Working in a post-pandemic world has undeniably become more remote. Employees and positions traditionally tethered to an office are now increasingly hybrid or entirely remote.
This phenomenon has certainly touched higher ed, and in a recent entry to NACCU's Positive IDentity Blog, Director of Campus Card Services at The New School, Bankim Patel, discusses some of the important considerations for remotely managing an on-site team.
"Effectively leading on-site staff remotely can be challenging, but with the right approach and tools, it is definitely achievable," says Patel.
Patel offers nine tips for effectively leading an on-site team while working remotely, including:
"Establish regular communication channels with your on-site staff such as video conferences, phone calls, or chats."
Patel stresses that regular communication and clear expectations, tasks and guidelines are all essential to healthy remote communication.
"Ensure that the team members understand what is expected of them, their key responsibilities, and the desired outcomes."
Patel adds that your on-site team should know what's expected of them, their responsibilities, and your desired outcomes.
"Keep your on-site team in the loop about the progress of ongoing projects and relevant updates and if there are any new undertakings you are expected to take in the near future."
Providing regular feedback on performance can help on-site workers stay on track, as well as help you maintain connection with the team.
"Demonstrate trust in your on-site staff by delegating tasks and giving them the authority to make the decisions within their roles."
Patel says that empowering your team to take the ownership of their work is essential and adds opportunity for professional growth and development.
"Use the video conferencing platforms for team meetings and one-on-one check ins, and explore remote monitoring or time tracking software."
Technology will be the vital bridge between remote leadership and on-site teams.
For the full list of Bankim Patel's tips for remotely managing an on-site team, check out the NACCU Positive IDentity Blog.
On college campuses these days, students are generating more card data points than they ever have before. Data collected by campus card transaction systems can improve and streamline a range of operations, as well as save significant money.
That’s the main message from a recent interview with Jennifer McNeill, manager of the ONEcard program at the University of Alberta. She explains how data collected from campus card use, if managed correctly, can be used to improve dining, residence life, fitness and other vital campus tasks. That information can potentially even lead to a safer, more welcoming student experience.
McNeill describes a campus as a puzzle with many different pieces. “The pieces are data that can include precise traffic patterns for dining areas, peak use of fitness centers, and which printers are underutilized and can therefore be moved to a wiser location,” she explains. “We used that data to move a printer from one corner to another end of the hallway that receives more traffic.”
That might seem like a small move until you consider how many printers a campus has and the leases it pays for them. McNeill estimates that the University of Alberta saves some C$15,000 annually from smarter decisions about printer placement, even though the university is still at the beginning stages of managing and analyzing all of its card data.
The University of Alberta uses TouchNet as its card system vendor, and the university’s ONECard underpins identification, meal plans, printing, laundry, park, access control and other jobs. These many data-generating buckets can help put that puzzle together — and in the case of Alberta, a puzzle that includes five campuses, 15,000 staff and 45,000 students.
Data points for each card flow from student ID transactions, WiFi, and other sources, offering administrators a treasure trove of information that is constantly being refreshed and renewed. Reports from all that data can help campus leaders tweak hours for dining halls or fitness centers, which can lead to cost savings and reduced waste of food and labor.
Using data to better operate dining areas not only helps inform employees when to expect crowds, but also helps guide planning and meal preparation, and even where to place signage. “That can lead to better reviews, more students staying in residence halls, and more money for the university,” McNeill says.
Of course, collecting data is relatively easy when compared with managing and analyzing it.
The challenges of that process can increase rapidly at complex organizations like university campuses. The goal is to translate that data into reports and even interactive dashboards — a job made easier by the backend tools offered by TouchNet, says McNeill.
“TouchNet allows us to schedule those essential reports, making the process to update dashboards quite simple,” explains McNeill. “We can access the most current information in a flash by picking up an auto-generated report that is just waiting for me.”
When a campus develops a reporting dashboard from a TouchNet canned report, it opens up the opportunity to share this utility with other campuses, adds McNeill.
But that’s not the only potential hurdle.
