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You can view definitions by hovering over underlined key terms within the online survey, or you can view all terms at once in list below.

  • Academic department

    Beyond the traditional notion of an academic department as a distinct disciplinary academic entity, the term as used in the CDS is intended to include a fuller scope of academic units, from schools and colleges on one end to research groups at the other. The distinguishing attribute is that the entity includes teaching and research faculty, associated staff, and academic administrators (for example, deans).
  • Academic early alert system

    System to identify students at academic risk within a course based on defined risk factors. May also involve communication of risk status to students and other appropriate parties and intervention tracking and management.
  • Access Control List (ACL)

    Set of procedures and processes performed by hardware, software, and administrators to monitor access, identify users requesting access, record access attempts, and limit access to the resources of a system to only authorized persons, programs, processes, or other systems. Higher Education Information Security Guide, available from
  • Administrative office

    Units in the central administration of a college or university, such as the offices of the president, vice presidents, provost, vice provosts, and general counsel. Does not include academic units, such as offices of the deans in universities with multiple colleges or schools, or offices of academic departments or research groups.
  • Administrative/enterprise information systems

    Administrative systems or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as student administration (admissions, financial aid, registration, etc.), financial information systems, procurement systems, human resource systems, payroll, research administration (grants and contracts), and library systems (if supported by the IT organization).
  • Advancement/fundraising System

    An information system used to target, analyze, record, and report on the status of institutional fundraising from such sources as alumni, parents, friends, foundations, and corporations.
  • Advising case management system for student interaction tracking

    System for capturing advising information and advice received by a student over time and across different interactions and advising sources, such as course recommendations or comments/notes.
  • Advising center management

    Provides appointment scheduling, check in/out, advisor workload reporting, and other administrative functions to support advising center.
  • Application virtualization

    Software technology that encapsulates application software from the underlying operating system on which it is executed. A fully virtualized application is not installed in the traditional sense, although it is still executed as if it were. (From
  • Automated lecture capture

    Systems that automate the end-to-end process of capturing, broadcasting, viewing, archiving, and searching presentations, etc. (e.g. Panopto, SonicFoundry, Echo360).
  • Blended learning

    Courses where web-based, online learning replaces a percentage of traditional face-to-face instruction (also known as hybrid or mixed-mode courses; see The Blended Learning Toolkit: Improving Student Performance and Retention)
  • Business intelligence reporting system

    A set of administrative functions and associated software systems that support planning and decision making by categorizing, aggregating, analyzing, and reporting on data resulting from transaction-processing systems.
  • Campus-generated power

    Provision of electrical power across an entire campus or large parts thereof that is generated by and for the institution, as distinct from a dedicated onsite generator for a specific facility, such as a data center.
  • Capital appropriation

    Appropriation to the central IT organization from the institutional capital budget to fund major purchases and implementations such as networks, ERP systems, and buildings. Do not include capital appropriations amortized through rates; an example of a capital appropriation amortized through rates would be funds derived from taking out a loan or drawing on the institution's endowment for an initiative such as a major network enhancement or a phone switch. Such special funds require payback and are usually repaid through a fee structure.
  • Capital expenditures

    Total capitalized IT spending (full value of assets acquired) for the prior fiscal year. This includes major purchases and implementations such as networks, ERP systems, and buildings. Please exclude all depreciation or amortization expenses. If your accounting system spreads expenditures over multiple years, please include only total outlays for the prior fiscal year. Capital expenditures may be different from capital funds received for the fiscal year. For example, your institution may permit carryover from one fiscal year to the next or may have been granted funding for a capital project that has not yet been spent.
  • Carnegie classifications (Year 2010 version)

    A framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education derived from empirical data on colleges and universities. Originally published in 1973, the framework has been updated in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005, and 2010. The CDS uses the 2010 Version. To facilitate international benchmarking, CDS participants outside the U.S. are invited to self-select into one of the classifications. (Described fully at
  • Central IT

    The centralized information technology services and support organization reporting to the highest-ranking information technology administrator/officer in the institution.
  • Central office

    In multicampus university systems or community college districts, the central administrative unit headed by the chief executive officers of the system or district. Most central offices include a central IT organization, some of which provide a wide range of services to individual campuses and some of which focus on coordinating the activities of IT organizations on the campuses.
  • Chancellor

