Indiana Schools Earn Campus Technology Innovators Awards

Campus Technology, one of the top information sources for higher education news, recently presented its annual Innovators Awards. Four of the 12 national awards presented went to universities in the Hoosier state.

IT Infrastructure and Systems
Indiana University
Project: One.IU (OneCampus)
Project Lead: Eric Westfall, enterprise software architect
Vendors/technologies: Developed in-house, rSmart

Category description: IT Infrastructure and Systems (including, but not limited to): learning management systems; collaboration technologies and environments; learning space design/architecture/smart classrooms; classroom management and control systems; data security and authentication; networking; SaaS and cloud computing; telecommunications; digital repositories/digital libraries; high-performance computing; green technologies; disaster recovery and business continuity; help desk.

Student Systems and Services
Ball State University
Project: Ball State Achievements
Project Lead: Kay Bales, vice president for student affairs and dean of students
Vendors/technologies: Developed in-house

Category description: Student Systems and Services (including, but not limited to): technology for career services; advising/online advising; technology for housing; physical security and emergency planning; eTextbooks/bookstore; instructional resources and library services; recruitment/eRecruitment.

Teaching and Learning
University of Notre Dame
Project: E-Portfolios With Evidenced-Based Badges
Project Lead: G. Alex Ambrose, associate professor of the practice and associate director of e-portfolio assessment
Vendors/technologies: Credly, Digication

Category description: Teaching and Learning (including, but not limited to): learning design/instructional design; immersive technologies; social software, Web 2.0; mobile learning; teaching in the smart classroom; collaboration tools; student assessment; student ePortfolios; lecture capture; eLearning; accessibility.

Education Futurists
Ball State University
Project: The Traveler
Project Lead: Kyle Parker, senior software engineer for developing technologies
Vendors/technologies: Developed in-house

Category description: Education Futurists (including, but not limited to): visionary learning technology development; new program development; institutional reformation; trend spotters: technology and society.

Education Off the Playing Field

FKudos to the Indiana University Kelley School of Business for the recent announcement of a partnership with the National Football League Players Association. Career development, certificate and degree graduate level program options are part of the mix for current and former players.

Preparing young people for life off the field is a very good thing. Astonishingly, media reports have indicated as many as three-quarters of NFL players are bankrupt within five years of retirement. Details are in this press release.

This is only the latest example of Indiana institutions and businesses working with athletes. The current BizVoice magazine spotlights Indiana University East and its online program for tennis players (including Venus Williams) and the Language Training Center’s work with LPGA golfers.

Hamilton’s Take on Our Nation’s Future

Lee Hamilton asked and answered a most important question to an audience of nearly 500 people at Wednesday night’s 2012 Indiana Chamber Legislative Dinner.

The presentation from the 80-year old former Indiana congressman and longtime statesman was titled “Can This Nation Long Endure?” It was the same question Abraham Lincoln posed 149 years ago in his famed Gettysburg Address. (Hamilton noted that the prayer opening that event was longer than Lincoln’s three-minute talk, a speech that Hamilton once had recited to him word-for-word in Beijing by the president of China).

Today’s response, according to Hamilton: “The answer lies with you and me. There are plenty of good reasons to get frustrated and angry. My guess, my hope, is that Americans will accept the burden and challenge and make the adjustments necessary to ensure that American long endures.”

Hamilton outlined the negatives. They include the polls (83% worried about our nation’s future and only 19% who believe the U.S. will continue to be the most powerful country in the world), the headlines from respected publications ("The End of Western Dominance"; "Is America Done?") and the scholars who question whether American is “coming apart,” among other concerns.

The path to the future, however, lies in our past.

“Our challenges are formidable but not unmanageable … our problems are discouraging, not crippling,” explains Hamilton, noting the durability of our Constitution for more than 200 years. “Our public institutions may be under some stress, but they have stood the test of time. We have a multitude of talented people dedicated to the public good.

“In return for our freedom is responsibility; in return for liberty is obligation. What’s more important than what we think about our nation’s future is what we do about it. We need leaders who give us straight talk about the true nature of our problems and solutions on how to deal with them.

“We don’t need a new system of government,” Hamilton concludes. “We need a renewed willingness to make what we have work.”

Hamilton, who represented Indiana in Washington from 1965 to 1999, is currently director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University, a non-partisan educational institution seeking to improve the public’s understanding of Congress. 

IU Sets Conference Theme: ‘Incite Innovation’

"Incite Innovation" is the theme for the 66th Annual IU Kelley Business Conference. The event promises to "examine the key issues American firms soon will face and how that future will impact society and the way it does business, requiring creative thinking and innovation strategies for American business leaders to successfully engage and adapt to the future."

