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

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:

Program Tracks

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation and Change

Institutions are under pressure to innovate to address the wicked problems facing higher education: rising costs, demographic shifts, and the need to increase student success and measure outcomes. And yet, institutions, steeped in tradition and complex governance structures, often struggle to build change-ready cultures willing to take risks and experiment. What values and strategies inspire innovation at all levels of an institution? What skills, competencies, and frameworks enable organizations to successfully navigate and implement change? What innovative projects, pilots, and initiatives are moving your organization forward? How do IT units balance researching emerging technologies with keeping the lights on? Sessions in this track can include leadership and management strategies and efforts to cultivate innovation, processes and practices that support change efforts, and emerging projects and pilots that explore how innovation can support student success.

Delivering Trusted Insights and Innovation Through Data

Data is everywhere. It's being produced by everything and being used to make many different kinds of meaning. Whether we are using data to inform decision-making or to identify what decisions we might want to make, we are challenged to collect, define, analyze, and present data that is larger and more diverse than ever before. How might we imagine solutions that involve connecting people and systems to trusted data and data processes in useful, accessible, and understandable formats? How might we create and share clear and compelling reports and data visualizations that demonstrate data's value to all our constituents, organization wide? This track will explore data's potential. We invite you to share what works for you. Topics include, but are not limited to, the people (organization, leadership, grassroots, literacy), processes (policy, governance, assessment, strategic planning, collaboration), and technologies (infrastructure, analytics, visualization, collaboration/sharing) that can help us find answers to these inquiries and more. Delivering trusted insights requires an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach spanning IT, research, and academic units—what should we know?

Enabling Research Discovery

Cyberinfrastructure, both physical and human, is increasingly required across disciplines to enable groundbreaking research and scholarship in the digital age. Whether it's high-performance and high-throughput computing, massive storage capacity, hybrid and federated cloud resources, software-defined networks, rich media analysis, AR/VR/XR, or electronic lab notebooks, IT is a key partner in researcher success. Topics will include strategies for developing and sustaining robust research infrastructure, research computing facilitation and support, multi-institutional research infrastructure collaborations, IT and library research support collaborations, research data management, funding models, and creating research-enabling systems that foster best practices and reduce administrative burden.

Exploring New Boundaries in Teaching and Learning

How do institutional IT processes and practices enable and empower the core academic mission of teaching, learning, research, and scholarship? Additionally, what must we improve to see teaching and learning projects thrive with interdisciplinary, collaborative projects, products, and initiatives? This track invites presentations from a range of topics including instructional design, digital learning, learning space design, research computing, online and blended learning, accessibility and universal design, and mobile learning, as well as support for libraries, pedagogical research, and scholarship.

Organizational Excellence, Leadership, and Partnerships

The relevancy of information technology depends on meeting emerging needs and innovations. Silos are being dismantled, and hybrid and matrixed teams are being formed to proactively solve problems and innovate. As higher education institutions morph to handle a changing world, IT can lead the way by leveraging people, process, and technology. IT leadership must ensure that the technology organization's resources and efforts are strategically aligned with the institution's vision and goals and that the institution is fully leveraging technology and talent to achieve its goals. This track focuses on how IT organizations socialize transformations that enable IT to lead innovation in the institution and on the critical role that IT plays in serving the needs of the entire institution—administrative, teaching and learning, and research. Topics include creating a modern workforce; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); performance effectiveness; cost control; mergers, closures, and consortiums; collaborative initiatives related to strategic institutional, vendor, and research partnerships; process transformations; culture change; making IT more effective; measuring the journey to excellence; remote campus relationships; and community engagement partnerships.

Redefining the Enterprise for the Modern Age

The practices of IT service delivery and digital transformation—increasingly important to realizing institutional strategy—rely on the successful convergence of information systems, cloud computing infrastructure, and a support-and-skills model that makes it all work across the breadth of a higher education institution (not just central IT). Modernizing infrastructures can increase agility and flexibility, bolster data protection, and encourage innovation. Topics in this track include infrastructure services and enterprise architecture/systems, as well as frameworks and strategies for effective, efficient IT service management including agile, DevOps, and ITIL.