    In some multi-campus systems and community college districts in the U.S., chancellor is the title of the chief executive officer of the system or district, in which case the campus CEOs carry the title of president. In other cases, the president is the system CEO, with the campus CEOs designated as chancellors.
  • Chief information officer (CIO)

    A common designation for the highest-ranking information technology officer/administrator in an institution, and sometimes an official title. Given the wide range of actual titles, the CDS sometimes uses "CIO" to refer to all highest-ranking IT officers and administrators, regardless of their official titles. See also "Office of the CIO."
  • Chief technology officer (CTO)

    One of several official titles for the highest-ranking information technology officer/administrator in colleges and universities. In some cases, CTO is the title assigned to a deputy to the highest ranking technology officer/administrator.
  • Classroom and learning space support

    Provision of technology resources and support services in classrooms and other spaces, real and virtual, that are dedicated to teaching and learning.
  • Classroom technology services

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Services that support the use of technology in traditional classrooms
    • Services that provide technology for traditional classroom use
    • Staff, hardware, software, etc. used to provide or support technology for traditional classrooms.
  • Cloud computing

    A computing model in which technology resources are delivered over the Internet (see What Campus Leaders Need to Know About Cloud Computing).
  • Collaboration tools for learning

    Institutional online tools which foster collaboration among students and/or instructors for assigned course projects or spontaneous study groups, typically including shared documents, online text and video chat, shared whiteboard, etc. May be embedded in an online learning delivery system/LMS or provided as a separate system (e.g., Google Docs, wikis, social networks, etc.)
  • Collaborative spaces

    A learning environment that supports student-centered, collaborative knowledge discovery and creation through the use of technology. A collaborative space generally includes group-friendly seating, whiteboards, and projection displays. (see 7 Things You Should Know About Collaborative Learning Spaces).
  • Commodity Internet

    A general term referring to the general public network known as the Internet, as distinct from special-purpose and restricted-access research and education (R&E) networks. Many universities and colleges have connections to both the commodity Internet and one or more R&E networks.
  • Commodity peering

    An approach to provisioning commodity Internet service using excess capacity available on research and education (R&E) networks that connect at major interconnect (peering) points on the commodity Internet. The goals of commodity peering are to improve network performance and reduce costs.
  • Compliance

    The effort to ensure that laws, regulations, and even an institution’s own policies are complied with and that efforts are coordinated institution-wide. (see also IT compliance and IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance in Higher Education).
  • Component campus

    Designation for institutions that are included in multi-campus systems and community college districts.
  • Computer lab or cluster

    One or more computers provided by the institution for shared student use. Most labs or clusters provide seating and are intended for extended use. Compare to "Kiosks."
  • Consultants

    Individuals or a firm that advises or consults with the institution about information technology plans or directions, either in general or with regard to a specific technology implementation or project.
  • Contractors

    Employees with whom the institution contracts to provide IT infrastructure and/or specific IT services that might otherwise be delivered by in-house IT staff. If your institution outsources all or nearly all IT services and the outsourcer provides staff on site, please count these employees as staff as opposed to contractors.
  • Course management system

    See Learning Management System.
  • Course/program recommendation system

    System for estimating a student's chances of success in a course or program, and making recommendations on that basis, using student characteristics and statistical patterns of success.
  • Credit transfer/articulation system

    Provides information about the transferability of a student's earned or potential course credits from one institution to other institutions.
  • Customer relationship management system

    Strategy, business processes, and software for managing and enhancing an institution's interactions with customers, such as students, prospective students, and alumni; faculty and staff; and current and prospective donors.
  • Customization

    Changes that are made to a college or university's specific instance of an administrative system application, usually to make the system meet an institutional need or fit an institution's established processes.
  • Cyberinfrastructure (CI)

    The distributed computer, information, and communication technologies combined with the personnel and integrating components that provide a long-term platform to empower the modern scientific research endeavor. Components of CI include high-performance computing, storage resources, visualization facilities, sensors and other data collection apparatus, and advanced networks. In some countries, CI is referred to as e-xcience. (From
  • Data loss prevention

    Tools that actively prevent data loss by monitoring and preventing improper use of sensitive data in transit (network), at rest (storage), and while at use (endpoint).
  • Data network