Much of the data collected must be anonymized before sharing with other members of the campus leadership — even as some personally identifiable data might be useful to the people running residence halls.
The information is all there. It’s about taking it and making it into something meaningful. Sometimes we don’t even know what we know, or what to ask.
McNeill stresses the importance of establishing sharing agreements with various departments, with each contract very specific to the needs of the end-user. Provincial privacy laws also play a role in how data is shared, as does the university privacy office.
The right analytical tools and report generating capabilities also are key. “The information is all there,” McNeill says. “It’s about taking it and making it into something meaningful. That’s the big thing. Sometimes we don’t even know what we know, or what to ask.”
A campus that manages to take on that massive task, however, can enjoy meaningful rewards.
Maximizing the efforts of campus cleaning crews is a clear operational use case, says McNeill. “A building accessed by 4,500 people in the course of four hours could be scheduled for service sooner than a building with scant traffic.”
McNeill also believes that the proper use of card data can support wellness checks on students living in residences who are at risk.
“What if a person in authority such as a residence advisor receives data that a student has not been in the dining hall for a few days,” McNeill says. “That likely could mean nothing dangerous — the student might have dietary restrictions, or prefers to eat off-campus — but combined with other data, it might be cause for alarm, for more investigation by appropriate authorities who might know the student in question.”
McNeill acknowledges the sensitivity, but stresses the gravity of the alternative. “Nine times out of 10 it’s nothing to worry about, but that one time…,” she says. “Maybe the student is lonely. Maybe they need medical attention.”
We work within this collaborative community of campuses. Sharing our reporting tools and dashboards is no different and makes us all better.
That is among the big issues that come with putting together the campus puzzle from data.
McNeill isn’t one to sugarcoat the massive thought and effort needed to collect, manage and analyze card system data. It’s for that reason that she encourages other campus admins to seek guidance from industry events like the Data Summit put on by the National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU), or to speak with their campus admin peers.
“The great news is that we work within this collaborative community of campuses. We have always shared resources and documentation,” says McNeill. “Sharing our reporting tools and dashboards is no different and makes us all better.”
Penn State has added a mobile ordering feature to its comprehensive campus mobile app, Penn State Go. The new Penn State Eats Mobile ordering function is available for use by students on the flagship University Park campus, as well as across the university's Commonwealth Campuses.
According to an official university release, the new mobile ordering feature is located in the dining section of the Penn State Go app. Users can use Penn State Eats Mobile to order food directly from their mobile devices from dining locations on the University Park and Commonwealth Campuses.
Penn State Eats Mobile includes access to order histories for quick reordering and improved access to payment methods to select the desired tender for each order.
“As we work toward a digital campus experience, the release of the Penn State Eats Mobile in the Penn State Go app showcases Penn State's commitment to meet the evolving needs of students by enhancing their dining experience at University Park and the Commonwealth Campuses,” says David Snyder, associate vice president for Auxiliary and Business Services. “Penn State Eats Mobile provides students with a seamless, user-friendly mobile ordering platform that saves time and offers convenience.”
Penn State Eats Mobile is a revamp of an existing ordering service that previously only existed as a destktop, web interface, so integration with the campus mobile app marks a significant step forward in the evolution of mobile ordering at PSU.
Available from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, the Penn State Go app has surpassed 200,000 downloads. The app supports 26 user experiences and services, as well as provides a vital communication channel for students to receive timely information and engage with university events.
Mobile ordering joins a host of other recent additions to the Penn State Go app, including:
Upcoming Penn State Go app developments include updates to the app's design and user interface, an ability to favorite frequently used icons, and options to receive targeted communications based on specific interests and academic programs.
Trusted identity solutions provider, HID Global, has announced its HID Origo Technology Partner Program, the company’s first program dedicated to partners with a focus on mobile technologies. The Origo Technology Partner Program is designed to help technology partners by providing the ideal platform for organizations to design, test, and market products that integrate with HID Origo via APIs and SDKs.