The conference takes place Friday, March 2 at the Indiana Convention Center. Speakers include John Kao, chairman of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation and chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Innovation; and Ray Kurzweil, acclaimed futurist and author of The Age of Intelligent Machines.

Full details are available online.

IU Grad, Entrepreneur Earns Coveted Championship Ring

Many of today’s business success stories started with an Indiana University business education. But very few grads can claim to be as interesting — and controversial — as Mark Cuban.

Cuban started his career by creating a system integrating/software reselling company, and then went on to co-found AudioNet — a company that webcasted college sports. AudioNet eventually became, which was sold to Yahoo! for nearly $6 billion in stock. And thus, a mogul was born.

In 2000, Cuban purchased a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise. (He purchased the stake from H. Ross Perot, Jr., son of the presidential candidate, although the relationship between the two hasn’t exactly been cozy.)

The Mavericks were a rather hapless franchise since their inception before Cuban took over. And despite his reputation as being a troublemaker in the eyes of league officials — racking up millions in fines for criticism of referees, players and NBA policies over the years — Cuban devoted a great deal of resources and energy to building a winning franchise.

That effort came to fruition Sunday night as the Mavericks ousted the much-maligned Miami Heat on their home court to win the 2011 NBA Championship. Like him or not, he’s an interesting character with strong Indiana ties. (Although he’s not the only Maverick with Hoosier ties, as gritty scrapper Brian Cardinal is a Purdue legend and their head coach, Rick Carlisle, once held the same position for the Indiana Pacers.) The Mavericks have now made the playoffs 11 straight years, reached two NBA Finals and earned one title.

And if you’d like to read Cuban’s unique perspectives on varying topics — ranging from business advice to telecommunications law to God knows what else — check out his blog.

Will IU Tackle the Longstanding Mascot Question?

More of a light-hearted story here about a state school, but as an IU grad, I’d like to weigh in on the IU mascot debate featured in today’s Indy Star. Personally, I think we definitely need a mascot, and I’ve long been jealous of the Boilers’ "Purdue Pete" (the old/new one, not the stuffed pillow they had for about 20 minutes a couple of months ago), which I think is one of the top mascots in the country. Since my time at IU, I’ve advocated (among friends) the development of "Harry the Hoosier Hog." Just a giant State Fair-quality pig to run mosey on out with the football team during games, and then maybe a student in a hog costume during the hoops season. What’s not to like about hogs? They’re sometimes cute, often aggressive, and always delicious.

That said, I do think the bison idea in the article has merit. The animal is on the state seal, and while we no longer have them here, bison remain a part of our history. The Star reports:

In the late 1960s, IU had a bison as its mascot. In 1979, IU had someone named "Hoosier Pride," a hick-looking person with a large head and a crimson cowboy hat. Apparently, though, that one didn’t pass the politically correct test and was quickly abandoned.

Since then, however, nothing.

"I think you should have a contest, get the university students involved and let them draw up something," Gearries said. "Let’s have a name contest, let’s have a drawing contest, and when we finally get it down to two or three finalists, we can let the students vote on it."

Valerie Gill, IU’s director of licensing and trademarks, said nothing is currently in the works.

Glass said any decision on a mascot would need to be made at the university level.

"Ultimately that’s a university decision, and my belief is that if it bubbles up, it will be more of a grass-roots effort from the students and fans," Glass said.

Most of the mascots in the Big Ten date to the 1950s, though their role has significantly expanded from an extension of the cheerleading squad over the decades.

Minnesota assistant athletic director Scott Ellison said its mascot, Goldy, made 572 appearances last year, roughly 300 of them outside athletic and other school events, including birthday parties and weddings. Goldy can make as many seven appearances in a day and is a revenue source for the school.

"(A mascot) is an ambassador for the university," Ellison said. "It’s one of our brands. It’s very visible and very much the face of not only the athletics department, but also the university."

Innovative Approach Keeps Kelley School Students Engaged When Class is Out

The following is a guest blog by Philip Cochran, associate dean of Indianapolis operations for the Kelley School of Business:

The recent ice storm tested the resolve of businesses all across the Midwest. Some fared better than others when battling the elements to deliver their goods or services without affecting the bottom line.

In higher education, however, the concept of losing nearly a week of class time presents a unique challenge: How do you keep students on track without diminishing the return on the investment for their education?

Thankfully, many students at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis never had cause for concern. The ongoing commitment by faculty to online education and alternative teaching methods allowed for mostly business as usual, despite the closure of the IUPUI campus for three days.

Faculty members — both at the undergraduate and graduate levels — prepared for the storm by providing students access to software designed for video conferencing, online lectures and other hi-tech teaching tools. Some fought power outages and travel restrictions to keep their classes on schedule and student groups moving ahead as planned.

Kelley Indianapolis caters to many non-traditional students, many with families and child-care concerns during such a weather event. The safety of students became top priority, but fulfilling their professional commitment to these dedicated students rang loudly as well for instructors.