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Wire and cable infrastructure for data, voice and/or video networks
    • Campus data network
    • Wireless network
    • Video network
    • Remote access (VPN)
    • Commodity internet
    • Network management (including: capacity planning, performance monitoring, change management, etc.)
    • IPv6
    • Unified communications and collaboration
    • Staff, hardware, software, etc. used to provide or support the data network
  • Data warehouse

    A central repository of data often created by integrating other data sources and used for reporting and analysis.
  • Decentralized IT

    Departments or units of the institution that provide all or nearly all of their own IT services, without reporting directly or indirectly to the CIO or equivalent office.
  • Dedicated on-site generator

    A source of electrical power for a data center or other facility, separate from the campus or public electrical grid. Dedicated generators are often used to back up other sources of electrical power; some are permanently installed, and others are mobile.
  • Degree audit

    Checks student's transcript against degree requirements and identifies unmet needs for degree completion.
  • Desktop/end-point computing

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Technical support, analysis, and consulting for desktop/end-point computing
    • Hardware and software to support desktop/end-point computing (including desktop applications for information security (e.g. anti-malware, virus detection, anti-phishing, etc.))
    • Computer installation, maintenance, and repair (including staffing and support contracts)
    • Computer store including resale activities and staff
  • Digital asset management system for learning

    Institutional system or contracted service which allows management of multimedia assets including video, including repository, search, edit and publish features (e.g., Kaltura, YouTube, Flickr, iTunesU, etc.).
  • Disaster Recovery Data Center

    A data center with the necessary storage, compute, and communications capacity to resume operations of mission-critical systems in the event the primary data center(s) are unavailable.
  • Distance education

    Teaching methods and associated technology that enable students to access instruction and instructional resources without being in the same educational setting as the instructor. Models for distance education include distributed students with real-time or asynchronous access to an instructor, other students, or online materials; students assembled in a classroom with a remote instructor; students and instructor(s) in multiple classrooms connected simultaneously; and other variations.
  • Distributed antenna system (DAS)

    A network of spatially separated antenna nodes that provides wireless services within a campus, building, or other area. One application of a DAS is to enhance cellular telephony service in an institution while maintaining institutional control of the antenna infrastructure.
  • Distributed IT

    All staff with IT responsibilities who do not report to the CIO and all resources that are not within the CIO’s purview (including decentralized IT). The CIO often has some level of authority and/or responsibility over the distributed IT services. (see also Decentralized IT)
  • Distributed IT staff

    Staff who do not report to central IT but who work 50% or more on IT activities and who have IT staff job titles (e.g., programmers, DBAs, etc.) consistent with the CDS IT Domain definitions.
  • District

    A group of community colleges with a common governing board. Analogous to a multicampus system.
  • E-learning

    Learning that involves a web-based component, enabling collaboration and access to content that extends beyond the classroom.
  • E-learning course analytics for instructors

    Institutional system which provides instructors advanced online course analytics including, for example, student progress through materials, success on assessments, and course-level statistics on what materials the class as a whole has reviewed. May be part of a full function LMS or a separate system.
  • E-publishing platform for learning

    Institutional platform that provides electronic distribution of text, enabling students to access e-books/e-texts on mobile devices, and offering additional features such as annotation, search across texts and note sharing. Basic systems deliver existing packaged e-content; advanced systems enable collection, copyright clearance and bundling of content similar to e-texts and e-coursepacks.
  • E-science

    See Cyberinfrastructure (CI)
  • Early-alert systems

    See academic early alert systems.
  • Education plan creation/tracking system

    System for creating and monitoring a student's detailed, long-term educational plan, typically leading to degree or credential completion.
  • Electronic student portfolios

    An online, digital system for students to collect, reflect upon, and share their work over a course or program of study.
  • Endpoint configuration management

    A system to manage operating system and application patch levels and more, typically allowing remote update or emergency push.
  • Endpoint encryption for sensitive data

    Tools that provide end-point encryption (e.g., to protect sensitive data on a lost or stolen device), with institutional decryption upon documented need.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

    Refers to an integrated suite of administrative information systems designed to support and automate business processes through a centralized database system. In higher education, these systems usually include student systems, financial systems, and human resources (payroll/personnel) systems, as well as data warehouse and planning tools.
  • Exchange rate

    Since all financial data in CDS survey modules are in US dollars, participants outside the United States are asked to provide the conversion rates from local currency to US dollars.
  • Federation

