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USF is leading digital transformation with 'unthinkable' speed

Two key organizational tweaks have enabled the University of South Florida to adopt technological changes at speeds that would have been “unthinkable” before the pandemic started, the institution’s chief information officer said during Educause's online conference on Tuesday. The institution began installing a unified identity access and communications platform that allowed students and faculty at each of its three campuses to communicate and collaborate on projects through a single system. The second change was a shift from “project-based delivery to more of a product-based delivery.” “Having a platform is so critical. If you have disparate systems, this doesn’t work,” University CIO Sidney Fernandes said. Colin Wood has more.

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Universities underscore CIO partnerships

Chief information officers have become strategic in advancing the learning priorities of universities through the implementation of technology and have been instrumental as universities adjust to the new modes of teaching, university leaders said during Educause's conference. When classes moved online last spring semester at Case Western Reserve University, university CIO Sue Workman said that the trusted relationship she had built with the school’s provost, Ben Vinson, and other university leaders, allowed the university to make quick decisions on what technology to implement to be able to continue delivering classes. “[CIOs] have to be the strategist, we have to have a seat at that table and we have to be able to contribute to the strategy of the university more than just IT,” Workman said. Betsy Foresman reports.

Virginia disperses CARES Act funding to universities

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday announced that an additional $116 million in federal pandemic relief funding will be allocated to the state’s institutions of higher learning. Provided through Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act grants, the funding will allow 25 universities and colleges throughout Virginia to buy telework and distance learning infrastructure, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and COVID-19 testing. Colin has the rest of the story.

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