Welcome to The Higher Edge Podcast!
Nov. 8, 2022

EDUCAUSE 2022: The Higher Education Partnerships Episode

Did you miss out on Educause 2022?

Fear not! We saddled up our mobile podcast rig and took it to the floor of the show where we went in search of some of the greatest partnerships in higher education.

Join us as we bring you a trio of success stories, direct from the floor of the conference.

We’ll hear from:

  • Ken Connelly and Zach Meyers about how Breakpoint Labs has helped the University of Northern Iowa better secure their campus both physically and digitally (2:12)
  • Troy Burnett and Deborah Lee and their partnership of engaging more students sustainably across their institution via the deployment of Pathify at Concordia Univeristy - Irvine (11:05)
  • Joshua Sine and Jason Hill on their collaboration using Qualtrics to help Utah Valley University monitor university health and cleanliness (22:45)

We had a great time interviewing these folks and certainly hope they inspire you to find the Higher Edge at your institution with their innovations.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website or search for The Higher Edge in your favorite podcast player.


[00:00:00] Welcome 

[00:00:08] Announcer: to the Higher Edge, a podcast for the brightest minds in higher education hear from the change makers and rulebreakers that are driving meaningful, impactful change for colleges and universities across the country from improving operations to supporting student success. These are the stories that give you, "The Higher Edge".

[00:00:29] And now direct from 2022's EDUCAUSE Convention, your host,

[00:00:34] Brendan aldrich. 

[00:00:36] Hey everyone, and welcome to the Higher Edge. I'm Brendan Aldrich, and welcome to the first of two special episodes recorded from the floor of the Annual Educause Conference in Denver, Colorado. Now, if you're not familiar with Educause, it is a nonprofit association here in the United States that's dedicated to advancing.

[00:00:56] Higher education through the use of information technology. [00:01:00] Uh, I've been involved with EDUCAUSE for years and it really is a fantastic organization with over tens of thousands of active members representing more than 2300, uh, colleges, universities, educational organizations, and uh, and companies around the country.

[00:01:16] In today's episode, we're going to be talking about. Partnerships. More importantly, how partnerships between institutions and private companies can not only provide valuable services and support for the mission of higher education, but also help to shape the offerings these companies provide in sometimes new and pretty intriguing ways.

[00:01:39] Recorded live from the floor at EDUCAUSE, today's episode will highlight three amazing stories of partnerships as I talk to a representative from each institution and the partner with whom they worked. First, we'll talk with University of Northern Iowa and their work with Breakpoint Labs. Next we'll be hearing from Concordia University [00:02:00] Irvine and Pathify before closing out today's show with the intriguing work being done with Utah Valley University in collaboration with Qualtrics.

[00:02:10] So let's dive in. Our first partnership features the Work done by University of Northern Iowa and Breakpoint Labs. Now the University of Northern Iowa was originally founded in 1876 as the Iowa State Normal School. Side note, normal school is not a term we get to use much today, but it actually referred to, uh, schools that were created to educate teachers, uh, by educating them in the norms of pedagogy and curriculum.

[00:02:39] So that's where normal school came from. Uh, but it, in reality, many public or state supported universities such as the University of Northern Iowa and even many of the universities within my own California State University. Started this way as normal schools, uh, in this case, university of Northern Iowa became the State College of Iowa in [00:03:00] 1961, and was then made a university in 1967 when they officially became known as the University of Northern Iowa.

[00:03:08] Now, you might not be surprised to learn that colleges and universities are often targeted by hackers and other, we'll call them black hat individuals who wanna obtain confidential information to help combat this threat. You and I partnered with Breakpoint Labs. Located in Falls Church, Virginia, and founded in 2015 B P L is on the cutting edge of information security and provides advanced defensive cyberspace operations services that help organizations protect themselves from unauthorized activity that could posee a risk to their networks and information systems.

[00:03:44] Let's hear from the team about their partnership. I'm here with Ken Connolly, who is the director of Information Security at the University of Northern Iowa, and Zach Myers, who is the program manager and offensive security engineer for Breakpoint Labs. And guys, first of all, [00:04:00] thank you for coming on the show.

[00:04:00] Yeah, absolutely. You're welcome. Thank you, Brad. Hey, would love to talk. I know you guys have recently been working together, uh, at the University of Northern Iowa. And Ken, first of all, I wonder if you could tell me a little bit about what that work is that, that you've been doing. Uh, 

[00:04:14] Ken Connelly: we've employed Breakpoint Labs to be our penetration testing vendor.