    A federation is an association of organizations that come together to exchange information, as appropriate, about their users and resources in order to enable collaborations and transactions.
  • Finance management system

    Software supporting the financial operations of the institution, including general ledger, purchasing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, and so forth.
  • Firewall

    Set of related programs and policies that protects the resources of a private network from users on other networks. A firewall can also control what outside resources users of the private network can access.
  • Full function online learning delivery system

    Institutional system that enables instructors to provide students electronic access to materials, assignments, engagement activities, and quizzes, and provides an overall capability for students and instructors to complete a course fully online. May be a specialized e-learning system or an LMS with these e-learning capabilities.
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE)

    A combination of full- and part-time personnel (or enrolled students) into a single measure as determined by formula. For non-student personnel counts in the CDS, please calculate FTE based on a 40-hour work week over the course of the full FY (or approximately 2,000 hours per year). For student employees, a simple formula for calculating FTE might be to take the number of students employed times the number of hours per week they work times the number of weeks a year they work and divide that total by 2,000.
  • Full-time student

    • Undergraduate: A student enrolled for 12 or more semester credits, or 12 or more quarter credits, or 24 or more contact hours a week each term.
    • Graduate: A student enrolled for 9 or more semester credits, or 9 or more quarter credits, or a student involved in thesis or dissertation preparation that is considered full time by the institution. Doctor's degree — Professional practice — as defined by the institution. (From
  • Funding model

    The formulas, allocation methods, service charges, and other mechanisms by which central IT receives funding to support its capital and operating expenses.
  • Governance

    The way in which a higher education institution is organized for the purposes of decision making and resource allocation and how the varying parts are managed in a way that promotes the mission of the institution. (see also IT governance and IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance in Higher Education).
  • Grants management system: post-award

    Software to support administration of research projects from notice of award through final billing.
  • Grants management system: pre-award

    Software to support development and submission of grant proposals to external funding agencies.
  • Hardware expenditures - capital

    Total capitalized IT spending (full value of assets acquired) for the prior fiscal year for hardware (including: desktop technology, servers, network equipment, IaaS, etc.) regardless of whether purchased or leased. Please exclude all depreciation or amortization expenses. If your accounting system spreads expenditures over multiple years, please include only total outlays for the prior fiscal year.
  • Hardware expenditures - operating

    Total non-capital, day-to-day operations, support, and maintenance expenses for the prior fiscal year for hardware (including: desktop technology, servers, network equipment, IaaS, etc.) regardless of whether purchased or leased. This does not include any amortization and depreciation.
  • HDI Customer Satisfaction Index

    Web-based customer satisfaction surveying service.
  • Help desk

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Walk-in support for students, faculty, and staff
    • Call-in support for students, faculty, and staff
    • Call centers
    • Support for knowledge bases, self-help tools
    • Specialized support centers
    • Help desk staff
  • High-performance computing (HPC)

    Configurations of parallel processors, storage and specialized networking designed to address large jobs with more or less tightly coupled subprocesses.
  • High-throughput computing (HTC)

    Systems that are designed to provide large amounts of computing power over long periods of time, e.g., weeks or months.
  • Host

    Any end device connecting to a data network, via wire or wireless, not including the equipment necessary to make the network function (such as routers, switches, modems, wireless access points, etc.). Examples of hosts include desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone, VoIP phone, server, printer, thermostat, web cam, security camera.
  • Host based intrusion detection system

    File and system software monitoring tools to detect any unauthorized activity or changes, e.g., Tripwire.
  • Host based intrusion prevention system

    File and system software monitoring tools to detect and prevent any unauthorized activity or changes.
  • Human resources (HR) information system

    Software to support human resources management, including recruiting, training, payroll, benefits administration, etc.
  • Hybrid course

    A course in which part of the course is delivered online and part is delivered in face-to-face class meetings. Hybrid courses typically reduce the number of days of face-to-face class meetings (for example, from three to two meetings).
  • Identity provider

    Source for validating a user identity in a federated identity system.
  • InCommon

    A formal federation of organizations focused on creating a common framework for collaborative trust in support of research and education. InCommon eliminates the need for researchers, students, and educators to maintain multiple, password-protected accounts. Instead the federation supports user access to protected resources by enabling organizations to make access decisions to resources based on a user's status and privileges as presented by the user's home organization. (From
  • Information technology infrastructure library (ITIL)