The program has been designed in response to the evolving security landscape, growing regulatory demands, and mounting privacy concerns. Digital IDs and mobile authentication are at the core of the partner program with an increasing number of mobile access deployments on the horizon for HID. Moreover, the growing popularity of digital wallets from Google, Apple, and Amazon, means there is no shortage of new opportunities and use cases to be forged.
HID Origo is a cloud-based platform offering a scalable and secure infrastructure that enables high levels of data and privacy protection.
“When HID Mobile Access was introduced more than a decade ago, smartphones weren’t as ubiquitous as they are today, and much has advanced in the mobile technology space,” explains Sanjit Bardhan, Vice President & Head of Mobile at HID Global. “Technology partners are pillars to HID’s growth and success. The HID Origo Technology Partner Program enables and empowers technology partners to utilize HID’s technology to drive innovation, discuss new trends and use cases, and develop integrated solutions."
"The ability to develop and test integrations with the HID Origo platform, receive global accreditation, and obtain early access to technology and insight into HID’s roadmap is invaluable,” adds Bardhan.
One of HID's existing technology partners to leverage the partner program is smart building technology provider, Smart Spaces. Through 2022, Smart Spaces teamed with HID to provision employee badges in Apple Wallet, offering secure, seamless building entry for employees at 22 Bishopsgate, a modern skyscraper in London.
“At Smart Spaces, we look for global partners to provide and support a secure integration platform while staying at the forefront of their industry through continuous innovation," says Dan Drogman, CEO of Smart Spaces. "HID does this at scale, making our decision to partner with them an easy one."
Another of HID's partner program members, Witco, provides an all-in-one app that centralizes services for workplace and co-living experiences. The company's partnership with HID through the program is vital.
“As part of our all-in-one approach and partnerships with best-in-class service providers, HID appeared as an obvious partner in mobile credentials, from its massive footprint worldwide, its innovative and tech-leading approach, and its flexible yet scalable product enabling easy access control to office premises," says Dorian Van Bever, VP of Partnerships at Witco. "We are excited to be partnering with HID, particularly considering their technological lead with Apple Wallet and other new and emerging technologies."
To learn more about the HID Origo Technology Partner Program, visit HIDGlobal.com.
The University of Dayton will open a cashierless, Amazon Just Walk Out store that enables students to select items and leave without having to checkout at a POS register to pay. Dayton is also working with card system vendor, CBORD on the project to enable students to use their meal plan funds to make purchases.
According to an official university release, the cashierless store will be at the a campus c-store called the Emporium -- an existing location on the Dayton campus that has offered a variety of sandwiches, soups, wraps and other grab-and-go items.
The Emporium will mark the first Just Walk Out location in the state of Ohio. The store will start cashierless operation following a grand-opening on May 1 for UD faculty, staff and students.
University officials say the idea behind the Just Walk Out location is to eliminate lines at checkout and provide shoppers with a more efficient, touch-free experience.
UD is collaborating with its card system vendor, CBORD, on the project to enable students to use their meal plan to fund purchases made at the store.
"We listened to students' requests for longer operating hours, especially later in the evenings along with self-checkout options," says Joan Bauman, Dining Services Executive Director at the University of Dayton. "The collaboration with Amazon and CBORD is the perfect solution to providing students a convenient way to grab food, beverages and other products. The ability to use the student's meal plan was a primary reason we pursued this technology."
The partnership with CBORD also makes Dayton the first college campus to offer Amazon's Just Walk Out technology with meal plan fund integration.
"I'm delighted to see our collaboration come to fruition, as it's a win-win for campus administrators and students," says Rob DeCarlo, CBORD's interim chief executive officer and chief financial officer. "We are excited to work with the Amazon Web Services team to bring this solution to additional higher education campuses in the coming months."
Emporium shoppers will now enter the store using an app authorized by UD Dining Services. The technology detects which items shoppers pick up and return to store shelves and then creates a virtual shopping session.
When a student is finished shopping, they can simply leave the store, with their chosen payment method being charged for the items they remove.