[00:04:19] This is a state regions wide RFC that went out about seven years ago and was recently renew. They do a lot of work for us in primarily web application penetration testing, but they've also visited our campus, done some physical hands-on security for our power plant and a variety of other similar.

[00:04:44] Network-based 

[00:04:45] Brendan Aldrich: testing. And Ken, I know a lot of, uh, colleges and universities are very focused on information security, both the electronic and the physical kind as you've mentioned. Can you tell me why is it especially important that the University of Northern Iowa, we feel 

[00:04:59] Ken Connelly: [00:05:00] like we do a pretty good job of making things secure.

[00:05:04] But having an outside vendor who can confirm or contradict that is, is very useful to us and certainly to the administration of the university. They use the fact that yes, breakpoint says that. You and I is secure in this particular application. They use that as a vote of confidence for the IT 

[00:05:28] Brendan Aldrich: organization.

[00:05:29] I've got a friend of mine who actually does similar kinds of work in penetration testing, and I know I've heard all sorts of stories about, uh, smart fish tank. And other iot devices that can be points of entry for, for a black hat individual, not necessarily the University of Northern Iowa. But are there, uh, what's your favorite story when you've done your own penetration testing?

[00:05:48] For me, the 

[00:05:48] Zach Meyers: most fun ones, right, are typically when you do a fishing campaign or you do a physical security assessment, cuz they're just so shocking, all right. And you really get the human element to it. But honestly, I, [00:06:00] I, I don't know if I could put my finger on one. But as a penetration tester, you know, you're constantly trying to get creative and, and adapt your skillset and learn new things.

[00:06:09] So as we continue to grow our team and our skillset, so do our TTPs, our tools, techniques, procedures. So for example, you know, sometimes we'll do a fishing campaign just to collect analytics on a customer and see who fell for it, who opened it, who clicked the link, who interacted with the campaign. Now there's even more advanced phishing attacks where I could get you to, it looks like you're logging into 

[00:06:30] Brendan Aldrich: Azure and then I'm capturing your session token and then 

[00:06:33] Zach Meyers: I'm basically impersonating you and now I can go do other things.

[00:06:37] So it, there's a lot of interesting, fun stories there. PowerPoint one was a pretty fun project, uh, that we did with Ken. The PowerPoint project had a bit of a focus on the cybersecurity attack surface from a network-based perspective, right? So the internal network as well as the physical security components.

[00:06:53] And they wanted to see from those two vantage points, what is the attack surface and where are they vulnerable [00:07:00] in any time you're dealing 

[00:07:00] Brendan Aldrich: with control systems, you have to 

[00:07:02] Zach Meyers: be very sensitive, right? You have to use a very safe methodology when you're testing and and probing those networks. So it was a very unique.

[00:07:12] Interesting thing where we were able to identify vulnerabilities, flaws, help them improve their security posture on that internal network as well as we were able to breach physical security in certain aspects and show them how they could improve the gaps of visibility of that physical security. And we had a lot of screenshots and screenshots.

[00:07:28] Money, uh, pic picture's worth a thousand words, in my opinion, and, and everybody likes that in the final report, and that's what people are paying for. So yeah, that was probably one of my favorite 

[00:07:36] Brendan Aldrich: projects to date. So since we're focusing on partnerships this episode, I wonder, Ken, if you might talk about the partnership with Breakpoint Labs and how that's worth.

[00:07:45] We have 

[00:07:45] Ken Connelly: used Breakpoint Labs as a resource for things beyond penetration testing, although that was the focus of our original agreement and contract with them. We have used them for incident response [00:08:00] things, uh, situations where we were unsure about what might have happened or how it might have happened, and we've had.

[00:08:09] Very good success in working with the staff at Breakpoint Labs to identify and contain and resolve things that turned out not, were not really as bad as they might have initially appeared, but plug the drain in the bathtub and just keep the. In the tub. 

[00:08:31] Brendan Aldrich: So, Zach, tell me a little bit more about Breakpoint Labs.

[00:08:34] How long have you guys been in business and how many schools are you working with? Break Point Labs, we started in 2015. 

[00:08:39] Zach Meyers: We're located in the National Capital Region area, so dc, Maryland, Virginia. We, we started working primarily with federal government and doing a lot of things with dod. Uh, then we 

[00:08:50] Brendan Aldrich: kind of branched out into more commercial realms.