    A set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. (From
  • InfraGard program

    A partnership among the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), businesses, academic institutions, and state and local law enforcement to share information and intelligence to protect cyberinfrastructure and guard against cyber threats to critical infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    A provision model in which an organization outsources the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. (From; see also Spotlight on Cloud Computing: Infrastructure as a Service).
  • Innovation

    The act or process of building on existing research, knowledge and practice through the introduction or application of new ideas, devices or methods to solve problems or create opportunities where none existed before.
  • Institution

    For CDS participants from central offices of multicampus systems and community college districts, institution refers to the central office only, not the entire multi-campus entity. For all other participants, Institution refers to the individual college or university (which the legacy CDS survey referred to as a campus). See multicampus system.
  • Institutional research (IR)

    The function in college and university administration to inform planning and decision making by collecting, analyzing, reporting, and warehousing a wide range of data about students, faculty, staff, finances, etc. While such functions may be carried out by many individuals, most institutions have a central Office of Institutional Research, or the equivalent, responsible for the institution's primary IR activities, including reporting of institutional information to accrediting agencies, government offices, and other external entities.
  • Interactive learning

    Learning environments that involve interaction between the student and faculty, other students, or resources. Interactive learning can involve simulations, games, role playing, experimentation, etc.

    The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS) is a single, comprehensive, data collection program designed to capture data for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for all U.S. institutions and educational organizations whose primary purpose is to provide postsecondary education. IPEDS collects institution-level data in such areas as enrollments, program completions, faculty staff, and finances. IPEDS data reporting requires the extensive effort of a variety of offices on any campus, and this is the "official" information the college or university stands behind, used by the federal government. EDUCAUSE collects a subset of IPEDS data from CDS participants from outside the U.S. in order to facilitate international benchmarking.
  • IPv6

    An Internet Protocol standard developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force that is designed to succeed Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) in order to address the increasing number of users and devices accessing the Internet.
  • IT compliance

    Programs or processes that ensure the institution’s IT resources and systems are operated in ways that meet the laws and regulations impacting those systems and comply with institutional policy. (see also compliance and IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance in Higher Education).
  • IT governance

    Programs or processes that ensure that the campus IT strategy is aligned with the institution’s strategic plan. IT thus becomes a strategic partner in the institutional mission. (see also governance and IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance in Higher Education).
  • IT risk management

    Programs or processes that help an institution identify the risks that it faces with regard to its present or planned IT resources and systems and affirmatively address those risks in a way that satisfies its overall goals. (see also risk management and IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance in Higher Education).
  • Kiosk

    A general-purpose or specialized computer or terminal installed in a public area to enable students, other community members, or the general public to access information, transact business, or perform other functions. A kiosk is intended for comparatively short sessions and is often designed for standing access, as compared to the computer workstations found in a typical computer lab, which provide for extended use.
  • Knowledge management system

    A system of used to identify, create, store and disseminate information.
  • Learning (course) management system (LMS)

    Software that provides an integrated suite of online resources and communications capabilities in support of traditional courses and can also serve as a platform for fully online courses. A typical LMS provides a range of activity modules, such as forums, databases, and wikis; facilitates student assignments and quizzes; and enables monitoring of student engagement and reporting of grades. Many LMS implementations are integrated with student information systems.
  • Lecture capture

    Institutional system for audio/video capture of instructor lectures or other venue- or studio-based activities for later distribution via the Internet.
  • Level of service

    Technical support subdivisions, tiers, or levels, used to better serve a business or customer base. (From
  • Library/IT Staff

    If your Central IT organization has merged with the Library, please divide the library FTE into two categories when answering Module 1, Question 28:
    • Those performing IT-related functions should be included in items 1 through 10 as appropriate.
    • Those performing "traditional library functions" should be included in item 11 - Other, and describe them as library staff.
    If your IT organization has not merged with the library but you have staff supporting library systems, please include these staff in the appropriate FTE categories.
  • Log management

    A system that collects and normalizes log event data from multiple sources for central storage, review, and alerting.
  • Mainframe

    A computer typically optimized for high reliability and security, high-volume and concurrent input/output processing, and substantial storage. Examples include IBM Z-Series, Unisys ClearPath, and Fujitsu BS2000.
  • Malware protection