"We are always looking for ways to make the Just Walk Out shopping experience even more convenient, including offering new ways to pay," says Jon Jenkins, Vice President of Amazon's Just Walk Out technology. "We're proud to collaborate with CBORD and the University of Dayton to launch the first store where students can use their meal plan to pay in a checkout-free environment."
In addition to Just Walk Out technology, the Emporium c-store will now offer made-to-order deli sandwiches during regular business hours, grocery store staples, late-night snacks and other fresh and healthy options. The space will also feature vending machines for smoothies, coffee and baked goods.
The University of Florida has deployed mobile credential on campus with card system vendor, Transact. The move will make UF the first higher-education institution in the state of Florida to deploy mobile credential.
According to an official university release, the shift from physical cards to a contactless GATOR ONE ID will enable faster, more secure contactless transactions. UF will now offer contactless technology to all students, faculty and staff on campus to access campus buildings, purchase food, check in for events, use library services, and more.
The incoming class of first-year students will be among the first to receive a mobile ID, in lieu of a physical ID card, during their orientation session. By fall 2023, it will be available to the entire campus population.
Faculty and staff will be eligible for a Mobile GATORONE as door access readers are upgraded throughout campus this summer. By the start of the fall semester all faculty and staff will also be eligible.
Physical cards will still be issued for necessary use cases and will continue to work in conjunction with the Mobile GATORONE.
UF partnered with Transact Campus on the mobile deployment. The initiative will be a ubiquitous use case, meaning that the Mobile GATORONE on a smartphone will be accepted anywhere the previous physical ID card was used.
“For the past two years, we’ve focused on upgrading the GATOR ONE ID infrastructure with the goal of offering a mobile option, and we’re excited that it’s now a reality,” says Eddie Daniels, Assistant Vice President for Business Services. “Offering this new feature for our students and employees will enhance the way we conduct transactions on campus.”
The Mobile GATORONE will be accepted at all campus dining locations, bookstores and beverage vending machines. UF is also upgrading door readers this summer to support GATORONE for building access. The university is aiming for the Mobile GATORONE to be used for any action that would have previously required a physical ID card.
Identity credential issuance and hardware solutions provider, ColorID, has entered into long-term partnership with CardExchange that will see ColorID become be the Diamond Distributor for CardExchange Cloud Suite. The partnership will apply ColorID clients in both the U.S. and Canada, and will make CardExchange products available to customers in higher education, healthcare, and business markets.
"Joining forces with ColorID was a natural fit for CardExchange based on our close, long-term relationship," says Marcel Oosterhof, President and CEO of CardExchange. “ColorID has continually proven to provide technical expertise and solutions that enhance our product offering. Together we can all level up.”
“For 23 years, ColorID has been the trusted advisor to our many university partners. ColorID’s core values have always been centered around offering flexible, secure, and affordable open connectivity, identity software, and hardware solutions," says Danny Smith, Executive Vice President of ColorID. "Card Exchange Cloud Suite aligns perfectly with these values, delivering higher education customers credentialing software that support multiple ID printer manufacturers and all modalities of credentials, from card to mobile."
Vitally for ColorID's higher ed clients, CardExchange's cloud-based solution provides all university and college customers with broader access to a modernized mobile credential provisioning and management solution. "This, we believe, will establish an obtainable pathway for mobile credential adoption to a broad spectrum of higher education customers," adds Smith.
As a reseller, distributor, and integrator, ColorID staffs a highly knowledgeable sales and product management team that helps customer to select the best products and services from trusted and well-known manufacturers. ColorID also staffs an engineering team that is fully equipped to provide support for the life of its products.
CardExchange has over 20 years of experience in development and manufacturing of software solutions for ID design, print production, and credential management. In addition to the company's desktop products, CardExchange Cloud is a feature rich product that supports online ID management, mobile digital IDs, and print anywhere capabilities.
Campus vending can be an easily overlooked aspect of campus dining and auxiliary services. That could be more true today than ever before, with a broad range of options now available to students through mobile ordering, delivery and more.