[00:08:52] Uh, 

[00:08:52] Zach Meyers: being higher education is one, one of the first big contracts that we wanted higher education was with Ken in the Iowa joint. So it's been great [00:09:00] Since then, Ken has helped us organically grow our customer base in higher education, uh, doing penetration testing services. We've even helped out a couple of, uh, other higher eds with some instant response.

[00:09:10] So Break Point Labs can do both the offensive and defense of cybersecurity services. Um, and we've, we've had a great relationship with Ken over the years and. It's, uh, it's been a beautiful thing since then. We have done countless projects with Ken and, and University of Iowa and Mr. Zach first. Uh, and it has grown from that perspective of word of mouth, honestly, organic growth, even, even chapters like Edika and, and Ken could speak to other chapters.

[00:09:34] He's a part of where he's told other. You know, higher ed institutions and people in academia, uh, hey, breakpoint Labs is a great cybersecurity service provider. If you're interested in any of that, you know, reach out to 'em. They'll give you a free quote, they'll talk to you, they'll see what keeps you up at night, uh, and then they will, they'll try to give you solutions to solve those problems.

[00:09:54] Um, so yeah, it's been a really good, really good. And, uh, you know, I can't thank Ken [00:10:00] enough for picking us a, a small dog in the fight, if you will, uh, to try and improve 

[00:10:04] Brendan Aldrich: cybersecurity. So Ken and Zach, thank you so much for coming on the show. Uh, just great to hear about your partnership and the way you're working together.

[00:10:12] Uh, Ken, if people would like to learn more about the University of Northern Iowa and or the work that you're doing there, where might they go? 

[00:10:18] Ken Connelly: The university's website is www.unni.edu. Security at the university can be reached with adding a slash security to the end of 

[00:10:33] Brendan Aldrich: that url. Fantastic. And then Zach, where can people go to learn more about Breakpoint Labs?

[00:10:37] Yeah, breakpoint Labs, we have a website, uh, 

[00:10:39] Zach Meyers: breakpoint hyphen labs.com, the air. We also have, uh, detailed information about our services we provide. We're managed cybersecurity service providers from mssp, um, like I said earlier, focusing on offensive and defensive capabilities, compliance testing as well for cyber.

[00:10:54] Um, so yeah, you can go to our main website. We're on all the 

[00:10:56] Brendan Aldrich: social media platforms. Fantastic. Well guys, thank you again [00:11:00] and, uh, good luck. We look forward to talking soon. Thank you Brendan. Thank you Brendan, for our next partnership. We move to the work being done by Concordia University Irvine with their partner path.

[00:11:10] I. Now Concordia University Irvine is a private Lutheran University located in Irvine, California that was established in 1976 as Christ College Irvine. But in 1993, their board of Regents voted to change that name to Concordia University Irvine, and at the time it became the 10th campus in the nationwide Concordia University.

[00:11:34] Well, like many institutions, Concordia University, Irvine wanted to positively support engagement across the institution and do that in a very sustainable way. So to accomplish this, they looked at the solutions available and decided to partner with a company called Path. I. Pathi is a company that provides an application that really centralizes in institution systems so that students in every stage of their journey can [00:12:00] see very personalized information that matters to them in a modern digital experience.

[00:12:04] That just makes sense. Let's hear from the team about their partnership. I'm here with Troy Burnett, who's the director of sales at Pathi, as well as Deborah Lee, who is the Senior Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness for Concordia University in Irvine. Both of you, welcome to the Higher Edge.

[00:12:22] Thank you. Thank you. So I'm wondering, first of all, if Deborah, you might tell us just a little bit about Concordia University in Irvine. Oh yeah. 

[00:12:29] Deborah Lee: Okay. So Concordia is a. Nonprofit, private liberal arts institution associated with the Lutheran Church, Missouri Senate, and we have about 3,700 students.

[00:12:39] Traditional undergraduates are on ground on our campus in Irvine, while our graduate students are primarily 

[00:12:45] Brendan Aldrich: online. And I know that you've been working with Pathi to be able to do some work. And I wonder, Troy, if you might tell us a little bit about Pathi and the work that you do. 

[00:12:53] Troy Burnett: Sure. So we call ourselves an engagement hub, but really what we've done is we've reimagined what a student [00:13:00] portal.