    Tools that protect endpoints and systems from harmful or intrusive software, such as viruses, trojan horses, spyware, etc.
  • Multi-media production for online learning

    Institutional capability to develop online learning materials or modules (typically consisting of audio, video, slides, interactive learning tools, and/or quizzes).
  • Multicampus system

    A multicampus system is defined as a group of two or more colleges or universities, each having substantial autonomy and headed by a chief executive or operating officer, all under a single governing board, which is served by a system chief executive officer who is not also the chief executive officer of any of the system's institutions. Such a system is to be distinguished from a "flagship" campus with branch campuses, and also from a group of campuses or systems, each with its own governing board, that is coordinated by some state body. (National Association of System Heads,
  • Multimedia services

    Support for design, production, and deployment of content in audio, still image, animation, video, and interactive formats, often in combination with text.
  • Net revenue

    Revenue remaining after accounting for expenditures for products and the cost of doing business.
  • Network access control system

    Tools that scan endpoints upon network attachment, typically to determine update/patch and anti-malware status.
  • Network filtering

    Firewalls, access control lists, etc. to enforce secure network zones.
  • Network intrusion detection system

    Network monitoring tools that identify and log threats.
  • Network intrusion prevention system

    Networking monitoring tools that identify and prevent threats from attempting to penetrate the network or from leaving the network.
  • Network operations center (NOC)

    A facility for monitoring and managing a data, video, or voice network. The facility may also include some of the operating equipment.
  • On-costs

    The costs an employer incurs beyond an employee's salary, including things such as workers' compensation, leave loading, and payroll tax.
  • Online learning technology services

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Services that support the use of technology for online learning
    • Services that provide technology for online learning
    • Staff, hardware, software, etc. used to provide or support online learning technology
  • Operating appropriation

    The allocation to the central IT organization from the institutional operating budget that is generally used to cover all non-capital IT operations costs such as staff compensation and benefits, operating expenses, equipment (including maintenance and repair), software licenses, and so forth.
  • Operating expenditures

    Total non-capital day-to-day operations and maintenance expenses for the prior fiscal year. This includes costs such as staff compensation and benefits, operating expenses, equipment (including maintenance and repair), software licenses, and so forth. This does not include any amortization and depreciation. Operating expenditures may be different from operating funds received for the fiscal year. For example, your institution may permit carryover from one fiscal year to the next.
  • Outsource

    To contract with an external entity or vendor to provide IT services or infrastructure that you might otherwise have employed your IT staff to perform. It does not refer to an arrangement with another part of your institution or with a system office.
  • Part-time student

    • Undergraduate: A student enrolled for either less than 12 semester or quarter credits, or less than 24 contact hours a week each term.
    • Graduate: A student enrolled for less than 9 semester or quarter credits. (From
  • Payment card industry (PCI)

    In general, PCI refers to debit, credit, prepaid, ATM, and other cards and associated businesses. PCI also refers to the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, which oversees the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
  • Penetration testing tools

    Tools used by security staff to "attack" systems and software with the intention of identifying vulnerabilities and evaluating defenses.
  • Plagiarism detection system

    System or tools to identify plagiarism in student assignments (e.g., Turnitin, Ephorus).
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    A category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run and manage Web applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. (From
  • Portal

    An approach to an institution's website that aims to leverage investments in enterprise information systems, data warehouses, and infrastructure by providing a seamless and easy-to-navigate web interface to an integrated set of information services for various institutional constituents.
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)

    A system that passes electrical power along with data on Ethernet cabling; unlike USB standards, PoE allows long cable lengths.
  • President

    Title for the chief executive officer (CEO) in most U.S. colleges and universities. In some multi-campus systems and community college districts in the U.S., president is the title of the chief executive officer of the system or district (in which case the campus CEOs carry the title of chancellor). In other cases, the chancellor is the system CEO, with the campus CEOs designated as presidents.
  • President or chancellor's cabinet

    The administrative leaders who meet regularly as a group with the institution's chief executive officer. The cabinet may be all administrators who report directly to the CEO, or it may be a larger or smaller group.
  • Prior fiscal year

    The most recent fiscal year ending before July 1, 2015. In the United States, most higher education fiscal years begin in July, August, or September; accounting practices vary internationally.
  • Program, project, and/or service management

