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EDUCAUSE Values - Community


The values of the higher education IT community shape the strategic directions and actions of EDUCAUSE. In consultation with EDUCAUSE members and community leaders, the EDUCAUSE executive staff continues to develop a series of value statements. Each statement will provide a brief overview of what the value means, why our community considers it to be important, and how the value guides EDUCAUSE in its service to association members and to higher education. The list of values, which will change over time and should not be considered exhaustive, is posted on the EDUCAUSE website here.

"EDUCAUSE values community for the relationships, commitment, and collective action it catalyzes, and EDUCAUSE thus supports the development and adoption of technologies, applications, and approaches to foster community."

A community is "a group or society, helping each other." A strong community nurtures the development of relationships and fosters mutual commitment, respect, responsibility, understanding, and participation among its members.

The college/university is the very essence of community—a place where people gather together to explore ideas and to expand the boundaries of knowledge. The community acts as a springboard to discovery, encouraging individuals to expand their worldviews and remain open to a wide range of ideas and possibilities. EDUCAUSE values this type of community.

Technological innovations, however, have created, changed, and in some cases, challenged our notions of community. Anyone and anything can be connected. Communities can appear and disappear spontaneously or can be long-lived. Technology enables the formation of communities of any size, on topics general or specialized, and without limitations of geography or time. Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter, for example, have catalyzed communities never before imagined. Technology-enabled communities can be social, scientific, political, or about collective action. They can have great power.

EDUCAUSE too is a community, comprising institutions and individuals who are committed to the free flow of information and ideas through the use of technology. EDUCAUSE manifests the value of community in the ways it promotes the association’s other values: innovation, openness, collaboration, and working toward the common good. Interaction among the members of our community opens us up to the experiences of others, gives us an awareness, deeper understanding, and appreciation for the common challenges faced at institutions large and small, and helps bring into focus possible approaches and solutions.

The EDUCAUSE community is not limited to IT practitioners. Our community is enriched by connections with international colleagues, the broader world of higher education, and corporate and government organizations. As expressed in our motto—"uncommon thinking for the common good"—our community values opportunities to consider a diversity of perspectives, to think imaginatively, and to embrace innovation. EDUCAUSE cultivates strategic relationships with other professional associations to enhance our community's work.

EDUCAUSE strives to foster a community of higher education IT professionals who can engage with colleagues, contribute their expertise, and grow in the profession. Our members can find others with similar interests and can follow, share, and expand professional networks through social media. The ability to share lessons learned and leverage effective practices allows the entire community to progress more rapidly.

As the higher education technology association, EDUCAUSE embraces the values of collaboration, the common good, innovation, openness, and community. A spirit of community is central to EDUCAUSE and our service to higher education.


Diana Oblinger

Dr. Diana G. Oblinger President and CEO of EDUCAUSE

Dr. Diana G. Oblinger is President and CEO of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. The current membership comprises over 2,400 colleges, universities and education organizations, including 250 corporations. Previously, Dr. Oblinger held positions in academia and business: Vice President for Information Resources and the Chief Information Officer for the University of North Carolina system, Executive Director of Higher Education for Microsoft, and IBM Director of the Institute for Academic Technology. She was on the faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia and at Michigan State University and served as the Associate Dean of Academic Programs at the University of Missouri.

Since becoming president of EDUCAUSE, Dr. Oblinger has become known for innovative product and services growth as well as international outreach. For example, Dr. Oblinger created the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), known for its leadership in teaching, learning and technology innovation as well as several signature products, such as the 7 Things You Should Know About series. She also initiated EDUCAUSE's first fully online events and its e-book series, including Educating the Net Generation and Game Changers.

In collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation she led the creation of the Next Generation Learning Challenges, a $30M program focused on improving college readiness and completion through information technologies. Partners include the League for Innovation in the Community College, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Hewlett Foundation.

Dr. Oblinger serves on a variety of boards including the American Council on Education (ACE), and DuraSpace. Previous board and advisory service includes the board of directors of ACT, the editorial board of Open Learning, the National Visiting Committee for NSF's National Science Digital Library project, and the NSF Committee on Cyberinfrastructure. She currently serves as chair of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat. Dr. Oblinger has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Employment, Safety and Training and the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Technology.

Dr. Oblinger is a frequent keynote speaker as well as the co-author of the award-winning book What Business Wants from Higher Education. She is the editor or co-editor of eight books: The Learning Revolution, The Future Compatible Campus, Renewing Administration, E is for Everything, Best Practices in Student Services, Educating the Net Generation, Learning Spaces, and Game Changers. She also is the author or co-author of numerous monographs and articles on higher education and technology.

Dr. Oblinger has received outstanding teaching and research awards, was named Young Alumnus of the Year by Iowa State University and holds three honorary degrees. She is a graduate of Iowa State University (bachelor's, master's, and PhD) and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Xi.


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