[00:13:01] Might look like. And so really the magic of Pathi is we've got this, uh, proprietary middleware component that integrates all of the various campus technologies that a student might have to log into and experience in one way or another, bringing all of those things into a single pane of glass and making it very elegant and modern for 

[00:13:23] Brendan Aldrich: the student.

[00:13:24] Fantastic. Tell me about how did the two of you begin working together? Were you looking at Concordia University for, uh, to solve a particular problem? Um, so at 

[00:13:35] Deborah Lee: Concordia we had new leadership and they were looking for, uh, student engagement apps specifically. They were looking at a couple vendors, and we heard about Pathi through our Christian colleges and Universities network.

[00:13:49] So when we looked at their platform, it was not just an app, it was a portal. So you can access it on the desktop. As well as your mobile phone. The nice thing too is that when we were [00:14:00] looking at it, it wasn't just for students. This is something we can use for our faculty and staff and help us build community.

[00:14:05] Especially when it comes to our adjunct faculty. Our adjunct faculty are primarily off campus. We only have a few that are on ground, and if they are on ground, they come in the evenings to teach a class after they finish their job at another community college. So how do we get our faculty and staff that are remote connected to our 

[00:14:22] Brendan Aldrich: campus such an important thing, especially during the.

[00:14:25] Yes. Yes. And so I, so, and it really is just exactly what you were talking about, Troy. It's more than just a, a student portal, and a lot of that is because I think you're integrating a lot of different systems, uh, beyond that. Is that right? Yeah. Our, our middleware 

[00:14:40] Troy Burnett: enables us to really have a ton of flexibility in how we integrate with any system of source.

[00:14:47] And so we can get really creative if it's not APIs, it could be flat files, it could be any, any way you can get that data. We can display it in a, in that presentation layer in an elegant way and, and [00:15:00] just really bring all that kind of labyrinth of different technologies that students might be exposed to into a single source.

[00:15:07] Brendan Aldrich: And so tell me about the different kinds of colleges that you work with. Do you focus in a particular area, like with four year universities or graduate schools, or do you really span the spectrum of higher education? We span 

[00:15:16] Troy Burnett: the spectrum two year, four year public-private, uh, very, very small schools to large state institutions and.

[00:15:24] Brendan Aldrich: And when you started working with Concordia, was there anything special about the relationship and the partnership that you began to build? Call it Deborah. Talk about that . 

[00:15:33] Deborah Lee: Um, what was really interesting is that it was, um, like what you said, a partnership from the beginning, I didn't feel like I was being sold anything.

[00:15:42] We had really genuine conversations, not about this product, but about what a digital experience platform would look like in this day and age. during the pandemic. Uh, that's exactly when we were looking at it and what it would look like after the pandemic. [00:16:00] Right. Um, so when it came to this relationship, we even, we even talked about what this means for coming back to campus and rebuilding from a psychological and a sociological aspect, which is kind of pulling at my heartstrings because I am a professor as well.

[00:16:15] I teach in behavioral science and I teach a few sociology classes. So it was really good to have just that genuine convers. With them. And a lot of the individuals that we talked to at Path Five, we talked to multiple people. We talked to some of their clients, but we also talked to a lot of their employees who were formally at four year, two year institutions as 

[00:16:36] Brendan Aldrich: well.

[00:16:37] So really bringing all of this information together, the way that you are, I imagine from an institutional research and effectiveness standpoint, that that must also provide you great insight into the engagement across your institution for not just your students, but for your employees. Absolutely.

[00:16:51] Deborah Lee: Absolutely, absolutely. The analytics that Pathi provides to us helps us make informed decisions that are also mission driven. We are a faith-based [00:17:00] institution, so a lot of our small group Bible studies are really important for us to advertise and make sure our students know about it or how to connect with somebody on our campus.

[00:17:08] The other thing I would say is that we really enjoyed how the, the flexibility. You're gonna get a lot of large institutions we're considered like a small one, uh, but we have a lot of customization and they were able to meet our needs for all of that. 

[00:17:26] Brendan Aldrich: Is there a, a favorite success story you have or maybe something you've heard from one of your employees or one of your students, uh, about sort of the, the Pathi application and how it's sort of helping them in a way?

[00:17:37] One thing that stands out to 

[00:17:38] Troy Burnett: me, particularly with Concordia Irvine, is the way students are using it primarily through their mobile. And the feedback that we're getting from, from their students is that they're, they're hitting the mobile device for really quick little checks. Hey, like, what's, what's my class schedule look like?