    A set of services often found in central IT organizations that supports design, development, and management of programs, projects, and services.
  • Provost/chief academic officer

    In many institutions in the United States, Australia, and Canada, a provost is the senior academic administrator, responsible for curricular and instructional programs and, in some cases, admissions, libraries, museums, student services, and IT. Deans of the various colleges, faculties, and schools typically report to the provost. This position is designated as pro vice chancellor in some institutions in the United States and Ireland.
  • Rack-mounted server

    A rack-mounted server is one that is specifically designed to be rack mounted. These servers are often thin and long (to fit in a traditional 42U rack).
  • Real-time web- or video-conferencing online learning environment

    Institutional capability to conduct real-time, synchronous teaching and learning across multiple sites. Typical capabilities include web-based or classroom-based audio/video capture with bi-directional transmission and shared board presentation.
  • Remote exam proctoring

    A system or systems to assure student identity or conformance to examination rules for remotely-delivered examinations (e.g., ProctorU, Respondus).
  • Research and Education Networking - information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC)

    A membership organization headquartered at Indiana University that provides security information collection, analysis, dissemination, and early warning to support the unique environment and needs of organizations connected to served higher education and research networks. (From
  • Research and education networks

    Specialized and restricted-access networks dedicated to support universities, colleges, and other education and research institutions and their affiliates, as distinct from the commodity Internet. R&E networks are operated at the national, regional, and state levels, with numerous interconnections around the world. Institutions served by one or more R&E networks typically have a direct connection to the commodity Internet as well.
  • Responsive web design

    A web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors). (from wikipedia
  • Risk management

    The way in which an institution determines its appetite for risk, as well as how risk controls and mitigation strategies for any given endeavor are developed and enforced throughout the enterprise. (see also IT risk management and IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance in Higher Education).
  • Satellite academic campus

    A campus that does not have its own executive officer, as distinct from a component campus of a multi-campus system or community college district.
  • Scanning tools for private/protected information

    Tools to scan networked drives, endpoints, servers, and portable media for personally identifiable information and/or protected information such as health records, employment records, student records, SSNs, credit card and other financial account numbers, passports numbers, etc.
  • Secure remote access

    Tools providing secure access for remote clients.
  • Secure wireless access

    Secure access across campus wireless networks via standards-based security specifications (e.g. 802.11).
  • Security information and event management

    A system that collects and analyzes log event information from multiple sources, applying techniques such as event aggregation, correlation, etc.
  • Server hosting

    Provision of facilities in a data center for another department, or external entity, to locate and manage their servers.
  • Server management

    Provision of hardware and operation systems management as well as data center facilities for servers owned by another department or external entity.
  • Service provider

    Organization or entity that is providing services to members of a federated identity system and relying upon the assurances of an identity provider to control access to those services.
  • Shaping

    Shaping bandwidth utilization refers to adjusting parameters on the institutional Internet connection to limit use through various means, such as type of connection, location of connection, direction of traffic, time of day, or other specific characteristics.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

    A software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. (From
  • Software expenditures - capital

    Total capitalized IT spending (full value of assets acquired) for the prior fiscal year for software (including: purchases, maintenance fees, and subscriptions (e.g. for SaaS services)). Please exclude all depreciation or amortization expenses. If your accounting system spreads expenditures over multiple years, please include only total outlays for the prior fiscal year.
  • Software expenditures - operating

    Total non-capital, day-to-day operations, support, and maintenance expenses for the prior fiscal year for software (including: purchases, maintenance fees, and subscriptions (e.g. for SaaS services)). This does not include any amortization and depreciation.
  • Space/facilities expenditures

    Any charges assessed to central IT by the institution or other facility owner for use of space and/or facilities. Some examples include office space, furniture, maintenance, property taxes, security and office supplies. Occupancy costs for space dedicated to IT functions, such as the data center (including power/heat management and raised floor), are also included.
  • Staff

    Refers to all staff employed by the central IT organization, including clerical, technical, and management staff and limited-term or temporary employees. If your institution contracted with a vendor or external organization to provide all or nearly all IT services during that period, including all IT staff on site, please count the employees of the outsourcer as staff rather than contractors. If your IT organization has merged with the library, please include in your staff count only the library FTE personnel who perform IT-related functions (see Library/IT Staff).
  • Stand-alone server

