Microsoft And Leading Higher Education Associations Create First-Ever Consortium To Tackle Technology Integration Issues In Colleges And Universities

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 11, 1996 — In an unprecedented collaboration in the higher education community, seven leading higher education associations have joined with Microsoft Corporation to address the challenges of Internet integration, strategic and financial planning and faculty training in the higher education community. Announced today, Partners for the Advancement of Technology in Higher Education (PATH) will help colleges and universities address the wide range of issues and opportunities that accompany the incorporation of information technologies into higher education and offer real-world solutions to the challenges they face.

PATH members, which represent colleges, universities or academic programs nationwide, include the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the NAFSA:Association of International Educators (NAFSA) .) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

“Underlying this program is the shared belief that the integration of information technology into higher education is an urgent priority,”
said Jim Ptaszynski, strategic relations manager in the higher education group at Microsoft.
“These associations are committed to improving their own use of technology and to helping their members plan and implement appropriate information technologies at their schools. We’re providing the tools and the training to help.”

Each association will receive the latest software, networking technology and assistance in strategic planning from Microsoft, enabling them to model for their member institutions optimal uses of leading technology and to develop real-world solutions to technology integration difficulties, technology funding issues, and barriers to the accelerated use of technology by college and university faculty. At the same time, by working closely with the PATH members, Microsoft hopes to learn how to better serve the needs of the higher education community.

“After working with a variety of hardware and software, and spending too much time getting these systems to work together, we realized we needed a strategic plan to upgrade our association’s technology,”
said Milton Blood, managing director for the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business.
“These are the kinds of issues higher education institutions face, and our collective PATH experience will allow us to offer solutions.”

Shared Learning Opportunities

PATH members believe that working together to learn more about technology integration will magnify the benefits to their individual associations and to the greater higher education community.
“Higher education groups are fairly fragmented because they don’t communicate with each other very much,”
said Blood.
“We’d all be better off if we communicated more effectively, and I think PATH might have an important impact on the higher education community. To me, one of the real values of PATH is that we’ll be learning from each other.”

With a special resource CD-ROM, newsletter and several task forces, PATH will provide helpful tools for addressing three challenges – integration of technology into the curriculum, strategic and financial planning, and faculty education. The free CD for faculty and academic decision makers, available in Spring 1997, includes resources and software tools for making best use of technology on campus in instruction as well as administration.

The CD includes:

  • More than 50 papers of
    “Best Practices”
    from faculty members illustrating how they use technology in instruction

  • “Thought Pieces”
    from influential educators, including articles on critical topics such as the use of technology in teaching and learning

  • A series of technology templates to help decision makers plan and design their technology integration

  • Case studies on how Microsoft®
    products have helped provide solutions to information challenges in higher education

  • White papers on topics such as network operating systems, electronic mail and other messaging systems

  • A list of sources for more information on teaching with and administering technology in colleges and universities

  • Free copies of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, trial versions of Publisher 97, and other Microsoft productivity and Internet tools

In addition to the CD-ROM, another tool offered for the higher education community is a Web-based newsletter published by PATH and Dr. James L. Morrison at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The monthly newsletter, available in Spring 1997 at http://www.microsoft.com/Education/ , will provide tips and resources for faculty members using information technology in instruction, information on technical support issues and a forum to discuss administrative concerns of using technology in higher education institutions.

PATH also has organized task forces comprised of a technical committee, communications committee and a member services committee to develop a cohesive vision for solving technology integration challenges on college campuses. The task forces help the associations focus on the internal use of technology in the member associations, improve communications among association membership and the higher education community, and develop functional technology solutions that all associations members can implement. To learn more about PATH, visit Microsoft’s web site in the dedicated Higher Education section at http://www.microsoft.com/Education/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal. computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of personal computing every day.

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For More Information:

Lisa Collins, Marcy Monyek and Associates, 312-263-2135, lisacollins@MSN.com

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