[00:17:55] Remind me again, where, how do I get to this building? Or, um, you know, what's on the lunch [00:18:00] menu today? Right? So just quick little reference things and they know exactly where to go to. Uh, if there's. A little bit more of an action item or task that they need to take care of, then they're gonna open up their web browser.

[00:18:11] And because Pathi is web and mobile paired, it's all the same experience, environment content, but it's, there are certain things that are easier to do in the, in the, in the mobile app and certain things that make more sense to do on their laptop, like go into degree works and start to work on, you know, a little bit more of a, a task as opposed to just quickly checking for.

[00:18:35] Quick information. 

[00:18:37] Deborah Lee: Yeah. Uh, so the example that I can think of is, again, um, coming back after being virtual, we really highlighted this widget that was one of the do it yourself widgets. After we did one of the trainings with Pathi, which shows our upcoming games with other institutions, about 40% of our students are student athletes.

[00:18:57] So this is like a really big thing. So it was very [00:19:00] clear for faculty and staff to see upcoming games, and then we would show. So it would mean so much to a student that we showed up. I know you probably see like on social media, all those videos of people like showing up for their kids' graduation, but for their professor to show up at the game, even if it's like the last 10 minutes, we just walk over there.

[00:19:19] It just seeing the smile on their face or coming to class the next day talking about it. Like, did you see what happened? I don't understand sports at all. And I was just like, yeah, I totally saw that . Um, don't know what it was, but yeah. 

[00:19:30] Brendan Aldrich: Great job. Fantastic. Troy, Deborah, thank you so much for coming on our partnerships episode and talking about the great work that you guys are doing together.

[00:19:36] Uh, first of all, Troy, if people would like to learn more about Pathi, where, where should they go? pathi.com. 

[00:19:43] Troy Burnett: So it's P A T H I F Y. 

[00:19:47] Brendan Aldrich: Perfect. And then Deborah, uh, is there a place that people can go to learn more about Concordia University at Irvine or, or even about the work that you've been doing with the, the mobile app?

[00:19:55] Deborah Lee: Yeah, absolutely. Um, our website is gonna be cui.edu [00:20:00] and if they need, uh, if they wanna look at more information about the app or even watch tutorial videos of what our students see, they can go to cui.edu/my 

[00:20:09] Brendan Aldrich: cui. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you for having us. Thanks for having us. Hey, for everyone listening, hang tight.

[00:20:16] We're gonna take a quick break to hear from our sponsor and we'll be back in just one minute.

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[00:21:25] Brendan Aldrich: Thanks so much for listening to our sponsor. Let's get back to the show for our final partnership highlight, we turned to a fascinating collaboration between Utah Valley University and Qualtrics.

[00:21:37] A Utah Valley University is located in Orum, Utah. It was originally established in a 1941 as Central Utah Vocational School, but after growing and expanding its mission and focus, the institution became known as Utah Valley State College in 1993. Before achieving its university status as Utah Valley University in 2008.

[00:21:59] It is [00:22:00] the largest public university in the state of Utah with more than 40,000 students enrolled annually. And by the way, is also a dual mission institution, meaning that they combine community college and university programming. Qualtrics, probably known to many of you, is a global enterprise with offices in almost every corner of the world and provides an easy to use web-based survey tool that's used by just an enormous number of colleges and universities, uh, to conduct research evaluations and other kinds of data collection activities.

[00:22:33] It's this extraordinary flexibility of the Qualtrics platform that allows it to be used. In an incredible array of scenarios, including ones that might seem less than obvious, but let's hear more about this from the team. I'm with Joshua Sign, who is the Vice President of Higher Education Strategy at Qualtrics, as well as Jason Hill, who is the director of Learning Systems at Utah Valley University.

[00:22:57] Thank you both for coming on the show. Yeah. Thanks so much for having us, Brandon. [00:23:00] Thank you. So tell me a little bit, since we are talking about partnerships, uh, when did your partnership begin and how did that happen? 

[00:23:07] Joshua Sine: So Qualtrics partnered with Utah Valley State College about 15, 16 years ago, and that relationship has evolved into a deeper, broader one.

[00:23:18] Where Jason, we've been working pretty closely together 

[00:23:21] Jason Hill: For how long now? About seven years. Okay. Seven. Maybe a little more than. Yeah. So, 

[00:23:26] Joshua Sine: uh, you know, start, starts off small, gets deeper, uh, new use cases, new opportunities to partner and, and we've really valued the, the ongoing dialogue with 

[00:23:36] Brendan Aldrich: Utah Valley. So, Jason, tell me a little bit about Utah Valley University.

