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  1. Why do we need ACTI?
  2. Why is ACTI at EDUCAUSE?
  3. What are "advanced core technologies?"
  4. What topics will ACTI cover?
  5. Who determines what topics ACTI will cover?
  6. How will ACTI function?
  7. Who may join ACTI?
  8. May organizations from non-U.S. countries participate in ACTI? And if so, what is the attraction?
  9. What does ACTI cost?
  10. How do I sign up?

1. Why do we need ACTI?

Technology continues not only to evolve in networking, but at least as rapidly in computation, storage, and the four principal college and university application areas—administrative systems, teaching and learning, research, and community services.

There has been no venue where IT professionals addressing these challenges come together across diverse institutions with varying capabilities and resources. A primary goal of ACTI is to help higher education institutions transfer wisdom with regard to these challenges across institutions. ACTI provides structures through which IT professionals can collaborate with their colleagues in preparing for the imminent future.

2. Why is ACTI at EDUCAUSE?

EDUCAUSE encompasses a wider variety of institutions and IT professionals than any other IT-related association. It has a tradition of successfully sponsoring and nurturing new projects and groups that bring focused value to the broader higher education community.

Equally important, EDUCAUSE houses other initiatives, such as ELI, ECAR, and the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), that focus on the applications of and context for information technology and thus provide a rich backdrop for ACTI across the campus spectrum.

3. What are "advanced core technologies?"

ACTI considers "core technologies" to be those that underlie the processing and flow of information within and across applications that support higher education. Clearly these include storage, processing, and networking, but they also extend into components of the middleware layer such as identification, authentication, security, and database architecture.

In the ACTI context, "advanced" means not pie-in-the-sky technologies, but rather those whose emergence or evolution is already apparent, and that might already be in production in the more advanced corners of higher education.

4. What topics will ACTI cover?

One of ACTI's central roles is to transfer knowledge from early or experimental adopters to the broader community, and vice versa, to help the former engage technologies that clearly will be of interest to the larger community. Examples of topics where this role might prove productive include:

  • Facilitating broader community access to high-performance computing resources,
  • Determining how to integrate advances in mobile computing into enterprise processes,
  • Managing massive amounts of data, including improving existing data architectures and storage capacities,
  • Improving access to remote virtualization resources
  • Reviewing digital archiving practices and determining how these will evolve given the challenges of massive born-digital data collections.

Read information about current working groups and the topics they focus on.

5. Who determines what topics ACTI will cover?

ACTI members will be the driving force in choosing what technological challenges and questions the new enterprise will tackle. The ACTI Priorities Committee determines how ACTI resources will be allocated to the various projects.

6. How will ACTI function?

ACTI's work is carried out within two kinds of member groups – some addressing ongoing issues, and some addressing specific projects ad hoc – overseen by the Priorities Committee (referenced above). As a rule, participation in said groups is limited to people from ACTI member organizations. Each group will be represented on the Priorities Committee to ensure seamless communications.

ACTI members will be supported by EDUCAUSE staff dedicated solely to the enterprise and the broader EDUCAUSE team as needed. Program Manager Karen Wetzel provides ongoing support to ACTI working groups and the initiative at large. Vice President Greg Jackson will provide executive-level oversight and direction, as well as ensuring ACTI's work complements, rather than duplicates, other EDUCAUSE and external community endeavors.

7. Who may join ACTI?

Organizations interested in joining ACTI must be an EDUCAUSE member.

Organizations that function as units under an EDUCAUSE member (such as state networks that are technically part of university systems or semi-autonomous research institutes that operate within EDUCAUSE campuses) are welcome to join – that is, although a campus may be the EDUCAUSE member, a unit within the campus might be the ACTI member.

Consistent with EDUCAUSE membership policies, individual organizations that are part of a system, multi-campus institution, or community college district must join individually for it to have a primary representative with influence in the matters of ACTI.

Individuals (other than primary reps) from ACTI member organizations wishing to participate in ACTI activities will be subject to verification from EDUCAUSE member services. Such individuals must either have an e-mail address from that member organization or be verified as an employee by that organization’s ACTI member representative.

EDUCAUSE corporate members are welcome in ACTI, provided that they participate as technical collaborators and not with the purpose of marketing their wares.

8. May organizations from non-U.S. countries participate in ACTI? And if so, what is the attraction?

Any EDUCAUSE member, regardless of their geographical location, may join ACTI.

ACTI will provide a vehicle for its members to engage their colleagues in other countries in the development of common global practices and strategies. ACTI's focus will be on identifying those core technologies that serve the broader learning and research community across national borders, not on domestic, country-specific (read: U.S.) IT policy issues.

9. What does ACTI cost?

ACTI member dues are $3,500 per year, regardless of the organization size or type.

10. How do I sign up?

If you have questions, please contact acti@educause.edu. To join ACTI, complete the online membership application or contact EDUCAUSE Member Services at 303-449-4430 or membership@educause.edu.

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