If the early response from students is any indication, they also greatly appreciated the opportunity to make progress using this technology. Many simply didn’t want to miss class.

One student told his instructor, “I actually prefer the online lecture format. I think it’s much more interactive, and I got a lot more out of it.”

Another student referred to the last-minute classroom conferencing as “a handy and workable alternative, and all things considered, a more lively and engaging forum than I expected.”

Faculty members are quick to point out the success of these methods requires a strong commitment to achievement among students — something in heavy supply among Kelley students.

This educational experience would not have been as successful without the talented and driven faculty and students who make up Kelley’s Indianapolis campus. Their diligence and commitment to excellence continue to impress each and every day.

In a time when more and more demands are placed on students and their families, this experience reflects positively on the Kelley school, those who help it earn its reputation and the impressive business minds of tomorrow.

IU Researchers: Twitter Can Help Predict Markets

This is just wild. According to Indiana University researchers, Twitter may be the greatest economic indicator yet: 

Researchers at IU Bloomington’s School of Informatics and Computing found the correlation between the value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and public sentiment after analyzing more than 9.8 million tweets from 2.7 million users during 10 months in 2008.

Using two mood-tracking tools to analyze the text content of the large-scale collection of Twitter feeds, Associate Professor Johan Bollen and Ph.D. candidate Huina Mao were able to measure variations in public mood and then compare them to closing stock market values.

One tool, OpinionFinder, analyzed the tweets to provide a positive or negative daily time series of public mood. The second tool, Google-Profile of Mood States (GPOMS), measured the mood of tweets in six dimensions: calm, alert, sure, vital, kind, and happy. Together, the two tools provided the researchers with seven public mood time series that could then be set against a similar daily time series of Dow Jones closing values.

The researchers then correlated the two sets of values — Dow Jones and public mood — and used a self-organizing network model to test a hypothesis that predicting stock market closing values could be improved by including public mood measurements.

"We were not interested in proposing an optimal Dow Jones prediction model, but rather to assess the effects of including public mood information on the accuracy of the baseline prediction model," Bollen said. "What we found was an accuracy of 87.6 percent in predicting the daily up and down changes in the closing values of the Dow Jones Industrial Average."

IU Football Symbolizes Decisions Universities Must Make About Importance of Athletics

As an IU alum and football fan, this was obviously of great interest to me. The Indianapolis Business Journal’s recent article on the state of the school’s football program seems to highlight the risk vs. reward dilemma facing larger universities’ athletic budgets. When is it worth a major investment, and when should the pursuit of winning be scaled back?

Athletic Director Fred Glass has emphasized marketing, been the point man in radio and television commercials, and is leading the charge into a season that promises football financial gains not seen in Bloomington in a very long time.

While success on the field is not guaranteed, Glass is promising significant attendance increases and a continued rebirth of the football program that he believes will lead to critical fiscal gains for the school and its athletic department.

IU has a long way to go, and some critics wonder if it’s wise for the Hoosiers to chase the likes of Ohio State University … or even the University of Wisconsin. IU’s $55.7 million athletic department budget looks small compared with the Buckeyes’

“College athletics is a very dangerous investment for schools,” said David Ridpath, a professor of sports administration at Ohio University and past president of The Drake Group, a not-for-profit that bills itself as a watchdog for academic integrity in the face of big-time college sports.

“Schools can get caught up in chasing bigger programs with many more resources, and it becomes difficult to justify the expenses based on true return on investments.”

Alliance Brings Leaders Together — for 20 Years

In the November-December 2009 issue of BizVoice, we featured a short story on the Alliance, a networking and business development forum for senior leaders of established Indiana-based companies. The group recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with an event sponsored by Oxford Financial Group, Ltd. Among the highlights:

  • Daniel W. DeHayes, a co-founder of the group and professor emeritus at the IU Kelley School of Business, noted that the 150 different member companies through the years (there are currently more than 45 businesses involved) have generated nearly $60 billion in sales revenue and currently account for more than 30,000 Hoosier jobs.
  • William L. Haeberle, also a Kelley professor emeritus, was recognized for his "intellectual and sovereign leadership" for 15 years.
  • Butler University President Bobby Fong shared insights on the subject of excellence: "Enduring excellence is a matter of values. Excellence depends on a firm and consistent commitment to mission. Excellence means identifying the things you do well. Excellence resides in your people and the culture you build to sustain them."

The manufacturing, retail and service sectors each make up one-third of the Alliance membership. Groups like it are excellent examples of business leaders learning from each other — as well as outside experts. While Indiana often seems to feature too many organizations working separately toward similar interests, the Alliance does not fall into that category. Congratulations to all involved and best of luck in your next 20 years.