[00:23:40] Uh, what, what kind of institution are you? Utah 

[00:23:42] Jason Hill: Valley University is a dual mission university. It's a teaching university, and we focus on both the associate degree side and the bachelor degree side. We also. Master's degrees in multiple uh, disciplines. We are the largest institution in Utah now [00:24:00] with, uh, little over 43,000 students.

[00:24:02] Wow. And so we've got a lot of opportunity for engaging students and, and helping our faculty. 

[00:24:09] Brendan Aldrich: And so it sounds like, uh, you came into an already existing relationship with Qualtrics and then you got to know each other as you began working together on different projects. Absolutely. 

[00:24:17] Jason Hill: So it was kind of cool when I first started in my current, in my.

[00:24:22] I, I heard that Qualtrics was considering developing some, an LTI for Canvas, and I thought that's really interesting, and something that's actually being asked about on our campus. And so I signed up for what was then called the Insight Summit. It's now X four summit. I signed up for that and thought, well, I'm gonna get certified in Qualtrics and.

[00:24:45] Attended the certification sessions got certified and I thought, holy cow, there's a lot of power at our fingertips that we already have. We are, we're already a licensed customer and there's problems we can solve. And so it kind of blossomed from there. I started, uh, [00:25:00] taking on some smaller projects for different departments and, and learning groups on campus.

[00:25:05] For example, one was just a hand sanitizer station reporting tool way before Covid ever. It was, I was working out in our student life and wellness center and hand sanitizer station was empty. And I'm like, this sucks. I went and reported it like, Hey, this is empty. Can you fill it? Nothing happened for a few days.

[00:25:25] So I talked to the director there and I'm like, Hey, I might have a cool tool that I would like to try to build . Are you okay with me trying to do this? And he's like, yeah, go for it. And so it was really cool. We embedded the location of each device in its own unique qr. Put a sticker on the hand sanitizers and boom, it was like overnight people were using it and reporting issues.

[00:25:50] Our facility department saw it and like, Hey, can we do that for the bathrooms? Uh, yeah. 

[00:25:54] Brendan Aldrich: So now we've got, and so was it, was it more of like a, you know, is this uh, station, empty scan [00:26:00] here? Yeah. 

[00:26:01] Jason Hill: Yeah. So it's just a really simple report. If the, it said report, low hand sanitizer or low battery, and so when they scan it, they, they only.

[00:26:11] One question, report a low battery or report low sanitizer. We already know where they're at because of the QR code. They just tap it, hit submit, and they're done. 

[00:26:20] Brendan Aldrich: What a fantastic use case. And I love the idea that then facilities wanted to jump in and expand that program. Yeah, and as 

[00:26:25] Jason Hill: it was cool, because within the URL we can add as much embedded data as we want or as little as we want, but we are, for the bathrooms, we're able to say the type is men's or women's or shared, or all gender.

[00:26:36] The location is the buil, is this building and that floor. Based on that, we could then display different options. So for example, if it's a men's room, we want to give them the option to report a problem with the urinal. We wouldn't do that in a women's restroom. Right? And so there's these different, um, use cases where we can, uh, automatically display questions or not display them, or even display answers and not display them.

[00:26:59] [00:27:00] And afterwards we can route it directly to the right group. So we, if they report an issue with lighting, we can, we can route that to our electricians. They can go out and fix it. And we've had over 4,000 responses, uh, in, in just a couple years that we've been doing this all over campus, and it's been just a huge impact on our facilities 

[00:27:20] Brendan Aldrich: department.

[00:27:21] What's so fascinating about Qualtrics as a company is because you really are so configurable and so flexible that, as you mentioned, you can use it for all sorts of different kinds of projects. I actually remember when I was the chief Data Officer at Ivy Tech, I worked with Qualtrics. We had a, uh, we called it Project Early.

[00:27:37] Where we were actually calling thousands of students that we had detected behavior changes with in order to try and give them a very targeted piece of advice, uh, based on a specific behavior we felt they weren't exhibiting. And because we had 800 people that were making these phone calls, we actually used Qualtrics as a screen they could pull up that would show them information about the student they were calling, how to contact them, [00:28:00] what classes were showing a specific behavioral.

