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Duke updates to Blackboard Transact

Andrew Hudson   ||   Jan 23, 2015  ||   

The DukeCard system received its first major update in some 30 years over the winter break. The changeover has not affected the use of the DukeCard from a student perspective, but the switch to a new platform will enable the university more flexibility going forward.

As reported by the Duke student newspaper, The Chronicle, the transition saw the transfer of $1.4 million from the old system to the new; the collective sum of student, faculty and staff food plans and accounts. The system update is also accompanied by hundreds of ePrint card readers and more than 1,000 door card readers.

According to the DukeCard program manager, the older Blackboard OPTIM (Unix) platform had reached its end of life. The jump to the new Blackboard Transact platform will afford Duke the flexibility to adopt more advanced card technologies and systems as they emerge.

“It is undeniable that Duke has a leadership and pioneering history that dates back long before Blackboard," says David Marr, senior vice president of Blackboard Transact . "The university’s migration from Unix to Blackboard Transact’s latest version of its integrated campus commerce and security solution marks another innovative milestone in Duke's great history."

The jump to Transact will facilitate building access across campus. Transact will also provide more consistency in access and will enable local facility administrators to manage access to their own buildings without going through the DukeCard office.

"This move positions Duke to take advantage of the most technologically advanced, NFC-enabled ecosystem -- from commerce to door access -- in order to provide a unique and meaningful student experience," adds Marr. "We are pleased that Duke selected and continues to trust Blackboard Transact in the service and security of its students.”

The new system was developed in alignment with the campus' larger plan for safety and security and governing principles and policies such as the university's buildings and facilities access policy. DukeCard users will not need new cards and should see no change in how their cards work.

The DukeCard system was first instituted in 1985 and controls access to more than 1,200 doors across Duke's campus. The DukeCard office issues some 44,000 new or replacement ID cards to students, employees, contractors and visitors each year.


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