The following issues should be considered with respect to changes in information technology, hardware, software, processes, systems, data transmission and stewardship.

Campus network cybersecurity

Higher education is a target for data breaches and malware attacks.

There is an omnipresent need to keep campus network infrastructure secure and efficient in the face of external threats (e.g., server and printer compromises; general cybersecurity).

An information security imperative: developing a holistic, agile approach to reduce institutional exposure to information security systems. [IT EDUCAUSE]

Strategic leadership is another information security imperative: repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as a strategic partner with institutional leadership. [IT EDUCAUSE]

"Preventing security breaches is a serious obligation that requires ongoing training, internal audits and staff vigilance." 10 Questions to Consider to Help Prevent Breaches in Student Record Security, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, 1/26/2016

"On the policy front, higher ed officials continue to prepare for a greater level of accountability around access and outcomes, with states and the federal government, as well as the general public, demanding more transparency in data related to how graduates are faring out in the world." The Latest Trends and Predictions for Higher Ed in 2017, University Business, 12/28/2016

"This past year, higher education saw a boost in the use of technologies like predictive analytics, cloud, and augmented and virtual reality—and research indicates that these trends will only continue to rise." Data Analytics, Cybersecurity Top 2017 Higher Ed Tech Trends, EdTech, 1/12/2017

"Malicious “ransomware” attacks—where a hacker takes control of the victim’s information systems and encrypts data, preventing the owner from accessing it until the victim pays a sum of money—are on the rise against colleges and universities. Higher education institutions are well-advised to increase their efforts to defend against this particularly damaging form of hacking." Increasing Ransomware Attacks in Higher Education, National Law Review, 1/18/17

"...The industry sector with the highest number of breaches is higher education: since 2005, higher education institutions have been the victim of 539 breaches involving nearly 13 million known records. This trend may be due, in part, to the sheer number of personal records kept by these institutions, considering their ever-changing student bodies, as well as the valued open, collaborative environment of most colleges and universities." Higher education’s vulnerability to cyber attacks, University Business, 9/6/2016

IT updates and refreshes

Information technology hardware updates and system refreshes are necessary to keep pace with changing computing landscapes.

IT management and staffing

  • Sustainable Funding: the development of IT funding models that sustain core services, support innovation and facilitate growth [IT EDUCAUSE]
  • Higher Education Affordability: Prioritizing IT investments and resources in the context of increasing demand and limited resources [IT EDUCAUSE]
  • Data Management and Governance: Improving the management of institutional data through data standards, integration, protection and governance [IT EDUCAUSE]
  • Services and information increasingly needing to be accessed through mobile devices, requiring re-engineering of digital products and 24/7 service-level commitments
  • Next-Gen Enterprise IT: Developing and implementing enterprise IT applications, architectures and sourcing strategies to achieve agility, scalability, cost-effectiveness and effective analytics [IT EDUCAUSE] 


2018 Strategic Trends Glossary, Educause, retrieved 10/10/2017

Social media management and listening

  • Differential technology usage by Generation Z—embraces technology as a tool more than Millennials. Most respondents said they regularly used five different electronic devices for their social and educational needs. And more than 40 percent said they currently used digital textbooks, online videos and learning websites.
  • Digital communications have become the lifeblood of enhancing and maintaining the university reputation, which means that the university is “open” 24/7. However, staffing to support the broad swath of university digital products remains comparatively anemic.
  • Higher Education Affordability: Prioritizing IT investments and resources in the context of increasing demand and limited resources will be necessary. [IT EDUCAUSE]

Social media recruitment tools

A chaotic and diffuse social media landscape presents the university with the greatest opportunity for engagement, but also the greatest risk to reputation.

  • Activity monitoring needs to be 24/7, but the university isn’t staffed for that.
  • Staffing must be sustainable. Ensuring adequate staffing capacity and staff retention as budgets shrink or remain flat and as external competition grows is essential. [IT EDUCAUSE]
  • Issues in social media develop and intensify incredibly quickly; institutional response to volatile issues is often not agile enough, compounding reputational damage.
  • Sprinklr—enterprise social media management tool procured by UC—needs to be implemented and grown to help steward the full suite of university social media channels. But the initiative isn’t presently funded at a level that can go that wide.
  • The university is not currently resourced properly to initiate a mature, integrated program of student recruitment that fully leverages social media.
  • The emergence and intensification of “alt” or “fake news” is skewing perceptions and hampering university engagement and advocacy efforts.

Reputational management through social media

Social media usage has prompted higher education to take a closer look at social media and ensure that it is being managed in a way that minimizes exposure. 

"2017 marketing predictions that higher education professionals can put into practice." Five 2017 Marketing Trends, and What They Mean for Higher Education, City Interactive, 1/17/2017

Improving Information Literacy

Challenges maintaining and cultivating information literacy