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When working with clients on their higher education marketing strategies, we try to find their most marketable assets and build campaigns around them. Sometimes, the tough part is finding those distinguishable assets. These institutions no longer have that problem thanks to their clever CIOs.

Five higher education CIOs who are taking the guesswork out of higher education marketing:

> USG, CIO Curt Carver
Developers on Carver’s team wrote custom code to handle cross-registration. The custom middleware integrated student information systems to create a total head count of registrants across USG universities. It also let students stay in their institution’s interface — if a student at Coastal Georgia registers for a course at the University of Georgia, it all looks like the Coastal Georgia system, with no need to register at or pay fees to another university.

> University of Oklahoma, CIO Loretta Early
The University of Oklahoma (OU) is embracing massively open online courses (MOOCs) on its own terms — creating them under its own brand, rather than joining the stampede to providers like Coursera or edX. CIO Loretta Early said partnering with a local startup provided a way to merge online course strategy with the university’s economic development mission while letting OU influence the platform design.

> University of New Hampshire, CIO Joanna Young
As student mobile devices, online video, data-intensive research, and, yes, online gaming in the dorms soak up ever more bandwidth, UNH is one of a handful of organizations testing TV white space for wireless access. The conversion to digital TV freed up that spectrum, allowing for what the FCC has called “super WiFi” hotspots.

> University of Kentucky, CIO Vince Kellen
When he arrived at UK, Kellen quickly identified mobility as a priority. He rolled out a first generation of apps less than a year after joining the school. Built on a framework from Blackboard, the apps let students look up, register, and pay for courses; check maps and locations; look up people and buildings; check athletic schedules; catch up on university news; and, of course, check grades. “Students have been heavy mobile phone users for some time, but most universities haven’t adjusted quickly as student behavior has changed.”‘

> Arizona State University, CIO Gordon Wishon
A cornerstone of Wishon’s efforts is a suite of applications ASU has rolled out over the past five years to collect and analyze student data and present the results, not only to each student, but also to key faculty members and administrators. The goal is to improve student performance and raise graduation and retention rates. “We needed a system that allowed us to not only leverage the data we had about students and what made a student successful, but also to reengineer the processes that allowed us to intervene when a student struggled.”

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