Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Just Texted in to the E-mail and Land Lines are for Oldies Desk

From the most e-mailed article in today's CHE (full article for subscribers only...c'mon CHE, get with it!)

Colleges are pressing ahead despite the bumps because they realize that cellphones are the best, and often the only, way to reach their students.

"We noticed that students were not logging into their campus e-mail for weeks at a time," says Arthur Downing, chief information officer at the City University of New York's Bernard M. Baruch College.

That observation was repeated at colleges across the country. E-mailed announcements of campus events, course changes, and financial-aid deadlines were being ignored wholesale.

So were dormitory-room land lines. "They just weren't plugging in," says Ronald G. Forsythe, vice president for commercialization at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, who oversees campus communications there. The reason, he adds, was that most students had already obtained cellphones in high school and brought them to the campus.

"Ninety-eight percent of our students come to campus with a cellphone already," says Edward V. Chapel, vice president for information technology at Montclair State University, in New Jersey.

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