Duke University in North Carolina and the University of Alabama have received recognition from Blackboard for their campus service offerings that have led to more student conveniences while saving the institutions time and money. The Greenhouse Awards were presented during Blackboard’s BbWorld Commerce 2007 conference.
WASHINGTON, DC – Blackboard Inc., a leading provider of enterprise technology to the education industry, has recognized Duke University and The University of Alabama as the winners of the 2007 Greenhouse Awards for Exemplary Campus Services.
Representatives from both institutions were honored at BbWorld Commerce 2007, the annual Blackboard Users Conference for Blackboard Commerce Suite clients. More than 250 Blackboard clients and partners gathered at the conference last week to collaborate and share best practices around the use of Blackboard solutions to enhance campus services.
Now in its third year, the Greenhouse Awards for Exemplary Campus Services is given to academic institutions best demonstrating innovative use of the Blackboard Commerce Suite™ for the delivery and operation of campus services.
The Blackboard Commerce Suite is a package of three enterprise software applications supporting cashless transactions on-campus, off-campus and online and allowing for identification and security access.
Award submissions are judged by a panel of academic leaders in campus services, including previous award winners. Winners receive $5000 each, as well as support from Blackboard for the growth and execution of their initiatives.
About the winners
The University of Alabama relies heavily on its Action Card system which provides many unique benefits and conveniences to students and faculty while also generating revenue for the campus, and creating strong town and gown relationships in the community.
The Action Card is used for
– campus vending;
– on and off-campus dining;
– library and lab verification;
– printing and copying;
– facility/event access for athletics, campus recreation, housing and residential communities.
With more than 500 campus card readers, the Action Card is an integral part of the campus community, processing annually 6 million transactions, $15.9 million in debit dollars and $5 million in meal plans.
“Any institution that wants to have a truly successful card program needs to get the system out of the back dining annex and into the main IT hosting facility, with IT management and oversight. That’s the only way to make sure the card system can effectively play a key role in delivering campus services,” said Dr. Priscilla Hancock, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, University of Alabama Systems and Vice Provost for Information Technology, The University of Alabama. “In my experience, the institutions that don’t elevate the card system to enterprise status are the ones that get stuck with low-value, niche systems that overtax and under serve.”
At Duke University, wireless technology, kiosks, the Internet and custom tools have enabled the DukeCard Office to transform campus life.
Using wireless card terminals, Duke has increased attendance at events, provided better and faster service to attendees and increased revenues. Since the beginning of the 2006-07 academic year, the wireless campus card terminal has been used for more than 340 events and for a variety of services including basketball entry validation, charitable donations, athletic and event concessions, yearbook distribution and iPod distributions, among many others.
The DukeCard has also played a significant role in an important, high-profile campus tradition called Krzyzewskiville Tenting, where 100 tents are pitched at the Cameron Indoor Stadium as students camp-out for over a month to get into the Duke – North Carolina game.
“In previous years it took almost two hours to check-in ‘tenters’ using paper lists, which also made the potential for fraud more likely,” said Matthew Drummond, director of the DukeCard office. “With the handheld wireless devices we were able to get through check-in in less than 30 minutes. We are looking at expanding the use of handhelds next year for the entire process.”
The winning entries for the 2007 Greenhouse Award for Exemplary Campus Services are available on the Blackboard connections site at connections.blackboard.com under the Greenhouse tab.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise software applications and related services to the education industry. Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations everywhere by connecting people and technology. Millions of people use Blackboard everyday at academic institutions around the globe, including colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.