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July 5, 2018

Council on Information Technology: Oklahoma Higher Ed Summit

The Oklahoma Higher Ed IT Summit, presented by The Council on Information Technology (CoIT), took place May 21-22 in Oklahoma City. The conference brings together information technology professionals from around the state of Oklahoma to accomplish its strategic direction.

This year’s conference focused on four main themes: campus experience, leadership and strategy, cyber security, and technology and trends. More than 10 individuals from the University of Central Oklahoma’s Division of Information Technology attended the annual event.

The conference culminated with a closing session and awards presentation. Central’s technology team for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) was presented the Above and Beyond Award, which is given to an IT individual or department that went “above and beyond” the call of duty to meet a need for someone else or another department. The UCO NCUR Technology team consisted of members of the Office of Information Technology in the areas of networking, infrastructure, multimedia, training, technology support, web and communications, and project management, with an overall goal to deliver a state-of-the-art conference experience.

UCO hosted NCUR from April 4-7 on its campus. The conference promotes undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. It began in 1987 and drew more than 400 participants from schools across the country. The 2018 conference at UCO was the second largest during its 32-year history, with 4,186 students, faculty and staff from 468 institutions, representing 19 countries.

Central began campuswide planning for the event two years in advance, with a focused effort by the technology team in the six to nine months leading up to the conference. The team met with each of the 23 planning committees to gather their technology-related needs, which resulted in a comprehensive technology support plan. While the entire NCUR planning team was instrumental in supporting the event, the technology team played the necessary role of filling the gaps. Throughout the conference, more than a few times, the technology team was referred to as “the glue that no one knew they needed.”

The team’s meticulous planning helped deliver the “wow” factor at three plenary presentations, which were live-captioned and streamed to several alternate locations. Members of the team also provided technical expertise in campus buildings and information tents to those attending the event. The highly available conference Wi-Fi and comprehensive attendee app exceeded expectations, and members of the technology team managed communications across all committees in the NCUR Situation Room.

UCO President Don Betz and Provost John Barthell recently thanked the campus for helping Central host “one of the most memorable gatherings in the venerable history of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.” Others went on to state, “the UCO technology team deserves recognition for their ‘above and beyond’ efforts to make the conference a resounding success!”

Congratulations to the NCUR technology team for winning the prestigious “Above and Beyond Award” at this year’s Oklahoma Higher Ed IT Summit.