[00:28:03] And the piece of advice that, that they would be given to Tell me from a Qualtrics standpoint, what is it about the re the relationship and the partnership you have with, uh, Utah Valley University that makes that special? 

[00:28:13] Joshua Sine: Yeah. You know, UVU is scrappy. Uh, they're very similar to us as an organization.

[00:28:17] They're looking for ways in which they can enhance experience, they can change people's lives, and they can do it at a scalable way. And, and ultimately, like the relationship with us is very similar. At Qualtrics, one of our core values is scrappy. We find ways to get things done, uh, even when our backs are against the wall.

[00:28:35] And so, uvu, we, you know, we're, we're, we're, we're very similar, uh, different organizations obviously, but the goal nonetheless is to. Our customers or our students or our stakeholders, the most amazing experience that we can. And we, we want to use technology to do that. And I think that's why, you know, at UVU we've watched them innovate.

[00:28:54] Jason Hill: Part of that scrappiness really played into our response to Covid 19, and I'm not [00:29:00] embellishing at all. Literally Qualtrics what managed our entire COVID 19 response. Everything from monitoring people's vaccinations, their. Covid 19 testing entry into buildings. We could screen people and record their temperatures right at the building entrance before they were allowed to enter.

[00:29:18] We also posted QR codes in every single classroom, and all the students had to do was scan the QR code depending on which classroom they were in. We knew the size of that classroom, and then they would tap where they were sitting generally so that we could. Where they were sitting. If, if somebody had reported exposure or illness, then we could notify those students in that area of the classroom, Hey, you probably want to self isolate or, or whatever to make sure that you aren't spreading the disease.

[00:29:49] And we also used it inside of Canvas, which actually blew the doors wide open for our integration with Canvas. With Qualtrics, we were able to allow students [00:30:00] to jump right in and report any illness. 

[00:30:04] Brendan Aldrich: Anything. It's so great to hear about the work that you guys have done together and the great relationship that you've got as you're working together to support the institution and the students.

[00:30:12] Hey Jason, if people would like to learn more about Utah Valley University, is there someplace they can go or where can they go to learn more? 

[00:30:18] Jason Hill: Absolutely. uvu.edu is our, is our website to place the place to learn as much as you can about uvu, and we'd love to have anybody that wants to know more about our institution to visit that site and reach out.

[00:30:32] Brendan Aldrich: Fantastic. And for Qualtrics, where can people go to one more? Yeah. 

[00:30:34] Joshua Sine: Qualtrics is the same. So qualtrics.com, uh, Q U A l t r i C s, uh, dot com. But, uh, also you can reach out to your account executive or, uh, find us on online. We'd be, we'd love to chat and see how we can better utilize Qualtrics on your campus.

[00:30:48] Brendan Aldrich: Sounds good. Josh. Jason, thanks so much for coming on the show. It's been so great to learn a little bit, bit more about the partnership you have and the work that you guys are doing together. Hey, thanks for having us, Brennan. As we wrap up this week's special episode, there's a quote that I came [00:31:00] across from Sarah McLean, which says, the best partnerships aren't dependent on a mere common goal, but on a shared path of equality, desire,

[00:31:12] No small amount of passion. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed meeting the teams behind this week's episode. These really are the stories that highlight the importance and value of strong partnerships between institutions and their private company partners. A very big thank you to all of my guests in today's show, including Ken Connolly, director of Information Security at the University of Northern Iowa.

[00:31:35] Zach Myers, program manager and offensive security engineer at breakpoint. Debra Lee, senior Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness for Concordia University Irvine. Troy Burnett, director of Sales at Pathi. Jason Hill, director of Learning Systems for Utah Valley University, and Joshua Stein, vice President of Higher Education Strategy at Qualtrics.

[00:31:58] And for everyone listening, [00:32:00] I'm Brendan Aldrich and we'll talk. 

[00:32:03] Announcer: Thanks for listening to The Higher Edge. For more, subscribe to us on your favorite podcast platform. Leave us a review if you loved the show, and be sure to connect with Brendan on LinkedIn. Know someone who's making big changes at their higher ed institution that belongs on this podcast.

[00:32:19] Drop us a line at podcast. At the higher edge.com, the Higher Edge is sponsored by Invoke Learning in partnership with Westport Studios. View and opinions expressed by individuals during the podcast are their own. See how Invoke Learning is empowering higher education@invokelearning.com.[00:33:00]