Programs and Tracks

The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference programming is derived from member-driven content organized across overarching IT tracks and hosts one of the largest exhibit halls in the industry. 

In 2016, the annual conference will convene over 7,000 higher ed IT colleagues to explore what keeps us up at night. Share ideas. Examine trends. Battle assumptions. And swap contact information in an unparalleled representation of peer support and networking. It’s the best thinking in higher education IT.

Whether you participate as an individual or travel together as a team, you can make this a comprehensive experience by taking advantage of any of the opportunities below.

Leadership Programming at Anaheim

CIO Experience

The CIO Experience provides on-site intensive networking opportunities, program sessions tailored to higher education IT leadership, and the ability to convene, reflect, and strategize with other CIOs. CIO Experience amenities include the CIO Lounge, complimentary career coaching, and the Hawkins Leadership Roundtable for new CIOs and those actively seeking the CIO role.

Senior Directors Seminar

New this year, the Senior Directors Seminar is a professional development program for those serving in higher education IT as senior directors or those actively seeking senior director roles within the next year. Programming includes skill development, peer networking, and mentoring offered by highly experienced leaders.

Diana G. Oblinger Innovation Forum

The inaugural Diana G. Oblinger Innovation Forum is for CIOs and academic affairs leaders and will take place on Wednesday, October 26 during the Annual Conference. The forum will examine the complex intersection of academic transformation and student success technologies—where leadership and data can power institutional change.

Additional On-Site Resources and Activities

Ancillary Meetings

The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference also serves as a community gathering place for many organizations—institutions, nonprofits, companies, and consortia. Often these member groups host community or customer-focused meetings in conjunction with the conference. We encourage this through our ancillary meeting policy to honor valuable member network-building and community-based needs. 


Visit this community hub to learn more about your association. Discover how EDUCAUSE can help you enhance decision making, build your profession, create connections, and strengthen higher ed. 

EDUCAUSE Staff "Meet and Greets"

Meet the EDUCAUSE staff who translate your needs into initiatives, working groups, and resources. Share your feedback and find out what's on the horizon.

First Time Participant Assistance

If you’re new to the annual conference, swing by the First-Timer Commons where volunteers will be there to help plan your day, suggest networking events, and share ideas on how to maximize your conference experience.

Innovative Solution Providers 

The Exhibit Hall features over 275 exhibitors who specialize in providing the latest campus technology solutions for the higher education community.  In addition to exhibits, numerous activities take place in the hall, including Start-Up Alley, Under the Ed Radar Pitch Competition, the Pitch IT! Challenge, high-energy programming in the Learning Theater, conference refreshment breaks, lunch, and dessert stations. 

Program Tracks

Session content has been carefully crafted by community presenters (institutional and industry) who have extensive experience and whose topical discussions are categorized into the following programmatic tracks:

Driving Innovation in Teaching and Learning

How do institutional IT practices enable and empower the core academic mission of teaching, learning, research, and scholarship? These practices include instructional design, personalized learning, learning space design, research computing, online and blended learning, accessibility and universal design, and mobile learning, as well as support for research and academic scholarship.

Enabling the Data-Driven Decision-Making Environment

Explore the intersection of administrative and academic questions by applying data, information, and analysis. The goal? Providing enhanced knowledge and predictive intelligence to facilitate informed decision making at all organizational levels and in all areas.

Innovating in IT Infrastructure and Cloud-Based IT Environments

The evolving practice of IT service delivery drives successful convergence of information systems, cloud computing infrastructure, and a support model that makes it all work across the entire fabric of a higher education institution (not just central IT). Learn about infrastructure services and enterprise architecture/systems, as well as frameworks and strategies for effective, efficient IT service management.

Leading and Partnering Strategically across the Academy

IT leadership requires maintaining operational excellence while preparing the academy for digital disruption. IT staff at all levels need to build relationships across the institution to ensure that technical innovation aligns with the instructional and research missions. Student and faculty success are maximized when IT has a seat at the many decision tables.

Producing, Distributing, and Using Digital-Based Knowledge

Librarians, archivists, information technologists, programmers, data visualization professionals, and others actively partner with faculty and students in the creation and discovery of scholarly content using digital tools and techniques. Other significant areas include interpreting, preserving, and providing access to locally produced digital scholarship and institutional information.

Reducing and Managing Risk in a Digital World

IT organizations share accountability for managing institutional continuity of operations within an open and shifting environment. The rise of BYOD and cloud services challenge these efforts, as do changing government regulations and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. From preventing data breaches to sending emergency alerts to protecting privacy, the real-time tactical and long-term strategic need for risk management is vital to all higher education IT leaders.

Transforming the Student Experience

Explore students’ evolving digital experience. How will technology change the way campuses recruit and retain students and communicate with alumni? How will digital technologies affect administrative and academic day-to-day tasks? Besides making students’ interactions with the school, faculty, and each other faster and easier, digital advances have the potential for increasing students’ engagement and academic success.