UMF awarded technology grant

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FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington has been awarded a $1.154 million grant in computer software and services over five years.

The grant is from the Campus EAI Consortium. The money will pay for technology that provides specific information involving campus life for students and staff, said Fred Brittain, UMF director of information technology.

Known as myCampus, Web 2.0 portal, it is often used in higher education settings. It is capable of providing current students, faculty and staff, student organizations and university administration with a single sign-on access to everything from academic information and administrative applications to social networking, according to a release.

“After setting up an account, it can target and recognize who someone is and what services are appropriate for that person,” Brittain said. For example, he said, when a student comes on campus and wants to know how to get a parking permit, instead of seeking out which department is responsible, the student will have the ability to go to one place to get the information.

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The software system will also “create pockets of community” such as bringing a learning community or student organization with similar interests together, he added.

“The new campus portal will be a great resource for UMF students, faculty and staff to interact and collaborate,” he said.

The new system will replace the current “eCampus” system, which was built in 2001 by staff at the University’s Computer Center.

“It did a good job with the technology available at the time but could not meet the social component,” he said.

The grant offers software, management of the project and installation and training costs to install and operate the portal.

Brittain said the plan is to have the installation complete by fall when students arrive.

As part of the Consortium, UMF can partner with and share resources with other members, he said.

The CampusEAI Consortium is a global, not-for-profit consulting and information technology services provider. It has more than 250 active K-12 and higher education members in over 10 countries.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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