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Education has always been about closing gaps—the literacy gap, the learning gap, the achievement gap. Higher education is now understood to be the source of the wealth of nations and key to narrowing the gaps in social mobility. As with all challenging races, just as we appear to be closing the gaps in society's race to advancement, new gaps appear. New gaps are, perhaps, the wellspring and driver of innovation in both higher education and in information technology. As we scan today's horizons we see gaps in scholarly literacy; gaps in mutual comprehension between CEOs and CIOs; gaps between Net Generation students, their teachers, and campus IT providers; gaps in innovation; gaps in crises and institutional preparedness; and gaps in Web 2.0 and a campus community often struggling to fully assimilate Web 1.0! IT leaders are often viewed as those most likely to spot new gaps early and to catalyze measures to narrow the gap.

ECAR Symposium 2008 continued to consider how emerging networked services and the social practices that go with them redefine the boundaries of the IT unit and the institution. In particular, the 2008 Symposium focused on the gaps—on their early detection and strategies for closing them.

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