Security, Privacy, and Ethics

Security, privacy, and ethics continue to be top-of-mind initiatives at each of our organizations. With the pace of change continuing to pick up speed and the focus on privacy and security at the start rather than as an afterthought, we are seeking proposals focused on strategic themes as well as highly technical and tactical talks. Proactive initiatives to protect against increasingly sophisticated attacks, breach response events, and more are all welcomed. This track also includes topics related to external partnerships, accessibility, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Transforming the Student Experience

Technology has the potential to reduce friction for students, whether it's by nudging them to register for classes, pointing them to available parking spots, or making Wi-Fi access ubiquitous across campus. The digital student experience affects learners across the life cycle with the institution, shaping how they are recruited, educated, retained, and engaged. What are the design principles and approaches that should inform the digital student experience? How is technology reshaping the student experience to reduce friction and remove barriers? What emerging technologies have the potential to improve the student experience, and what are the risks and tradeoffs? This track will explore the ways in which higher education has successfully responded to the changing expectations of learners, families, and alumni.



Virtual Session Experience

  • General Session icon

    General Sessions

    Make sure you join us for 3 live general sessions. More information coming soon!

  • Live Sessions icon

    Live Sessions

    Watch the virtual presentations while chatting live with presenters. Make sure you tune in to be inspired by institutional and industry leaders.

  • On Demand icon

    On-Demand Content

    Experience EDUCAUSE at your own pace. On-demand content will be available so you can stay up-to-date on the issues you are most interested in.

All content will be made available on-demand after the conference through January 31, 2021.


Take a Deeper Dive with Like-Minded Colleagues and Experts

  • Learning Labs

    October 2020

    Virtual Learning Labs will replace our traditional face-to-face preconference workshops. Participants will spend time with subject matter experts and colleagues learning more about a specific topic of interest and how to apply what they learned after the conference. Learning Labs will be scheduled during the weeks immediately preceding and succeeding the conference.

    Explore the Learning Labs→

    Additional fee required.
  • EDUCAUSE Community Day

    Friday, October 23

    EDUCAUSE Community Groups and other affinity groups will have a chance to meet up before the conference to connect with peers, share news and information, and make plans for how to get the most of the conference.

    Learn more about Community Day→

  • Experience Summits

    Thursday, November 5

    Experience Summits offer participants an opportunity to engage in immersive activities with today's thought leaders around a specific theme. Summit themes include topics important to campus professionals who are involved in using and advancing technology at colleges and universities.

    Explore the Experience Summits→

    Additional fee required.


Connect on What Matters Most to You

EDUCAUSE Community Day

Learn about EDUCAUSE Community Groups and join different discussions on the topics that you are interested in most. Community day is included in your main conference registration. Learn more about Community Day→

Exhibit Hall

Make plans to see the 125+ exhibitors showcasing their products and services at this year's event. You’ll be able to make appointments to chat directly with exhibitors, participate in games, enter to win prizes and so much more. Learn more about the exhibits →

Networking Opportunities

Attendees will have access to one-on-one and small group networking opportunities at the conference. These will come in a variety of formats, including informal meet ups and formal mentoring programs. Explore the networking opportunities → 

Career Coaching

Career Coaching Sessions are complimentary, one-on-one career advice meetings offered to higher education Information Technology professionals aspiring to advance their career into a management position. These sessions are designed for a range of professionals ranging from individuals seeking their first management position to individuals seeking their next CIO position.  These confidential resume and career portfolio reviews provide advice on how best to tell your professional story to find a new role or advance in your current one. Learn more→

Diana G. Oblinger Innovation Forum

The 2020 Diana G. Oblinger Innovation forum will explore the ways in which diversity accelerates and improves innovation and how to remove impediments to more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments in higher education technology. Learn more→

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

EDUCAUSE promotes professional growth and access to leadership opportunity among higher education technology professionals, welcoming all individual identities and demographic characteristics. The EDUCAUSE board and leadership have established diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a critical priority for the association. More information on specific activities and sessions that support DEI coming soon.