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Abstract

Accreditation guidelines usually dictate that information technology resources and systems shall be essential components of the university infrastructure. But, what is the competitive advantage of universities born in the information-age and the Internet revolution? As a Florida's newest public university, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is known for its strategic use of technology and innovation, including use of information technology for distance learning delivery as well as internal administration and student-service processes. At FGCU, information technology is intertwined with academic and administrative operations, such as curriculum-design, course-delivery, resource-allocation, and everyday decision-making. The objective of this paper is to examine the developmental decisions, including policy, computer hardware and software, communications networks, and user services that led to the University's accreditation in record time. It illustrates sample technology-driven course-delivery tools like the WebClassroom of the Future. The paper examines the outcomes, problems and solutions and provides a framework for next-generation universities.

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