A recent article in Swarthmore College's student publication, The Phoenix, highlights the central role of the college's OneCard credential in upcoming improvements to campus vending. The planned vending refinements on campus will include the addition of the OneCard -- and its digital counterpart -- as a means of payment.
In a statement to the Phoenix, Swarthmore's Director of Campus Services, Anthony Condo, said that all campus machines are now set up to accept OneCard payments and that a new payment processing system, Cantaloupe, has recently been installed.
As with any new implementation that requires card readers to be changed out, there were some instances of OneCard outages while the new systems were installed and tested. Despite the temporary OneCard outages, the overall vending experience and reliability at Swarthmore stands to improve significantly with the OneCard as a payment option for students.
Condo stressed that getting through some of the early growing pains after implementing some new systems should pave the way for a much better vending experience for students going forward.
Part of that improved experience could be the added support for Digital OneCard payments. Swarthmore began offering students a digital version of its campus credential last November.
Swarthmore's Digital OneCard isn't currently accepted as a means of payment at campus vending machines, but Condo is hopeful the change will be implemented this summer.
Beyond the campus credential, the Swarthmore OneCard Office is also the outlet for students with other vending machine issues. The card office is responsible for issuing student refunds in cases of machine malfunction or spoiled products.
Further refinements to campus vending experience include an improved restocking operation. Until recently, the entire Swarthmore campus was only being serviced by one delivery driver, causing restock delays at some machines.
A partnership between Samsung Pay and Hana Financial Group is making mobile credentials available to students in South Korea. The partnership is enabling high school students to provision a mobile ID to their Samsung digital wallets.
According to an official Samsung release, report, the initiative will start with student IDs from high schools affiliated with Hana Financial Group. Hana Financial -- a Korean commercial banking company -- sees working with Samsung Pay as an effective means to expand and improve its versatility.
Currently, 108 high schools across South Korea are affiliated with Hana Financial Group. These schools can now issue and use mobile credential, starting with those that agreed to be a part of the initial launch.
The Samsung Pay mobile student ID can be used the same as the physical card, making it a ubiquitous use case model alongside the plastic credential. Should participating schools decide to enable it, students can use their mobile credential for accessing meal plans and the campus library using their mobile ID.
To provision a mobile ID to Samsung wallet, users must first update to the latest version of Samsung Pay. Once updated students can add the mobile ID by registering their Hana Financial Group debit card, linked to their student ID card, to the Samsung Pay app.
Samsung stresses that student IDs issued through Samsung Pay run a much smaller risk of being lost as compared to the physical student ID card. The company also says that the convenience factor associated with having the student credential on a smartphone maximizes usability.
The two companies are already looking to the future, with plans to expand the scope of mobile ID issuance. While the current launch is exclusively available to the K-12 level, the companies have already set their sights on higher ed, with plans to open mobile ID provisioning to university students in the near future.
American University is revamping its student meal plan structure, adding new features including dining dollars and mobile ordering credits. The dining changes mark the first sweeping refresh of American's meal plan structure for nearly 20 years.
According to a report from student publication, The Eagle, the new meal plans will take effect with the start fo the fall 2023 semester. Among other features, the university will offer meal plans with unlimited access to campus dining halls and limited access to other campus dining locations.
American has been preparing for the new meal plans and dining options since 2019, but deployment was put on hold while the university conducted renovations to campus dining locations.
The existing dining plans only include meal swipes, meal exchanges and EagleBucks -- American's declining balance tender. The new plans will add a variety of new components, including dining dollars, mobile ordering credit, and guest meals at select dining locations.
The new meal plan structure offers different options for meal swipes and meal exchanges. Some of the additions include:
One of the more notable additions is the introduction of Dining Dollars, which will compliment American's existing EagleBucks program. Unlike EagleBucks, which can used at participating off-campus locations, Dining Dollars will only be accepted at on-campus locations.
Despite only being used within the confines of campus, any purchases made using the new Dining Dollars tender will be tax free. Dining Dollars are also the only aspect of the new meal plans that will roll over from fall to spring semesters.