 1,500 educational institutions worldwide. With more than 180 employees, WebAssign is one of the largest technology “startups” in RTP. Incubated on the North Carolina State University campus in 1997, WebAssign has a strong history of innovation, technology leadership and profitable growth. The private company is based on Centennial Campus in Raleigh, N.C.

Follow WebAssign on Twitter @WebAssign Find WebAssign on Facebook

Media Contacts:
Annie McQuaid, marketing manager, WebAssign
919.829.8181, x124 | direct
919.619.3221 | cell

Doug Thompson, Thompson Drake Public Relations
541.322.9345 | direct
541.419.4471 | cell


College students: Serve us real food, please

Over the next couple of weeks, students will once again fill America’s college and university campuses—and they’ll be hungry. The cost to feed them? Five billion dollars, TakePart.com reports. But the health, social and environmental cost of most campus dining may be even higher than the monetary one, with the vast majority of that sum going to agribusinesses and junk food makers. What is needed, some say, is an influx of food to campuses that takes into account a concern for producers, consumers, communities, and the Earth.

“The issue is so potent because when students arrive on campus, especially freshmen, you’re forced to eat their meal plan,” says David Schwartz, cofounder and campaign director of the Real Food Campaign, a nationwide movement that works with young people to transform the food system. “We see it as a total right that students should have a say of what we put in our bodies.”

The primary goal of the Real Food Campaign (which is a program of Boston-based The Food Project) is to get colleges and universities to shift $1 billion nationally—just 20 percent of the total spending—from industrial food systems to “local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources”—what it calls “real food”—by 2020…

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U.S. colleges see opportunity as Brazil sends students abroad

U.S. colleges, holding onto a shrinking lead as the world’s biggest educator of international students, are eyeing a promising new market in Brazil, an emerging economy with big hopes for the future but a shortage of skilled labor, Reuters reports. U.S. Commerce Undersecretary Francisco Sanchez will lead officials from 66 U.S. colleges and universities to Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro beginning Thursday on what he told Reuters is the biggest trade mission of the Obama administration. The seven-day visit capitalizes on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s “Science Without Borders” initiative aimed at reducing her nation’s skills deficit by sending as many as 101,000 students to study abroad over the next four years.

“She’s stated publicly that she wants half of those to go to the United States and specifically to study in the STEM areas: science, technology, engineering and math,” Sanchez said. Brazil’s skilled-worker shortage is a major challenge on the country’s path to developed-nation status. In addition to spurring Brazil to seek educational opportunities abroad, the shortage has encouraged the government to explore ways to ease immigration rules to attract more foreign professionals…

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Calif lawmakers denounce anti-Semitism in colleges

An Assembly resolution urging California colleges and universities to squelch nascent anti-Semitism also encouraged educators to crack down on demonstrations against Israel, angering advocates for Muslim students, the Associated Press reports. With no debate, lawmakers on Tuesday approved a resolution that encourages university leaders to combat a wide array of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel actions.

“California schools need to recognize that anti-Semitism is still a very real issue on college campuses around the state — it did not disappear with the end of World War II,” said Assemblywoman Linda Halderman, R-Fresno, the resolution’s author.

Most of the incidents of anti-Semitism the resolution cited are related to the Israel-Palestine debate. These include instances of protesters comparing Israeli police to Nazis and urging support for Hamas…

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How to Save Money and Boost Staff Productivity-Simply and Affordably

By adopting unified communications, colleges and universities can reduce costs, ease network maintenance, and improve the flow of information among staff and students. Best of all, they can do this while leveraging their existing assets through a unique “blend and extend” approach that offers a cost-effective path toward the future.

Download Whitepaper


University launches program to combat unemployment among graduates

Indiana University is taking steps to ensure its students find jobs after graduating. (Photo courtesy of IU)

Indiana University’s 900 incoming business school students will have access to a program with web-based components designed to lay out three years of education—a measure intended to help recent graduates avoid joining the lengthy line of peers at the unemployment office.

Officials at IU’s Kelley School of Business on Aug. 28 unveiled the Kelley Compass, an initiative that will pair every incoming student with an adviser who will guide students through a series of objectives in their freshmen, sophomore, and junior years.

The Compass is meant to prepare each student for a specific job in the business world, making them as qualified as possible for in-demand positions. The program will use a raft of renovated student workspaces that will connect students virtually with Kelley graduates from around the world.

The Kelley school recently underwent a $60 million expansion.

The program’s first-year focus helps new students tackle existential questions such as, “Who am I?” and “What do I want?” while examining how their cultural backgrounds, priorities, and skill sets will determine their future employment.

Second-year IU business students are immersed in work groups with their peers meant to stress “cross-cultural competence.” Many of these team-based exercises involve online meetings that address ethical questions in the businesses arena, mock interviews, and business etiquette.

In the Kelley Compass program’s third year, students set career goals, create a detailed plan for how to achieve those goals, and work with advisors to assess their results. Third-year students also will examine business from a variety of perspectives, according to the university.

“The rules of the game for today’s global business world are fluid, so students and schools must approach professional development as rigorously and thoughtfully as we do our bedrock academics programs,” said Tom Lenz, chair of the Kelley School’s undergraduate program. “We’ve integrated into our core curriculum growth opportunities that form a bridge from high school and family to university and business life.”

The university’s Kelley Compass was introduced in the wake of spring and summer unemployment reports that showed more than half of recent college graduates were jobless or working jobs that didn’t require a bachelor’s degree.