    A stand-alone server is a self-contained server that traditionally sits on a shelf and is not specifically designed to be rack mounted.
  • Student co-curricular activities management system

    System for tracking and recording student participation in extra-institutional activities related to an academic course or program, such as internships or volunteer programs.
  • Student evaluation of teaching effectiveness

    Tools for students in online courses to provide anonymous feedback on teaching to improve the learning experience for themselves and others.
  • Student extracurricular activities management system

    System for tracking and recording student participation in extracurricular activities.
  • Student information system

    Software to manage information about students, including the admissions process, course registration and grades, degree audit, housing, etc., and to provide student self-service functions such as course registration, access to course catalogues, class schedules, grades, transcripts, and so forth.
  • Student self-service referral to social/community resources

    System that queries students about non-course related success factors, e.g., child care, transportation, or health, and refers them to appropriate institutional or community services.
  • Student success analytics dashboards

    Online information displays that provide student success key performance indicators appropriate to the role of the individual using the display.
  • Student success data warehouse/operational data store

    Data repository making student success data available for convenient reporting and analysis.
  • Student technology centers

    Facilities, equipment, services, and staff in support of student access to and use of the institution's and other information, learning, and communications resources; includes public student lab support and specialized training and support for students.
  • System

    See Multicampus System.
  • Tablet

    Portable personal computer equipped with a touchscreen as a primary input interface.
  • Team-based classrooms

    A classroom designed to have students sit and work in teams rather than listen to presentations. Some classrooms have the flexibility to be configured in different ways and so can support a variety of learning functions, such as presentation, discussion, and team-based learning. (see ELI Discovery Tool: Guide to Collaborative Learning).
  • Technology-enhanced space services

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Services that support the use of technology in spaces other than traditional classrooms such as computer labs/clusters, collaborative spaces, makerspaces, research labs, libraries, etc.
    • Services that provide technology in spaces other than traditional classrooms such as computer labs/clusters, collaborative spaces, makerspaces, research labs, libraries, etc.
    • Staff, hardware, software, etc. used to provide or support technology in spaces other than computer labs/clusters, collaborative spaces, makerspaces, research labs, libraries, etc.
  • Telephony

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Wire and cable infrastructure for voice network
    • Dial tone (including services to student housing)
    • Voice mail
    • Long distance resale
    • Cellular and paging services
    • Telephony staff, hardware, software, etc.
  • Television-quality video studio

    Video facilities, equipment, transmission capabilities, and expert personnel enabling the institution to produce or participate in remote production of live and recorded video programming suitable for television broadcast.
  • Time division multiplexing (TDM)

    Transmission of multiple signals, such as telephone calls, over the same medium by taking turns on the channel. TDM is used for circuit mode communication, as contrasted to "VoIP."
  • Uninterrupted power supply (UPS)

    A mechanism that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source fails with near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions.
  • Utilities Expenditures

    Any charges assessed to central IT by the institution or other facility owner for use of utilities (including electricity).
  • Virtual computer lab delivery

    Platform to deliver software applications or provide virtualized desktop environments. (e.g. Citrix) for use by online students.
  • Visualization

    Use of computer graphics, often with large or multiple displays driven by high-performance computers accessing large databases to produce still and dynamic images that enable exploration, analysis, and understanding of research data; presentation and manipulation of instructional simulations; design of architectural and product models; and other applications.
  • Voice network

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Dial tone (including services to student housing)
    • Telephone Services (VoIP or conventional)
    • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking
    • Voicemail
    • Cellular and paging services
    • Telecommunications (consulting, design)
    • Staff, hardware, software, etc. used to provide or support the voice network
  • Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)

    A set of technologies and commercial products and services that enable transmission of voice and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. VoIP usually refers to replacement of traditional telephone sets and their associated cabling and user charges with either a dedicated VoIP phone set or an appropriately configured computer. VoIP can also be deployed within the telephone switching infrastructure, even if users retain their traditional sets.
  • Vulnerability assessment tools

    A tool set to scan network attached devices for known vulnerabilities.
  • Wiki

    An editable web page that can be edited by anyone with access to the wiki.
  • Work study

    The U.S. Department of Education, through the Federal Work Study Program, provides funds earned through part-time employment to assist students in financing the costs of postsecondary education (from College and university departments that employ Work Study students have correspondingly lower wage costs. Institutions outside the U.S. may benefit from similar programs.